Here are the bios of our twenty-four participants: museum professionals from a variety of ethnic, racial, and cultural backgrounds, of all ages, and at all career stages all interested in effecting radical change in our field.
Swarupa Anila is director of interpretive engagement at the Detroit Institute of Arts. She leads the department of interpretation in the development of overall interpretive plans, labels, hands-on components, and multimedia experiences designed to help visitors have memorable, challenging, and meaningful experiences with art. Swarupa has worked in the field of interpretation for sixteen years and is widely recognized for her leadership in innovative practices. She developed interpretive plans and managed the museum-wide label-writing project during the DIA’s 2007 reinstallation project and has continued visitor-centered interpretive practices in subsequent work for permanent collections and special exhibitions. Her work on Through African Eyes: The European in African Art, 1500 to the Present received AAM’s 2012 Excellence in Exhibition Award. She initiated strategic community-wide, interreligious and intercultural consultation for the DIA’s groundbreaking exhibition Rembrandt and the Face of Jesus.
Since becoming head of the department of interpretation, Swarupa has deepened the museum’s use of community consultations during interpretive planning. Her museum work is informed by graduate studies in postcolonial theory, identity formation, and issues of representation. Key issues she pursues in the DIA’s interpretive planning practice include questions of whose voices and perspectives are missing in museum interpretation, how visitor voices become integrated to flatten museum and art historical knowledge hierarchies, and how to adapt museum interpretation to intersectionalities of identity and dynamics of representation that cannot yet be predicted.
Leslie Bedford is a member of The Museum Group, an international consortium of senior museum consultants. For thirteen years she was director of the Leadership in Museum Education Program of Bank Street College in New York City, a master’s program for mid-career professionals working in museums and other cultural organizations. A former deputy director for programs at the Brooklyn Historical Society, she also served as senior curator-developer of the Japan Program at The Children’s Museum of Boston. She graduated from Vassar College and Harvard Graduate School of Education, and received her doctorate in Museum Studies from Union Institute and University. Dr. Bedford was a participant in the Getty Leadership Institute and a Senior Fulbright Research Fellow in Japan in l986 and in Argentina in 2010. She has consulted to the Abu Dhabi Authority for Culture and Heritage, the Japanese Ministry of Education, and Fundación TyPA in Argentina on professional development. Most recently she has been working with the Lower East Side Tenement Museum in New York. Her book The Art of Museum Exhibitions: How Story and Imagination Create Aesthetic Experiences was published by Left Coast Press in 2014. In 2015 she was a Residential Fellow at the Getty Research Institute in Los Angeles.
Ryan Blocker is a musician, artist, and arts administrator engaged with issues of social justice, minority representation, and the ways in which the arts can be used to create a more inclusive world. He received his bachelor’s degree in music performance at Furman University in Greenville, South Carolina. He is an intended graduate of the School of the Art Institute of Chicago Arts Administration and Policy program. He has worked as the communications manager for the Homan Square Story Share Project, a year-long oral history/arts activation project on Chicago’s West Side. Ryan co-organized SAIC’s Reframing Visibility Symposium, a weekend of programming at SAIC aimed to investigate questions of diversity and representation in the art world. Ryan was awarded an EAGER grant from the Shapiro Center for Research and Collaboration as part of a year-long project that examines hip-hop as a tool for cross cultural communication.
Ryan is currently the managing editor of the publication F Newsmagazine and has published numerous articles on race, racial violence, police brutality, black queer identity, and equity. He currently works for the Chicago Humanities Festival as a Diversity Fellow where he is focused on building new networks in the city and finding alternative platforms to present content. He is writing his master’s thesis on diversity initiatives in cultural institutions.
Janeen Bryant is an inter-sectional educator, facilitator, trainer, and agitator, has been an advocate and catalyst for building community capacity since 2000. A graduate of Davidson College with a BA in anthropology, she completed her master of science degree in leadership and management in 2010. For many years she set the educational direction of Levine Museum of the New South and ended her eight years there as vice president of education. In that role she presented across the country on topics such as authentic community building, creating relationships across difference, attracting new audiences, empathy in museums, and critical conversations for internal development. Janeen also conceptualized and implemented the Listening Sessions model used by the museum in projects including Without Sanctuary, LGBTQ Perspectives on Equality, and most notably the Latino New South Project that ultimately became NUEVOlution. Known widely as a dialogue facilitator and trainer, she continues to design differentiated curriculum and experiential learning activities to make history relevant and accessible to any learner. Through direct consulting she continues foster a love of working with students, teachers, and parents through community-centered advocacy both regionally and nationally through educator professional development, community organizing with other parents, organizational staff trainings, and individual leadership development. Now, as regional director, South, for Leadership for Educational Equity, she directly engages with teachers, parents, and community leaders to use their voice to influence decision makers and ultimately to change the reality of our education system. A recovering candidate for the 2015 Charlotte Mecklenburg School Board, Janeen can likely be found at home with her daughter and two dogs when not traveling.
