Updates

Where is the Transformation and Justice Lounge at AAM 2022?

At our professional gatherings, the Museums & Race team has been committed to making sure there is a space for marginalized voices. While our beginnings in 2015 were humble, our intentions have remained the same. Our presence at annual meetings and conferences have served to disrupt conversations that often completely ignore or co-opt the labor of museum practitioners of color, especially those who claim additional marginalized identities. Our lounge at the AAM annual meeting was our flagship space for three years: a space for people to gather in solidarity, to have tough conversations, to rest, to find joy in meeting up with colleagues, and to lift up artists from local communities surrounding the conference location. Many of these things are counter to the pace and goals of professional meetings, which encourage high-intensity, often transitory interactions, and making as much profit as possible while ignoring the communities surrounding the conference location. Every year we have participated, we receive feedback on how valuable and important our lounge space has become to AAM Annual Meeting attendees. For many, AAM is the only conference they attend for professional development, and can only do so because their institutions sponsor their attendance.

Three people sitting in a group having a discussion. A medium-skinned person with shoulder length curly hair holds the microphone and looks to the left of the camera. A light-skinned person with short, light colored hair holding a drink looks towards the speaker and the camera and a   medium-dark skinned person with dark, straight, shoulder length hair in the foreground looks away from the camera at the speaker.
A Roundtable Discussion at the 2019 Museums & Race Transformation and Justice Lounge

The existence of our space at AAM has been contingent on a good faith partnership with AAM’s annual meeting planning team. This partnership ended abruptly and without notice in 2020.  M&R reached out to AAM staff to ensure everyone on their end was aware of our continued interest in and intention to produce a lounge space in 2020. The response we received was incredibly disheartening and disturbing. After a direct conversation with AAM staff, the M&R steering committee was informed that Museums & Race would not receive a dedicated space within the Expo Hall at the 2020 Annual Meeting. Instead, AAM selected Museum Hue as the sole partner for DEAI programming in the Expo Hall, and any activities M&R proposed would need to be cleared through them. No one at M&R had been informed or consulted prior to AAM moving forward with this plan, and no one within AAM appeared to have taken note of our past MOUs or lounge activities as evidence of our interest in continuing the partnership. We came away from this initial discussion with the sense that AAM views all of the equity initiatives and organizations like M&R as interchangeable.

AAM’s decision to exclude M&R from initial planning conversations put both groups in an extremely awkward position, leaving little room for M&R to negotiate or find solutions to ensure our presence beyond our session during the annual meeting. This is a common tactic, an age-old game of pitting marginalized groups against each other to fight over the meager resources, while the institutions themselves continue to uphold inequitable power dynamics. For DEAI work, this is especially true. However, we refuse to engage in scarcity-mindset behavior and we believe there is room for everyone in this work. We support the important and valuable work of Museum Hue as well as our colleagues in other equity coalitions working for change. 

A panorama of the lounge containing a multiple round table discussions crowded with people and a small, set off space set off by waist high barriers with two people inside. A bulletin board sits to the left covered with materials and with three people lookin at it. A table with materials sits on the right backdropped by a blue curtain with a small group having a conversation next to it. The Museum Expo can be seen in the background.
2018 Museums & Race Transformation and Justice Lounge

Over the last decade, the museum field has been fortunate to witness the growth of several independent equity coalitions. Each of them has provided frameworks and perspectives for challenging dominant institutional narratives, which have been the foundation of this industry. By assuming the work of our colleagues at Museum Hue is interchangeable with that of M&R, AAM has inadvertently perpetuated the institutional paternalism and white supremacy culture which it claims to challenge. How does AAM continue to square its vocal support of change and inclusion—plastered throughout its social media and website since 2020—without considering the ways in which it might be a part of the problem?

It has become clear to us and others within our equity sphere that AAM does not find it necessary to invite the widest range of perspectives to share space at the annual meeting. We want to highlight that this is not simply a one-off incident, but part of an ongoing trend in which M&R and other equity groups have been slowly silenced or pushed out. This trend ranges from severing existing good faith partnerships, to consistently scheduling DEAI sessions on the same day (and usually the last day) at conferences, to publishing the work of dominant voices on AAM’s platforms without critical examination of the source(s) of its content. 

