Coming to recognize and understand entrenched racism is a difficult and potentially contentious undertaking—but also a necessary step in challenging and transforming the institutional policies and systems that perpetuate structural racism and oppression in museums.

To help advance this work, a group of 24 museum professionals came together in Chicago for a three-day convening on race and racism in museumsThe idea for the convening—called Museums & Race: Transformation and Justice—grew out of a conversation about museum response to Ferguson that The Museum Group (TMG) hosted during the American Alliance of Museums meeting in Atlanta in April 2015. People there were determined to sustain the momentum, and so a planning team was organized to develop the Chicago convening, with TMG as sponsor.

Since that original gathering, Museums & Race has remained a progressive voice for change in the industry, hosting the Museums & Race micro-conference at AAM 2016 and the Museums & Race Transformation and Justice Lounge at AAM 2017.