Gina Díaz is a doctoral student in the Department of American Studies at the University of New Mexico, an undertaking she began while working as the senior curator at the National Hispanic Cultural Center Art Museum. Previously she worked as the education director at the Hayward Area Historical Society in the San Francisco Bay Area and as a museum assistant with the California Indian Heritage Center (State Department of Parks and Recreation). She has also worked on different projects at the Smithsonian Institution Latino Center. Gina completed an MA in museum studies at John F. Kennedy University in 2005, during which she benefited from the support of the Western Museums Association and the American Alliance of Museums. Her interdisciplinary doctoral research, for which she has received support from the Ford Foundation, is about critical museum studies; feminist and queer art; and cultural politics in the Americas. She lives in California with her partner Cathy and their spirited three-year-old Amado Luz.
As Intern & Fellows Program manager at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History, Omar Eaton-Martínez recruits and manages more than 200 interns and fellows who support a wide range of museum projects. He promotes intern/fellows programs to colleges and universities and other institutions. Omar serves as the museum liaison for pre- and postdoctoral fellows as well as other academic appointments. In an effort to create awareness about internship and fellowship opportunities he conducts presentations to higher education communities, partners, and various stakeholders with the purpose of increasing access to the Smithsonian. Omar develops partnerships with educational institutions and nongovernmental organizations to build community around an inclusive American narrative. He was involved in creating a briefing paper on diversity and inclusion at the museum for director John Gray. Exercising his outreach skills, he assisted in the recruitment of Latino curators for the museum. In the spirit of collaboration and community building, Omar participates in the following committees: At NMAH—Diversity Advisory Council; Peer Awards Committee; Strategic Planning Committee (co-chair of Education Subcommittee); Smithsonian-wide—Latino Working Committee (deputy chair); Office of Fellowships & Internships Diversity Working Group; federal—STEM Education (Underrepresented Communities). His research interests are Afrolatinidad/Afrolatinoness in the United States; Hip Hop history, culture, and education; and diversity and inclusion. He is one of the organizers and the creator of the Smithsonian Career Center Conference.
Omar came to the Smithsonian from the National Park Service (NPS), where he worked as an interpretive park ranger on youth programs and diversity initiatives. While at NPS he did a detail in the Office of the National Museum of the American Latino Commission. In addition, Omar has experience in STEM as an education and public outreach specialist for NASA and was a K–12 teacher in New York City and Washington, DC. He has been married for 16 years and has four children. He has a BA in African American studies from the University of Maryland, College Park, and an MEd from the American Intercontinental University. He has completed his first two semesters of the PhD program in American studies at the University of Maryland, College Park.
With undergraduate degrees in art history and elementary education from Colorado College and an MA in art history and museum studies from the University of Denver, Daryl began her career as a museum educator at the Denver Art Museum. From there, she went on to lead education departments at the Muskegon Museum of Art and the Indianapolis Museum of Art. Since 1993, she has been principal of Musynergy Consulting, which provides interpretive planning, strategic planning, and board development services to museums of all types and sizes. A strong advocate for the voice of museum visitors, she incorporates audience evaluation in all of her planning projects. She guides clients in recruiting participants who reflect the demographics of communities the museum aims to serve, treating them as experts in the visitor experience, and building on their feedback.
Daryl sees board development as a crucial step where museums often fall short in achieving greater equity and inclusion. Her book Museums, Trustees, and Communities: Building Reciprocal Relationships, published by the American Association of Museums in 1997, shared the wisdom of African American, Chinese American, and Native American trustees. She’s served on numerous boards including the Visitor Studies Association and The Progressive Women’s Alliance Lakeshore. A longtime member of The Museum Group, she currently serves on the nominating committee and is committed to applying learnings from Museums and Race 2016 to making TMG more inclusive in its membership and practices.