For the foreseeable future, we are disheartened to say there will not be an M&R lounge space at the AAM Annual Meeting. We hope this changes in the future, as the AAM conference is a place from which many museums across the country draw their cues. We hope AAM—and the wider museum community—understands that the field of equity work is expansive and constantly evolving. Our professional organizations should be supporting museum practitioners in growing their capacity to grasp the nuances of these varied perspectives and organizations, not encouraging false, binary choices. We would encourage anyone who is a member of AAM and a supporter of M&R to express their concerns, or ask AAM staff about the exclusion of M&R.

The Museums and Race Lounge at [the 2018] AAM Conference made me feel at home. It quickly became my “HQ” during the conference. I’m grateful for the roundtable sessions at the Lounge and the opportunity to start an important dialogue with other museum professionals on mixed-race identity in the industry—it was a moving experience to have this conversation (a first at AAM, as some attendees told us) in a space challenging and confronting issues on race.

Andrea Neighbors, Asian Pacific American Center

See you in Boston at AAM 2022!

A mix of skyscrapers and short buildings on the waterfront set in front of a clear, blue sky with a dark, blue harbor in the foreground.
Boston Skyline / King of Hearts / Wikimedia Commons / CC BY-SA 4.0

We don’t want to go back to “normal”, but we are ready to see you all in person again! We made an appearance at AASLH in Little Rock last fall, and we’re planning more open discussions at conferences later this year. Right now, we are getting ready for AAM 2022 in Boston. As always, there’s a lot to talk about. The same old stories with new twists keep happening, so join us to move beyond talk and take some action!

We’ll be leading A Museums & Race Report Card Workshop for Reflecting on and Renewing Your Institution’s Journey on Sunday, 5/22 at 10:15am. This will be a practical workshop where you not only learn about the Report Card, but you get to work in small groups, practice applying it to different scenarios, and figure out how you can use it with your organization.Keep an eye out for Museums & Race folks wandering around with our shirts and buttons on. You can expect us to join in any conversation, official or not, about museums and race. Flag us down and chat about how you can help out, talk about issues you’re having at your site, or just shoot the breeze! And hey, if you want your own shirt, you can order one yourself.

Six people of various races and ethnicities sit in a circle talking below a screen that says "Museums & Race" in a conference hall. A medium skinned women with short dark hair wearing a pink vest holds a microphone and talks to the others.
New Orleans, LA – AAM Annual Meeting and MuseumExpo 2019 – Attendees during MuseumExpo Networking Breakfast, Wednesday May 22, 2019. Photo by © AAM/Matt Herp 2019 Contact Info: todd@corporateeventmages.com

Museums and Race Report Card [2021 Remix]

how will your museum measure up?

You spoke. We listened.

Museums & Race Report Card 3.0 is your tool for TRUTH, before attempting RECONCILIATION.

The report card still covers the same basic categories (Governance, Funding, Representation, Responsiveness, Resources, and Transparency). AND it now includes a rubric and action steps to help your organization build context for each grade, and then take action to improve and transform.

Take it. Use it. Share it.

And, as always, Cite it.

A screenshot from the May 24, 2021 session, Truth before Reconciliation: Taking the Requisite Steps toward Resilience, at the 2021 American Alliance of Museums Annual Conference. Presenters Alison Rossi, Karlisa Callwood, Timothy Rhue, Michelle Moon, Jaclyn Roessel, and Janeen Bryant explored how museums can reflect on and examine their own truths to authentically advance towards reconciliation.

#CollectiveLiberation

#TruthBeforeReconciliation

#WeAllGetFree

#MuseumsAreNotNeutral


Want to learn more about the Report Card?

[COLLECTIVE LIBERATION] Disrupt, Dismantle, Manifest (June 2 – 4, 2021)

#CollectiveLiberation is an opportunity for EVERYONE to shape and wholly transform the future of museums

Registration is now open

Image description: blue background with star border; [collective liberation] disrupt, dismantle, manifest, June 2nd - 4th, 2021; logos for Museums and Race, Visitors of Color, Museum Workers Speak, MASSAction, The Incluseum, Museums Are Not Neutral, Death to Museums, and The Empathetic Museum.

About this event

Registration is now open for [Collective Liberation]: Disrupt, Dismantle, Manifest!

We are very excited for our lineup this year. By registering for the convening, you will have access to all of the sessions. Attendees will receive an email with session links at the start of each day.

Registration is free with an optional Pay What You Can. Payments will go toward paying speakers and the fund for Museum Workers Speak.

