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#MuseumsAreNotNeutral: Action Steps

On June 3, 2020, the McClung Museum acknowledged that we, like all museums, are not neutral members of society. We support the Black Lives Matter movement’s call for justice.

To follow up our declaration, museum staff came together to reflect upon our work, and identify steps that we can take to improve our organization, so we can become better allies to our communities of color – especially Black and African American individuals. The resulting items are some ways we can act upon our commitment to build a more anti-racist and equitable institution. We will:

  • Conduct internal diversity, equity, accessibility, and inclusivity training for all staff, board members, student board members, graduate assistants, and student workers that will emphasize creating an anti-racist organization.
  • Maintain, refresh, work through, and build relationships with student groups and community partners from communities of color, and especially those that serve Black and African American individuals.
  • Remove items that are culturally sensitive or NAGPRA-related from any public display (physical, print, or digital). Removed items will not go back on view in any way unless explicitly requested by descendent community members, and contextualized appropriately by or with that community.
  • Actively seek additions to the Advisory Board and other volunteer committees that will improve our leadership’s diversity and enhance connections with communities of color.
  • Continuously critique and review our hiring process with a focus on equity as to enhance diversity when staff expansion opportunities or replacement arise. To support this we will also foster an inclusive and anti-racist organization, so diverse applicants see the museum as an attractive place to work.
  • Develop a student/ community exhibition space for the display of campus or community-driven materials and to provide a place for direct public contribution. We will also implement a system for feedback from students and communities to further guide us in our service to them.
  • During our upcoming strategic planning, clarify and rethink our museum’s vision and mission statements, so diversity, equity, inclusion, and accessibility objectives and ideals are clear and transparent. We will incorporate those objectives into organizational goals, so we are held accountable and can maintain a focus.
  • Continue to highlight and incorporate traditionally-excluded voices through our exhibitions with a renewed and on-going focus.

We thank you – our communities and patrons – for your support and leadership. We believe that we are holistically moving in a positive direction. With these additional steps, we can build upon our staff’s good intentions as we strive to improve our institution and stay responsive and relevant in our service to you.