Darcie Fohrman collaborates with museums of all types to create interdisciplinary, interactive, and emotionally engaging exhibitions that have an impact on their visitors and communities. Our projects received the AASLH Award for Best Exhibition and the AAM Excellence in Exhibition Notable Exhibitions: Daniel’s Story: Remember the Children (United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, Washington, DC); FROGS!, Revealing Bodies and the new East Gallery: Living Systems (Exploratorium, San Francisco); COURAGE: The Vision to End Segregation, the Guts to Fight for It, and Changing Places: From Black and White to Technicolor (Levine Museum of the New South, Charlotte, NC); Above and Below: Stories From Our Changing Bay (Oakland Museum of California); and QUESTION (Cantor Arts Center, Stanford University Museum). I bring over 40 years of experience to my work as an interpretive planner, exhibition designer, experience developer, facilitator, and creative director. Before consulting, I was director of exhibitions at the San Diego Museum of Art, where I introduced the team approach to exhibition development and design. As director of exhibitions at the Spertus Museum of Judaica in Chicago, I designed the first permanent exhibition about the Holocaust in the United States.
My passion is working with museums and their communities to create exhibitions that are catalysts for public engagement. I contribute to the field by teaching, organizing AAM and regional conference sessions and retreats, and as a member of several professional organizations. I am a member and current president of The Museum Group (TMG), http://www.museumgroup.org, a consortium of senior museum consultants who formerly held administrative positions in-house, and I am a foundering member and former officer of the National Association for Museum Exhibitions (NAME). Both organizations advocate for best practices and professional standards.
Ben Garcia serves as deputy director of the San Diego Museum of Man where he leads decolonizing and master planning initiatives and supports the directors of exhibits, collections, visitor experience, education, and facilities. Past museum experience includes six years in the Education Department at the J. Paul Getty Museum, three years as associate director of education at the Skirball Cultural Center, and three years as head of interpretation at the Phoebe A. Hearst Museum of Anthropology at UC Berkeley. Prior to working in museums, he worked for five years in social services and for two years as a preschool teacher. Service to the field includes a current role on the Leadership Team of the Adoption Museum Project and past positions with Museum Educators of Southern California, Museum Education Roundtable, EdCom (AAM), and NAEA’s Museum Education Division. He has presented nationally and published on the museum’s role in learning, public value, and social change.
My work as an independent editor and writer reflects my belief that authentic equity in museums and in other arts and cultural organizations is an urgent issue. My recent projects include editing Room to Rise: The Lasting Impact of Intensive Teen Programs in Art Museums (Whitney Museum of American Art); various writing and editing assignments for the National Guild for Community Arts Education; coauthoring Ignite the Power of Art: Advancing Visitor Engagement in Museums (Dallas Museum of Art); and editing The Art of Museum Exhibitions (Leslie Bedford, Left Coast Press). I’m a member of The Museum Group.
I began working in the museum profession in the mid-1970s when I joined the staff of the American Association (now Alliance) of Museums. I was editor of Museum News (now Museum) and director of publications for 11 years before starting my business. In 1984 and 1991, I was the principal writer of two reports that shaped thinking about museums at the time: Museums for a New Century and Excellence and Equity: Education and the Public Dimension of Museums. Later, I was coauthor of New Forums: Art Museums and Communities and project writer for AAM’s Museums and Communities initiative.
Today my work has broadened to include other cultural organizations and nonprofits. In addition to the Whitney and the National Guild for Community Arts Education, my recent clients include the League of American Orchestras, BoardSource, the Association of Governing Boards of Universities & Colleges, and Chorus America. I live on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC (my birthplace) with my husband Bill, a retired EPA scientist and union activist.
Gretchen Jennings is a museum educator, administrator, and exhibition project director who worked at the Smithsonian for almost 15 years. She was a project director or senior staff member on the traveling exhibitions Invention at Play and Psychology, both of which received AAM awards of excellence. She served as editor-in-chief of the Journal of Museum Education from 1996 to 1999. Since leaving the Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History in 2007 she has served in a variety of consulting roles. From 2007 to 2014 she was editor of Exhibitionist, the journal of the National Association for Museum Exhibition (NAME). With an MA in History, specializing in European and African history, she has had a lifelong interest in crosscultural understanding and communication. For the past five years she has traveled to India every other year to teach museum studies to museum professionals in Kolkata (Calcutta). She blogs at Museum Commons (www.museumcommons.com). Through that blog she organized the “Joint Statement from Museum Bloggers and Colleagues on Ferguson and Related Events,” sent out in December 2014.