Please note:

  • Sessions will be recorded and uploaded to Museums & Race’s YouTube channel.
  • ASL interpretation will be provided.
  • Registration caps at 500.

For any questions regarding registration, please contact museumequitycoalition@gmail.com

Antiracist Convening Schedule

WEDNESDAY, JUNE 2, 2021

11 am EDT / 8 am PDT

Coffee Chat + Check-in

Join Coalition members for pre-session conversations.
Chat with fellow convening attendees and check-in on what is top of mind for you.

12 Noon EDT / 9 am PDT

The Narcissistic Abuse of Cultural Institutions

Presenters: Andrea Montiel de Schuman and Dr. Kelli Morgan

This discussion between Andrea Montiel and Dr. Kelli Morgan will help identify narcissistic abusive patterns in the museum field, acknowledging the severe psychological consequences of being exposed to such environments for long periods of time. Recognizing that the museum field will not change tomorrow, we will share recommended ways to manage, set boundaries and overcome trauma. It’s going to continue to take time, and the process will continue to be painful.

In the past year, since resigning, Dr Kelli Morgan and I faced extreme emotions of grief, urgency for change. We have experienced the powerful ways in which institutions retaliate and seek to hoard as much power for as long as they can, knowing that their time is up. We have spent time healing and rethinking approaches to face the crisis in the field.

We fully believe that the time is up for those who have enabled and fostered abusive workplaces: this is why they are panicking. But the change/transition will take more than removing directors: it’s going to take dismantling enablers and complex systems & reorganizing power dynamics in meaningful ways. We believe that museum workers need to find ways to heal from trauma in the process, especially since institutions have powerful resources at hand.

2 pm EDT / 11 am PDT

Bigger Than the Internet: Museums and the Digital Colonization of the Web

Presenter: Adriel Luis

Museums increasingly express interest in equity, social justice, and even decolonization, in large part due to their growing investment in online spaces where such topics have risen to the top of public consciousness. This investment has also led to heightened dependence on internet and social media platforms which center profit and gain, often through data mining, invasive advertisements, misinformation, and other behavior which run counter to principles of free and open society, and mutual flourishing. These practices mirror the resource extraction by empire-building campaigns such as the Wilkes Expedition, which helped establish the U.S.’ earliest museums.

This session investigates the relationship between museums and exploitive data collection practices, from their colonial histories to their uncertain futures. In order for museums to truly be places for people of color, they must not simply “include” us, but must dismantle their traditions and frameworks that center Western knowledge and perpetually disenfranchise our belief systems.If museums are committed to their “inclusive” engagement of racialized, Disabled, and queer people on social media, they cannot ignore the disproportionate hostilities and exploitations that threaten these populations online. Otherwise, it is an incomplete, ill-informed vision of social justice.

4 pm EDT / 1 pm PDT

Local Contexts: Grounding Indigenous Rights  

Presenters: Jane Anderson, Janette Hamilton-Pearce, Maui Hudson, Felicia Garcia, Corrie Roe

Every Indigenous community has cultural and biological collections within archives, libraries, and museums that they do not own, do not control, and cannot govern circulation over. Significant information about these collections, including  names and proper provenance information is absent. Increasing digitization across the cultural heritage sector continues to disregard Indigenous rights. This affects cultural memory, the accuracy of historical narratives, and present day Indigenous culture, health, and well-being. It is a critical matter for Indigenous knowledge and data sovereignty. 

Local Contexts recognizes the sovereignty that Indigenous communities have over knowledge and data that comes from lands, territories, and waters. Local Contexts is developing a model that addresses the problem of public domain materials and third party owned Indigenous content divorced from local communities. Local Contexts offers a system of digital labelling to intervene in the structural colonial legacy of Indigenous erasure.  We will introduce the Local Contexts (localcontexts.org) initiative, including the Local Contexts Hub. This Hub is planned for launch in July. The Hub is a portal that will allow communities to adapt the Labels and researchers and institutions to generate Notices.

6 pm EDT / 3 pm PDT

Let’s Get Real: Skill Building Break Outs

Join us for a set of concurrent sessions to sharpen your antiracism skill building around Accountability Matrixes with members of the MASS Action Accountability Workgroup, Land Acknowledgements with Jaclyn Roessel, and Curating Disability with Camille Bethune-Brown. 

