The Year That Was (2022 Review)

Happy May, y’all! It’s been a minute since we’ve posted, but we’ve been busy behind the scenes. We wanted to drop a note about what we’ve been up to and what we’ve got coming up this year, and we’re hoping to connect with some of you this next year in person and online.

Museums & Race
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We're here too.

Over this past year, multiple organizations have reached out to us to support them in their anti-racist journey and to help make concrete structural changes. We’re happy to share that we’ve used the Museums & Race Report Card to forge a community of practice. In partnership with Brooke Hutchison, we facilitated a course at Bank Street Graduate School of Education for current and future museum professionals. The course focused on organizational change and implementing racial equity practices. 

In partnership with Brooke Hutchison and Enrich Chicago, joined in examining the overlaps of caste, race, and white supremacy, and providing a systemic context for exploring the dynamics of each. Attendees explored these oppressive systems and their cultural contexts through the lens of racism in arts and culture. 

We’ve also met with multiple museums to address how they can integrate the Museums & Race Report Card into their strategic work. Later this year in this space, you’ll be hearing the stories of a couple of these organizations and their process towards implementing a more radical future. We’ll also be at the ASTC conference with representatives from those museums to share their perspectives and lessons learned from engaging in this work with us. As the year continues, we look forward to finding other places to connect with people throughout the museum field about our work whether that’s at conferences, online, or through new relationships.

Five people wearing masks and multicolored Museums & Race shirts looking at the camera in a conference center with a cityscape behind them.

And yes, we will be at AAM later this month. We’ve carefully considered our participation and despite some of our misgivings from past interactions, AAM remains the largest gathering of museum professionals in the country This is another example of the power imbalance between organizations and individual professionals, but the conference is one of the few ways we can find this level of community together. Our presence at the conference allows us to find like-minded professionals who are committed to forging equity and organizational anti-racist practices. 

We also remain cognizant of the fact that there are many people within AAM who are themselves working to implement a more equitable system. Much of AAM’s communications recognize this work. We hope that AAM will hold itself to a greater practice of accountability as they transition between leaders. We will continue to encourage AAM and the museum community at large to make meaningful change.

Finally, as our work continues to grow we’re looking to add new people to be directly involved in our work, later this year. Museums & Race is a non-hierarchical space, and we are mindful of the differences in each members’ time commitments. Depending on their time availability, incoming new members have the option of joining the steering committee, helping with our website, putting together conference events, or coaching sites on ways to use the Report Card. If you’re interested, keep an eye out for announcements in the space and let us know on our contact us/support us page.

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