Training and Resources
The Museum’s anti-racism commitments call on us to adopt straightforward language about race and white supremacy with the aid of a language guide, and provide training for staff and board. In previous years, the Museum has held trainings that addressed race, identity, diversity, inclusion, and interpersonal communications. However, in almost every case, there was not sustained follow-up to continue the conversation to support their implementation into the Museum’s working culture. This Working Group will build a system to implement and sustain training and access to supportive resources necessary to be an anti-racist museum. Thus far we have:
- Adopted an institutional language guide
- Hosted trainings to support institution-wide implementation of the language guide
- Started to compile resources on anti-racism, museums and equity, and scholarship by and about Black, Indigenous, and People of Color
The long-term goals of this Working Group is to ensuring we have a shared understanding of, and commitment to, anti-racism across all levels of the organization; to support the staff’s use of language by revising the language guide as new language comes into use and updating staff on a quarterly basis; and integrating training on anti-racism and language in the onboarding process with the Equitable Hiring and Retention Working Group.
Below, we will update every three months with steps we’ve taken and milestones we’ve reached towards achieving these goals.
- Hosted monthly training meetings open to all staff. This quarter there were facilitated staff discussions about what it means for the Museum’s identity to be more intentional about sharing stories of Black and African American experiences, anti-racist museum education, and white supremacy in museums.
- Updated and revised the Institutional language guide.
- Introduced an electronic resource guide for staff to have access to research, discussions, and information about anti-racism work.
- Opened up our working group meeting to all staff and welcomed some new attendees
- Hosted a Tenement Talk De-Brief Meeting on incorporating Native histories and 20 people from different departments joined
- Identified a platform for the home of the virtual resource library and continued to collect resources
After spending much of the first three months addressing the Museum’s anti-racism commitments goal setting and working to establish sustainable paths forward, we’ve focused the last three months prioritizing those goals and taking action in those identified areas. Led by our established working groups, we looked at where some of this work was already in progress (equitable hiring practices) and what felt most urgent (alternatives to using the police). In December, the Museum underwent additional staff reductions as we continue to respond to this unprecedented time, decreasing the numbers of staff members who were actively engaged in these projects. With that said, we recognize that doing the work to live up to our anti-racism statement and commitments is a long game and the Museum is committed to continuing to push forward.
- Shared a language guide with staff and provided space for discussion and questions
- Established a plan for internal trainings that help us all uphold the anti-racism commitments
- Created a virtual reference library of anti-racism resources for staff