Creating an Accountability Matrix | Sara Phalen, Gretchen Jennings, Juline Chevalier

Curating Disability  |  Camille Bethune-Brown 

Land Acknowledgments as Catalysts for Action  |  Jaclyn Roessel 

THURSDAY, JUNE 3, 2021

11 am EDT / 8 am PDT

Coffee Chat + Check-in

Join Coalition members for pre-session conversations. Chat with fellow convening attendees and check-in on what is top of mind for you.

12 Noon EDT / 9 am PDT

Limitations on traditional funding models

Presenters: Camille-Mary Sharp 

This moderated conversation addresses the limitations that traditional funding models (specifically: corporate sponsorship and philanthropy, but also board governance) impose on our push for radical change in museums.  In particular, this session will examine the case of climate change education and initiatives in museums, troubling the recent push for climate-oriented philanthropy and the rise of corporate-funded exhibitions that focus (problematically) on individual responsibility for the climate crisis. The goal of this session will be for participants to leave encouraged to think “beyond divestment,” since mining-intensive “green energy” industries have shown to replicate the oppressive systems of oil and gas, and re-imagine the future of the field’s funding and leadership structures.

2 pm EDT / 11 am PDT

Put Your Money Where Your Mouth Is – A Critical Look at Co-Creation and Collaboration Beyond the Buzzwords 

Presenters: David Valentine, Choua Her, Robby Callahan Schreiber 

When it comes to moving the needle on social justice in the field, museums typically involve Black, Indigenous, People of Color (BIPOC) communities as a surface level way to underscore their own progress while changing very little about how they operate. This tendency to center the museum, rather than improving their equity standing, (re)creates patterns of performative and self-serving behaviors that actively harm communities and damage relationships in longstanding ways. We see this often when BIPOC-led or centered orgs and individuals are brought into projects that are already in motion, for what might arguably be called “token inclusion,” and yet are still not given a seat at the table when it comes to decision-making throughout the process. These projects are also often funded externally which points to a lack of institutional investment in the work itself. In other words, it seems that these projects only exist when the cost can be shuffled onto someone else and the work stops when the money stops.

In this session, we explore the do’s and don’ts of authentic community engagement. Moving beyond a list of things to check off and mark as done, and informed by reflections about our NSF-funded RAPID: Advancing Community Conversations that Intersect STEM and Racial Justice project, we will share a resource we’ve drafted for making critical decisions around collaboration and co-creation with community members. This resource will highlight:

  • How to take an asset-based approach to working WITH community members with whom museums have under-invested our resources.
  • How to identify and subvert tactics in your engagement strategy that uphold or reinforce inequities in power sharing.
  • How to integrate new tactics that bolster mutual beneficiality, encourage transparency, strip away oppressive norms, and empower community members.

4 pm EDT / 1 pm PDT

Creative reckoning: The fall and rise of a BIPOC Creative

Presenters: Britt Oates, Heather Hope Kuruvilla, Kathren Lee, Katie Sullivan, Marlena Matuta, Sarah Olivo

We meet, we have fun, and we get shit done. But not before stumbling through some of it first. This is an open, blunt, and honest discussion of how Agate Creative came together as strangers to refute white supremacy culture in our places of work and reimagine and revolutionize the traditional and oppressive museum structure through transformational experiences, conversations starters, resource share, and beyond. On our path, we realized many of the patterns and practices we were attempting to address within museums had carried over into our own space. We were repeating the “way things had always been done” without question, self-reflection, push-back, or growth. Together, we came to see the toxicity we were attempting to address was also internalized. In this discussion, we will explore how we recognized, named, and worked to dismantle the toxic “norms” within ourselves and our work histories to collectively form a stronger Creative.

6 pm EDT / 3 pm PDT

Art to Action: Capacity-Building Break Outs

Join us for a set of concurrent sessions to investigate the powerful role of art and design in dismantling systems of oppression within the museum and cultural fields.

Art and Inner Shifts | Sabrina Mooroogen 

Dismantling through Design Justice  |  Rina Alfonso, Isabella Bruno

Confinements of Color in the White Cube | Jaime Sunwoo

FRIDAY, JUNE 4, 2021

11 am EDT / 8 am PDT

Coffee Chat + Check-in

Join Coalition members for pre-session conversations. Chat with fellow convening attendees and check-in on what is top of mind for you.

