Recent reports have backed the experiences of BIPOC people in the field that leadership and power at cultural institutions remain disappointingly non-diverse. As a professional development organization, MCN sees our role in addressing this problem as providing resources and eliminating barriers for BIPOC people to engage in our spaces.
There are many barriers. Our Black colleagues have been disproportionately affected by the COVID-19 pandemic, museum furloughs and layoffs, and the ongoing impact of systemic racial oppression. Indigenous colleagues and other peoples who are still actively dealing with colonialism and war while continuing the process of healing generational trauma, all while working in spaces that can oftentimes find direct links to these histories. The same is true for our Black colleagues and the generational trauma related to enslavement.
The BIPOC Speakers Fund is one resource out of many more that are needed to encourage the engagement of BIPOC people in our conference. We invite you to donate toward a special fund that will be equally distributed among self-identified, self-nominated BIPOC conference speakers. We aim to provide a minimum of $200 per applicant, as reimbursement for the cost of attending the conference, and to provide an additional stipend. We welcome your contribution in any amount toward this goal—if we surpass it, the speakers will receive even more support. Whatever your contribution, thank you.
Your contribution will help support the voices of BIPOC colleagues within the cultural sector. It is one step in a much greater movement to rectify the injustices that are inherent in museums and beyond.
If you are a BIPOC speaker interested in being a recipient of this fund, please apply below.
Applicants will not be asked for verification nor announced publicly. A few MCN Board members will be the sole administrators with access to personally-identifying information.