Joanne Jones-Rizzi works on systemic, ecological change within museums and the museum field. She actively questions, contextualizes, and reconfigures the relationships between exhibition, culture, community, dialogue, and access. Her exhibitions, program initiatives, collaborations, and writings embody her three-decade-long focus on expanding meaningful access through exhibitions relevant to audiences who do not yet think of museums as their cultural institutions.
As director of community engagement at the Science Museum of Minnesota, she leads a group that is committed to being thoughtful and intentional about defining community and creating approaches that advocate equitable access, reciprocity, meaningful participation, and cultural relevance to a broad range of communities. In her leadership role she is an advocate and catalyst for the diverse perspectives that inform and sustain community engagement within the museum as well. Previously, as exhibit developer and cultural program director at the Boston Children’s Museum, Joanne was a primary leader of an initiative that addressed the institution-wide politics of inclusiveness, ranging the full spectrum from community partners to the museum’s board of trustees. Co-author of Opening the Museum, a book that reflected on this process, she has also written numerous articles exploring ideas related to identity, race, and community.
Joanne is the recipient of an Osher Fellowship at the Exploratorium and awards for her anti-racism work in Boston. She is the co-creator and concept developer of several award-winning exhibitions, including The Kid’s Bridge (Boston Children’s Museum, 1990), The Kid’s Bridge (Smithsonian Institution, 1992), Boston Black: A City Connects (Boston Children’s Museum, 2004), and Race: Are We So Different? (Science Museum of Minnesota, 2007 with a national tour through 2015). Joanne advises museums nationally and internationally on culture, identity, anti-racism, exhibition development, and community engagement.
Community is at the heart of Margaret Kadoyama’s 35 years work with museums, centering on museums as vital members of building healthier communities. A member of The Museum Group, she is principal of Margaret Kadoyama Consulting, specializing in community involvement planning, program development and assessment, and audience development plans. The philosophy that underscores her work is the value of true listening and a deep respect for diverse perspectives. In Margaret Kadoyama’s vision, cultural organizations are vital members of their communities and are actively involved in community revitalization. Margaret works with organizations that are interested in more extensive and deeper relationships with their diverse communities. When museums are deeply engaged with their communities, community members support and embrace museums as their own. As an example, the Sing Me Your Story Community Connections Project for Exhibit Envoy provided professional development and consultation services to sixteen small museums that hosted the traveling exhibition Sing Me Your Story, Dance Me Home: Art & Poetry from Native California. Margaret served as the community project consultant, and staff members from each host museum learned core community engagement strategies. Assessing the impact of the project on the museums indicated that every host museum developed and deepened connections with their local Native communities.
Margaret opened her consulting practice in 1996, and has worked with organizations as diverse as the Aquarium of the Bay, Oakland Museum of California, National Japanese American Historical Society, Angel Island Immigration Station Foundation, and the Crocker Art Museum. Since 1997, she has taught Museums and Communities in the graduate department of museum studies at John F. Kennedy University. Before she opened her consulting practice, Margaret held positions as director at the Museum of Oriental Cultures in Corpus Christi, Texas; new audience developer at the California Academy of Sciences; educator at the Art Museum of South Texas; and associate curator at the Navajo Tribal Museum in Window Rock, Arizona. She has authored articles in professional journals, including Museums & Social Issues and Current Trends in Audience Research and Evaluation, chaired sessions at national and regional museum conferences, and served as program chair for national and regional museum educator groups.
Lisa Yun Lee
Lisa Yun Lee is a member of the Art History, Museum and Exhibition Studies, and Gender and Women’s Studies faculty at the University of Illinois at Chicago. Lisa is also the co-founder of The Public Square at the Illinois Humanities Council, an organization dedicated to creating spaces for dialogue and dissent and for reinvigorating civil society. She researches and writes about museums and diversity, cultural and environmental sustainability, and spaces for fostering radically democratic practices. Lisa received her BA in religion from Bryn Mawr College and a PhD in German studies from Duke University. She is the co-chair of the Executive Committee of the Institute for Research on Race and Public Policy at UIC, and she serves on the national boards of the American Alliance of Museums and Imagining America: Artists & Scholars in Public Life, the Ms. Magazine Advisory Board, and the boards of Rebuild Foundation, the National Public Housing Museum, Young Chicago Authors, 3Arts, and the International Contemporary Ensemble.