12 Noon EDT / 9 am PDT

Conservation alternatives: A structured discussion about what else it could mean to invest in material heritage

Presenter: Ayesha Fuentes

This open, moderated conversation invites conservators, arts practitioners and museum workers to imagine how the field of conservation can be part of the creative reconstruction and decentralization of cultural institutions. This session examines how conservation’s collective identity, methods, standards and vocabularies can and should be destabilized in order to shift intellectual and technical agency away from entrenched eurocentric, exclusionary practices and narratives. In addition to discussing strategies for community engagement and pathways to repatriation, this conversation aims to examine the obsolescence of conservation as an instrument of museological, economic or political authority, and to cultivate a broader arena for conservation training and practice that includes a diversity of material skills and knowledge, and which prioritizes the accessibility of cultural heritage rather than its material integrity.

2 pm EDT / 11 am PDT

Why cultural institutions should advocate for the defunding of local police departments

Presenters: nikhil trivedi, Porchia Moore, Rose Kinsey

In cities big and small, huge amounts of local budgets go to policing. Local advocates are being clear about what alternatives could be if they defunded police, including ending hunger, homelessness, and funding education and healthcare for all. Could arts and culture be part of where this money could go, too?

The pandemic has caused some institutions to shut down for good. Those left standing continue the perpetual cycle of grant writing and membership driving just to stay afloat. Would we each need to be in this rat race fighting over the same resources if there were better mechanisms to fund us? Could ending policing at all levels of government from neighborhood watches to the federal military achieve this? 

Join us for a discussion on dreaming about a world without police, and why museums and cultural institutions should join the fight.

4 pm EDT / 1 pm PDT

Museum Unions – Organizing Workshop

Presenters: Amanda Tobin, Maro Elliott, Whitney Stanley, Michaela Flint

Join members of MASS MoCA’s organizing committee and the Portland Museum of Art to learn strategies and information about the unionization process. We will review a timeline, eligibility, strategies, and lessons learned. The conversation will identify how organized worker power can shift traditional priorities and experiences to build a stronger, more authentic museum field.

The recent wave of museum unionization has the potential to fundamentally change the landscape of museum work. Unions can hold their institutions accountable to the promises of racial equity, and ensure they go beyond optical allyship to enact actual policy changes, from hiring protocols to harassment procedures and more. Unions also require transparent communication between leadership and staff. Earlier staff-driven attempts to promote DEAI have proven to be easily dismissed by leadership. Unions provide the legal standing for workers to gain the power needed to effect change.

6 pm EDT / 3 pm PDT

MANIFEST!

Our goal is collective liberation. Join us for a convening wrap-up and tactical conversation about what comes next. How will we hold one another and the field accountable for the changes we want and need to see? Let’s work together to disrupt, dismantle, and manifest this journey towards collective liberation.


Image description: blue background with starred border; Collective Liberation Programming Schedule; logos for Museums and Race, Visitors of Color, Museum Workers Speak, MASSAction, The Incluseum, Museums Are Not Neutral, Death to Museums, and The Empathetic Museum.

WHO WE ARE: This Coalition represents the change-making movements Museums and Race, MASS Action, Museum Workers Speak, The Incluseum, Museums Are Not Neutral, Empathetic Museum, Visitors of Color, and Death to Museums. Collectively, we believe there is inherent inequity in the existing systems alive in our institutions, and that we must address this foundationally through the lens of racial justice and anti-white supremacy. We are committed to effecting real, substantive, and transformative change in the museum field and seeing the manifestations of this work happen in our lifetime.

[COLLECTIVE LIBERATION] DISRUPT, DISMANTLE, MANIFEST

UPDATE: Call for proposals extended to end of day April 20.

2021 Equity Coalition Convening

JUNE 2-4, 2021

The legacies of colonial and racialized violence, and white supremacy broadly, express themselves in myriad ways in contemporary museum practice. Internal and external transformation is required for shifting systems of power; interrupting the cycle of abusive museum culture; and healing from traumatic histories. 

Yet, despite decades of advocacy,  we keep repeating the same patterns. Why? What keeps us from taking necessary actions?

We must face individual and institutional unwillingness in museums to self-educate and the resistance to embed racial equity. We must name the lack of transparency, accountability, and serious commitment to make this work foundational. We must move our field away from performative, so-called DEAI measures that center whiteness towards models that break historical patterns of inequity and harm.

We are calling for a radical reimagining of possibilities around what a museum can be for its publics when racial justice is at its center. 

Call for proposals closes April 16, 2021.
Selections will be confirmed by May 1, 2021.

