Instead of rushing to post a statement regarding recent protests in support of Black Lives Matter, Indigenous people, and all minorities we chose to pause, reflect, and detail an action plan.
For me, it was more important to get it right. What we say must be genuine, meaningful, and quantifiable.
The team at THEMUSEUM has spent the last month discussing the best approach. Those conversations were often driven by creative tension as we all want to do what is right. I am pleased with the outcome as it is the beginning of a process, not the end. It is something we welcome others to add to and that we must frequently review to ensure we have stayed the course and shown leadership.
THEMUSEUM has always prided itself on being a premier cultural destination, a place of ideas, and for creative thinking. And a place to host inspired play for all stages of life. Being a cultural destination, a place that amplifies diverse voices and fosters diversity and inclusion comes with the need for us to continue to educate ourselves and hold ourselves accountable. We must always strive to do better.
In light of the protests against systemic racism THEMUSEUM has taken this time to reflect on our past initiatives while also looking to the future on how we can expand and contribute to the conversation and action/progress of diversity and inclusion both within THEMUSEUM and in the community.
We recognize that there is more work to be done to actively be inclusive of Black, Indigenous, and People of Colour (BIPOC). We need to do more to identify and remove barriers that are uniquely affecting those who identify as part of these groups. We need to do more than say we want to be inclusive; we need to make intentional actions to be diverse and inclusive in practice and make transformative change.
Each of us, associated with THEMUSEUM must self-examine for past ways of thinking.
Below you will find the beginning of our action plan, which has been designed to increase the diversity and inclusion at THEMUSEUM. We aim to spotlight and amplify the voices of those who fall into historically marginalized groups. THEMUSEUM aspires to be a place of ideas, dialogue and conversation. With the recent events and our self-reflection, we welcome your thoughts and ideas of THEMUSEUM becoming a more inclusive place.
1. THEMUSEUM’s Board of Directors will be examined and changes made to reflect the community we live in. Update: Two new Board members were welcomed in September 2020 through a public call, resulting in new, engaging and diverse voices being added to THEMUSEUM’s decision making process. Diversifying THEMUSEUM’s Board of Directors will remain an ongoing priority.
2. THEMUSEUM’s Staff has been consulted with the opportunity for anonymous input regarding diversity and inclusion in the workplace. Completed June 2020.
3. All staff including those who identify as a minority have been offered the opportunity to join those from the Leadership team to speak with an external Diversity Councillor. Completed September 2020.
4. Diversity and Inclusion anti-racism workshops and training for all staff and Board members will take place to ensure the most inclusive space possible for all. Completed September 2020.
5. The wording in job postings will ensure all future employees we be considered without regard to race, religion, colour, age, sex, national origin, sexual identity, gender identity, genetic disposition, neurodiversity, disability, or any other minority. Completed September 2020.
6. Planning of exhibitions will be reviewed to ensure our values and commitments are incorporated in their content. Ongoing.
7. Creators of our exhibitions and programs will reflect the BIPOC artistic community. Ongoing.
8. A banner that reads “150-plus years of resistance, unsettling 150” which was draped across the top of the large Canadian Flag, on the front of THEMUSEUM, during the sesquicentennial year will be on display permanently. Completed August 2020.
9. All visiting school groups and campers will be read the land acknowledgment plaque at our front entrance, allowing time for questions. Ongoing.
10. THEMUSEUM+ virtual programming will begin with our land acknowledgment being read. Ongoing.
11. A second land acknowledgment plaque will be added to our Parking entrance. Completed July 2020.
12. As an extension of our Health & Safety Committee, a group of staff will meet, during working hours to report on our progress. The ongoing committee reports will be shared with Leadership and the Board of Directors bi-monthly. A formal Diversity & Inclusion Committee was formed with committee roles secured. Currently, bi-monthly meetings will be set with our next meeting taking place in February 2020.