Lisa Junkin Lopez
Lisa Junkin Lopez is a public historian, arts educator and museum leader who works to reimagine historic house museums as active spaces to engage with both the past and the present. Lopez was recently hired as the executive director of the Juliette Gordon Low Birthplace in Savannah, Georgia, which interprets the life and work of the founder of the Girl Scouts.
Previously, Lopez provided vision and leadership to the Jane Addams Hull-House Museum, which is widely recognized for innovative exhibitions and programs that address contemporary social issues through history and art. As interim director and associate director (2013–2015), Lopez curated exhibitions and public programs for diverse publics and worked to further the museum’s reputation as an unparalleled house museum fostering civic engagement and social justice. As education coordinator (2008–2012), she developed tours and activities for all ages and was part of a team that curated a new permanent exhibition, Re-Defining Democracy: Jane Addams and the Hull-House Settlement (2010). Lopez was the project director for Report to the Public: An Untold Story of the Conservative Vice Lords (2012), an exhibition that explored the controversial history of a gang turned community organization and asked: In a city with 500 homicides per year, can gang members bring peace to the streets? The exhibition was co-curated with former Vice Lords members and in 2014 was named Outstanding Public History Project by the National Council on Public History.
As a member of the National Board of Editors of The Public Historian journal since 2012, Lopez commissioned and edited a special issue on experimental public history practices within historic house museums (2015). She has been a core faculty member of the Museum and Exhibition Studies program at the University of Illinois at Chicago (2012–2015) and a Policy and Social Engagement fellow at UIC’s Institute for Research on Race and Public Policy, (2011–2012), and she won the Association of Midwest Museums’ Promising Leadership award (2011). She has worked as an art educator in various organizations, including the Hyde Park Art Center and After School Matters. Lopez holds a master’s degree in art education from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago and a bachelor’s degree in art history from the College of William & Mary.
Deborah L. Mack
Dr. Deborah L. Mack is the associate director for community and constituent services at the National African American Museum of History and Culture, Smithsonian Institution (opening 2016). She serves as the principal executive responsible for overall planning, management and coordination of strategic professional services programs and international activities, with functions that include building relationships, outreach, training, and technical support for African American and African diaspora heritage and higher education organizations; programs with international organizations; collaborative projects with other institutions, museums, and agencies; and support of alliances and collaborations with cultural service institutions. From 2000 to 2012 she was an independent museum consultant and member of The Museum Group (www.museumgroup.com), consulting extensively on museum organizational planning and strategic planning, on interpretive and exhibition development, and on cultural and heritage tourism with organizations nationwide and internationally. Appointed a commissioner for the Gullah-Geechee National Heritage Commission, Department of the Interior (National Park Service, 2007–2010), Mack served from 2005 to 2011 on the Scholarly Advisory Committee for the National African American Museum of History and Culture. Mack has conducted museum collections, film production, and anthropological research—primarily in Africa and the U.S.–for more than 30 years.
A Fulbright Senior Specialist in 2010, Mack is an active member of several professional organizations, among them the American Alliance of Museums (AAM); Association of African American Museums (AAAM); AFRICOM (International Council of African Museums); International Coalition of Sites of Conscience; Association for State and Local History (AASLH); NAME (National Association for Museum Exhibition;) and Southeast Museums Conference (SEMC), currently as a board member. Mack served two three-year terms on the advisory Smithsonian Council from 1999–2005. She has served the Association of African American Museums, as consultant, nominating committee chair, conference program committee member; as program chair for the AAAM 2009 annual conference; and as trustee and vice president (2010–2015). Mack served on the 2011, 2012, and 2013 National Program Committees for the American Alliance of Museums annual national conference, serves on the editorial board of the Journal of Public History, and is a peer and field reviewer for the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) and the Institute of Museum and Library Services.
Mack holds a PhD and an MA, both in anthropology, from Northwestern University, and a BA in geography from the University of Chicago.