PRESENT A CYPHER

Complete this form to propose your idea for a session, dialog, or poster presentation or send us a video or audio recording answering the questions.

JOIN US IN JUNE

Stay tuned for registration details. Follow:

@MuseumsAndRace
@MuseumAction 
@MuseumWorkers
@EmpatheticMuse
@incluseum
@VisitorsOfColor 
#MuseumsAreNotNeutral

WHO WE ARE:

This Coalition represents the change-making movements Museums and Race, MASS Action, Museum Workers Speak, The Incluseum, Museums Are Not Neutral, Empathetic Museum, and Visitors of Color. Collectively, we believe there is inherent inequity in the existing systems alive in our institutions, and that we must address this foundationally through the lens of racial justice and anti-white supremacy. We are committed to effecting real, substantive, and transformative change in the museum field and seeing the manifestations of this work happen in our lifetime.

Contact MuseumsRace@gmail.com for more information. 

Although we will be working virtually, we commit to share resources, build accountability partners, and organize within our community, particularly with colleagues across cultural, racial, and ideological spectra.


Download 2021 Equity Coalition Convention one-sheet

Questions in the Face of Sedition

Many of you are grappling with how to address the events of January 6th, personally and professionally. We charge you with the following 5 questions for reflection and action:

1. What is a reasonable response to unreasonable behavior & speech?

There’s Nothing Virtuous About Finding Common Ground

2. What is a truth that wasn’t apparent to you before this week?

There[‘s] no relational healing without honesty, and no authentic reconciliation without repentance and truth. @BerniceKing

3. What would authentic repentance look like, and who should take on acts of repentance?

Does America Need a Truth and Reconciliation Commission?

4. What are we doing to recognize and address white supremacy in real-time–make visible the invisible & confront denial–within our own spheres of influence?

White Supremacy Culture

5. How can we counteract statements like “This is not America” or “This is not what American is about” that have inevitably followed the events of Jan. 6?

The Police’s Tepid Response To The Capitol Breach Wasn’t An Aberration

Denial Is the Heartbeat of America


We are past the need for tolerance–the old go along to get along mentality. Now what?

You’re Invited: Revisiting the Museums & Race Report Card

Join us September 9, 5:30 pm EST for an examination of leadership, change, and accountability. 

Have you heard of or used the Museums & Race Report Card?
We would love to hear how. 

Have questions you want to see addressed with leadership and colleagues?
We would love to dialog with you. 

Have other resources that are inspiring you at this moment? 
We would love to share them. 

Will you join us?  Register now.

Museums & Race Statement of Solidarity

Every American should be chilled to their very core that this world of hate, oppression, and systemic injustice is the one on which we live.

Museums & Race acknowledges that the senseless deaths of Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor, George Floyd, and Tony McDade are literal reflections of anti-Black, white supremacist ideology that exists in America and can be seen in every facet of our museums.

As written by the NYC Arts in Education Roundtable: “We acknowledge our complicity in the long history of systemic racism within our country and the institutions of power in our city. We will continue to work to dismantle white supremacy within our organizations, schools, and communities.”

For too long, museums have resisted any formal role in addressing oppression, but, as our colleagues have insisted, museums are never neutral. Noted historian and acclaimed scholar Ibram Kendi writes, “there’s no in-between safe space, neutrality in this struggle — either we’re producing this racist society or we’re struggling against it.” Museums, by and large, have been in the business of racist reproduction, which we see in board composition, hiring practices, opaque and unjust salary structures, persistent curatorial discrepancies, dismissal of racialized narratives as “too controversial,” and so much more.  If you are aware of the reality of our society, and the oppression facing Black Americans, you should be actively working to dismantle it.

We call for museums to step forward with those who are already fighting, cast off their chains of inaction, and find some way to make a difference in the field, for museum workers, and in support of dismantling white supremacy in all institutions for the good of their communities, their institutions, and their nation.

As national and international practitioners that center the ideals of justice, we are not surprised that this is happening. This is the time to raise our voices against racism and elevate anti-racist actions. We stand in solidarity with justice-centered communities, rejecting systemic and institutionalized racism and demand a radically-imagined museum community in which human dignity is honored before property. This statement is only a small part of a much larger movement.

