Ahmaud Arbery was a 25-year-old Black man fatally shot while jogging. Breonna Taylor was a 26-year-old Black woman fatally shot by police during a late night, “no knock” search warrant. George Floyd was a 46-year-old Black man fatally asphyxiated by police. Rayshard Brooks was a 27-year-old Black man fatally shot multiple times in the back by police. These tragic events are part of a long history of systemic racism and violence in the United States that disproportionately affects Black communities.
The museum and the technology sectors have both been complicit in this paradigm and can do better. At the intersection of both, the board of directors of MCN acknowledges that the museum technology field has been and continues to be a predominantly white space that has privileged white and Western perspectives at the expense of BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, and People of Color). The Board commits to making MCN more inclusive to all, and commits to taking the following steps to dismantle embedded racism against marginalized and historically underrepresented peoples in our thinking and practice:
- Intentionally reach out to historically underrepresented communities and actively encourage them to apply for MCN’s various professional opportunities, including recruitment for board and staff positions, program volunteer positions for the annual conference, scholarship and mentorship programs, SIGs (Special Interest Groups), as well as presenters at the annual convening. (MCN’s next call for board candidates opens in July)
- Offer workshops and mentoring opportunities designed to make first-time annual conference attendees more included. We recognize that attending a professional gathering for the first-time can be a source of stress for many BIPOC. MCN will develop a comprehensive first-time conference attendee program specifically designed to make BIPOC welcome and included so they don’t have to figure things out on their own.
- Review and revise our Code of Conduct regularly to ensure that we create inclusive environments that protect BIPOC against acts of aggression in-person and online. This includes revisions to our Code of Conduct Violation Report Form and internal procedures to respond.
- Publicly share DEAI-related decisions adopted by the MCN Board upon the best-practice recommendations of MCN’s Diversity, Equity, Accessibility, and Inclusion (DEAI) Advisory Board.
We would also like to take this opportunity to amplify resources developed within our sector for diversity, equity, accessibility, and inclusion, including those developed by and of interest to the museum technology community:
- Brilliant Ideas Studio blog and book Objective Lessons: Self-Care Museum Workers
- Museums Are Not Neutral movement
- Guide to Allyship and associated GitHub repository
- OF/BY/FOR ALL includes a community self assessment tool for organizations and more specifically A Framework for Action in Response to Moments of Outrage & Crisis
- “Talking about Race” by the Smithsonian’s National Museum of African American History and Culture
- Tools and Publications from Incluseum
Additional resources will be added as soon as we receive consent to publish and share them.
MCN must do better. We want to hear your ideas, and encourage feedback from MCN’s community. We will be announcing opportunities to dialogue with members of the Board, SIGs, the Conference Program Committee, and the DEAI Advisory Board in the near future. In the meantime, please give us your feedback. We are committed to responding thoughtfully to you in working together to envision a more inclusive and welcoming MCN.
MCN Board of Directors
Nathan Adkisson, Doug Allen, Samantha Diamond, Susan Edwards, Desi Gonzalez, Mara Kurlandsky, Yvonne Lee, Alexis Light, David Nuñez, Courtney OCallaghan, Mark Osterman, Matthew Tarr, Mitchell Sava, Keir Winesmith