Porchia Moore is an ABD (All But Dissertation) PhD candidate at the University of South Carolina in the School of Library and Information Science and the McKissick Museum Management program. She serves on the Professional Development Committee for the South Carolina Federation of Museums and is a board member for the Friends of African American Art Committee at the Columbia Museum of Art. She regularly presents internationally at both museum and library conferences. She is a regular contributing writer for The Incluseum. She has appeared on Carol Bossert’s Museum Life radio program and has multiple publications regarding her research interests: racial inclusion, community engagement, critical race theory, convergence issues in 21st-century cultural heritage institutions, representations of racial identities in the digital landscape, and LIS curriculum reform. She has served on the planning team for museum conferences such as Museum Computer Network. She currently teaches at the University of South Carolina as a graduate teaching assistant in the School of Library and Information Science and works as a museum consultant at the Columbia Museum of Art and Historic Columbia Foundation, where she trains incoming docents on cultural competency. You can follow her @PorchiaMuseM.
Mary Ellen Munley
I work with museums of all types on projects that range from strategic planning to program design, evaluation, and research. The constant in my practice is a dedication to maximizing the public value of museums, which I believe is realized through equity of access to all aspects of museum resources and through the ways that museum resources contribute to a better life for individuals, communities, our environment, and humankind.
I began in the museum field as a social science researcher, working for a newly formed Office of Evaluation at the Smithsonian. I then served as the research assistant for the American Alliance of Museums (then the American Association of Museums) Commission on Museum for a New Century. It was my good fortune to research and write a few sections of the Museums for a New Century report–the ones on education and examples of best practice–and to serve on the follow-up implementation task force that produced Excellence and Equity.
With that early foundation, I took on jobs as head of education at the New York State Education Department in Albany, and The Field Museum in Chicago. There I collaborated with people inside and outside of the museums, and together, we went through the messiness of making change–larger and more diverse audiences; new interpretations for exhibitions; programs that offered multiple perspectives; community gatherings to address important issues and bring people who did not know each other together. In both cases, I learned that the change was possible, but the institutional and systemic will was not strong enough to embrace the change and sustain it.
As I work with museums on articulating their public value and finding evidence of it, we experiment with new evaluation and research methods so that we can focus on some of the big-idea impacts that museums have on people: identity exploration and formation; civic engagement; valuing the natural world, fascination with self-expression, and increasing capacity for empathy, creativity, and social action.
Along the way, I write articles and book chapters, facilitate workshops, review grant proposals, teach in museum studies programs, and share my work at professional conferences and informal gatherings. I am a member of The Museum Group. I received the AAM Excellence in Education award and served as president and board member for the AAM Education Committee and the Visitor Studies Association. Closer to home, I organized our Women for Obama network in 2008 and 2012 and contribute to an effort to Reclaim Mothers’ Day for Peace.
Therese Quinn is associate professor of art history and director of museum and exhibition studies at the University of Illinois at Chicago, an urban public institution. She is the author and editor of several books, including Art and Social Justice Education: Culture as Commons (2012), Sexualities in Education: A Reader (2012), and Teaching Toward Democracy (2010), and articles in QED: A Journal in GLBTQ Worldmaking, the Journal of Museum Education, the Journal of Gay and Lesbian Issues in Education, and Rethinking Schools, among others. A Fulbright Scholar in at the University of Helsinki, Finland (2009–2010), Therese writes about the arts and cultural institutions as sites of labor, public engagement, and potentially, justice-work. She is an elected representative for her faculty union and is currently teaching a course that will result in a publication of critical texts about museums and exhibitions. She likes to run, but not much lately.
Kimberly Rosa has been actively involved as a learner and leader in the conflict resolution and community mediation field for almost 30 years. She has mediated hundreds of cases throughout California and has taught nonviolent communication, conflict resolution, and mediation skills since 1994. A community organizer and educator, Kimberly has co-facilitated community efforts involving regional government officials and neighbors addressing issues of racism and classism on California’s Central Coast, and she co-facilitated a community-based task force on restorative justice. As a trainer, Kimberly educates individuals in restorative justice facilitation, and has co-facilitated the National Coalition Building Institute’s Welcoming Diversity workshops. Kimberly volunteered as a facilitator for the Alternatives to Violence Project in the California Men’s Colony prison for five years. She teaches compassionate (nonviolent) communication, conflict resolution, community mediation, and restorative justice skills classes for communities and organizations, and ESL (English as a Second Language) at a local community college. For information about how restorative justice is being utilized for truth and reconciliation on issues of racism and oppressive systems: http://restorativejusticeontherise.org/dr-david- ragland/ and http://thetruthtellingproject.org/
Chris Taylor blends passion for history and diversity and inclusion work in his job as the director of inclusion and community engagement at the Minnesota Historical Society. His work in diversity outreach during the first eight years of his career focused on building relationships with communities typically underrepresented within museum staff and audience. This work also emphasized increasing staff diversity in museums by developing a strategy of engaging emerging museum professionals with multiple opportunities to prepare for careers in the field. His work in diversity outreach led to the creation in 2014 of a new Department of Inclusion and Community Engagement, the first of its kind in a major historical institution. The develops internal and external strategies for diversity and inclusion throughout the museums and historic sites operated by the historical society. Its goal is to create a more inclusive organization that serves the needs of all of Minnesota’s diverse communities and reflects the diversity of the state within the staff and the society’s internal structures. Chris holds an undergraduate degree with a double major in social studies and secondary education from the University of St. Thomas, and earned an MA degree in museum studies from the Cooperstown Graduate Program with an emphasis on museum education. He is currently working on a doctorate of education in organization development at the University of St. Thomas.