Three things museums can and SHOULD do now:

 

M&R Solidarity Statement V2

 

imagine a [radical] future | JOIN US

Join us May 18-20, 2020 for our virtual
Museums & Race Transformation and Justice Lounge

MR-radicalfuture

#MuseumsandRace2020 is an opportunity for EVERYONE to stay engaged and shape a more equitable field for the future.

REGISTER NOW >>

Please note: This is a pay/donate what you can conference. All donations support future Museums & Race initiatives. Each session is limited to 500 people. (updated 5/15)


 CYPHER SCHEDULE

MONDAY  |  MAY 18, 2020

12 Noon EST / 9AM PST

Performing Racial Identity in the Museum
Panelists: Dr. Dana Carlisle Kletchka and Dr. Joni Boyd Acuff

Using Beyoncé and Jay-Z’s 2018 “APESHIT” as an example, we suggest that autobiographical performative museum pedagogy serves as a critical “mining” of dominant curatorial narratives and as an intervention to counter the erasure of specific raced and gendered bodies. In this cypher, we discuss how this concept can inform museum exhibitions and programming.

 

2PM EST / 11AM PST

Confronting a Legacy: Historic House Museums & White Supremacy
Moderator: Jana Shafagoj
Panelists: Kevin Grigsby, Simone Jacobs, Lori Kimball, and Peighton Yong

Since the 19th century, historic sites have collectively supported a version of American history focused on idolizing wealthy white males as heroes within an American mythology. Generations have relied on this false narrative to rationalize injustices large and small. Through acknowledging the role our sites have played in perpetuating this history and then committing to understanding and sharing a more truthful account, we can have a positive effect on our communities and the nation.

 

5PM EST / 2PM PST

Feminist Methods to Center Margins, Catalyze Change and Foster Justice in Museums
Moderator: V. Gina Diaz 

This roundtable shares methods and results of a collaborative action research project aimed at challenging institutional standards, catalyzing change, and fostering justice in museum. Inspired by feminist and social movement maxims of studying up, moving margins to the center, and leader-full organizing, a collective of geographically dispersed artists, museum-workers, and academics identified key indicators that are resonant and revealing of institutional equity.

 

TUESDAY  |  MAY 19, 2020

12 Noon EST / 9AM PST

Decolonizing the Penn Museum’s Africa Collections
Moderator: Kate Quinn
Panelists: Dr. Tukufu Zuberi, Dr. Monique Scott, and Jessica Bicknell

Is it possible to dismantle the impact of the colonial narrative on exhibiting material culture in Western Museums? Creators of the new Africa Galleries at the Penn Museum discuss their approach, outcomes, and experiences in this interactive discussion.

 

2PM EST / 11AM PST

Teaching Against Oppression and Exclusion in Museums: Mapping Black and Latinx Queer Stories to “Latinx History Now!” Youth Centered Resistance
Moderator: Therese Quinn

Sharing ideas from practice and the 2020 book, School: Questions About Museums, Culture, and Justice to Explore in Your Classroom, this presentation offers resources and examples for school and museum-based educators. While flawed, as storehouses of culture, presenters show that museums can be tapped to powerfully support social justice.

 

5PM EST / 2PM PST

M&R Virtual Happy Hour and Poster Session- Imagine a [Radical] Future

ALL ARE WELCOME!

You’re invited to join us for an hour of sharing and celebration, emphasis on  “RADICAL.” Bring your wildest ideas and favorite beverage for an hour of jamming and planning for a radical future.

 

WEDNESDAY  |  MAY 20, 2020

12 Noon EST / 9AM PST

Museum Workers’ Relief Fund: Museum Worker Solidarity in Action
Panelists: Anniessa Antar (@anniessafatima), Alyssa Greenberg (@GreenbergAlyssa), Hannah Heller (@museum_matters), Christian Ramirez, Paula Santos (@pablitasan), Kate Swisher (@kate_swisher)

It has become clear to us that when our institutions will not stand in solidarity with us, we must stand in solidarity with each other. This is why we have come together to organize a mutual aid relief fund for museum workers.

 

2PM EST / 11AM PST

On the Walls, In the Halls: Diversity and Inclusion in Exhibitions and Staffing
Panelists: Nicole Bond, Mayra Palafox, and Jason Pallas

Join this participatory workshop as we delve into various dimensions of museum practice that impact our sense of inclusivity. We will draw from the experiences of Smart Museum educators to facilitate group conversation and short re-enactments, with a goal of collectively creating a tool for addressing instances of racial exclusion after the fact.