Brenda Tindal became the first public historian on the staff of the Levine Museum of the New South in October 2015. A Charlotte native and graduate of UNC Charlotte, Brenda’s history with the museum began in 2003, when she worked as an intern and research consultant, assisting with the award-winning exhibit COURAGE: The Carolina Story that Changed America, followed by the early development of the Purses, Platforms, and Power: Women Changing Charlotte in the 1970s exhibit. With her new job comes the mantle of being Charlotte’s most prominent public historian and one of the leading voices in the profession in the Southeast. She earned a PhD in American studies from Emory University with a concentration in 20th-century African American history and literature and 20th-century women’s history.
In 2011–2012 Brenda was an IMLS Fellow at Princeton University, where she was the chair and co-curator of the exhibition Princeton and the Civil War at the Seeley G. Mudd Manuscript Library, Princeton University. She served as a mentor for the Essence of Emory Undergraduate Recruitment Program; curated the exhibition, Movement Mamas and Revolutionary Sistas: A Photographic History of Women in the Black Panther Party at Storrs Gallery, University of North Carolina at Charlotte; and is currently a fellow at he Mudd Manuscript Library, Princeton.
nikhil trivedi is an application developer, composer, and activist. He works at a museum in Chicago developing web-based software in Java, PHP, and Drupal. After hours, he creates music and art using a number of tools: guitar, sitar, composing noise, sound, and through collaborations with other artists. He is a volunteer educator for Rape Victim Advocates, and participates in movements to end oppression. He is the author of an article for The Incluseum blog that articulates ideas of oppression for the museum community: “Oppression: A Museum Primer.” You can find an excerpt on his own blog: nikhil: music, technology, social justice, http://www.nikhiltrivedi.com/.
Aletheia co-founded and coordinates The Incluseum, a blog and project focused on inclusion and social justice in museums. Aletheia works in public programming at the Seattle Architecture Foundation and collaborates with SAF volunteers and school and community partners to develop programs that connect Seattle architecture and design to people of all ages. Aletheia has an MA in museology from the University of Washington, where she researched curatorial practices in art museums and their relationship with social justice. In 2016, she is expanding her consulting, advising, and project-based work on behalf of The Incluseum.
Museum consultant, educator, and poet Toni Wynn brings an interdisciplinary approach to all of her projects. A passion for creating inspired learning opportunities takes Toni into places of informal learning across the nation. Her professional development work in creative process, conflict resolution, and arts integration moves participants forward to meet their goals. Toni’s expertise in instructional technology enables her to access learners across platforms. Toni has worked in the museum field for over 15 years. Her museum exhibit projects address history and culture and encompass text writing, new media, instructional programs, and interpretive planning. Her conflict management, human rights, and mediation work provides the foundation for her professional life.
Toni formally studied international relations and social welfare at Clark University and the University of Copenhagen and instructional technology at San Francisco State University and Virginia Tech. She advocates for STEAM (STEM + Arts) education through jazz-based professional development workshops at the University of Richmond and in essays and articles for iraaa+, the webzine of the International Review of African American Art. Toni is a Cave Canem graduate fellow and a member of the Squaw Valley Community of Writers. She co-creates limited-edition broadsides and books with book-art makers and visual artists. Her writing is featured in anthologies and journals such as poecology.com, Black Nature, and Art Education. Toni is a third-generation Jersey girl, swimmer, organic gardener, new grandmother, and New York Mets fan who lives by the water in Hampton, Virginia. toniwynn.com