Big Ideas Keynote: Porchia Moore

What is digital in the context of today’s civil rights movement, and the growing backlash against it? What big ideas are needed to advance equity within our digital work? Join nikhil and Porchia for a candid conversation on all this and more. Track:Plenary/Keynote


nikhil trivedi 26:23
Welcome. Welcome. Welcome thanks, everyone for joining us today. And I'm nikhil trivedi My pronouns are he him? I'm calling in from Chicago, previously known as Chicago among the traditional homelands of the Council of three fires the Ojibwe, the Potawatomi, and the Adela nations. I'm a cinnamon colored man with a salt and pepper beard and I'm sitting in my office on campus here at the Art Institute Chicago at the moment. Portia I'm very pleased to welcome you today. Do you want to quickly share your pronouns? And if you'd like and Atlanta acknowledgement in a visual description, and then we'll get going.

Porchia Moore 27:09
Sure. Thank you so much, Nikhil. So, again, my name is Dr. Porchia Moore, I'm presently sitting in my living room in the land that was formerly sorted by the Alachua Timucuan and Seminole peoples. I am a dark skinned black woman with Afro centric features and very short cropped salt and pepper here.

nikhil trivedi 27:37
Thank you, right. So oh my god, I am so excited to see you Portia. And I'm so glad to spend this time with you today. I'm just sharing your thinking here with MCM community at the keynote conference today. So you've been part of MCM community at least since 2014.

Porchia Moore 27:55
I was thinking about that, as the music was playing over the break, and how I think my very first MC N. Um, I think if I'm not mistaken, you and I had a group of people did go to karaoke, or we didn't and you know, traditional MC and things. So yeah. 14.

nikhil trivedi 28:14
Yeah. And I remember that was the year that you presented your PhD research on visitation trends of people of color to museums where you found that on average white folks visit visited museums about once a year. And the folks who are the people of color you talk to on average visiting museums about every five years, right? Yeah, yeah. And in the talkback, the q&a of that session, I remember having wonderings the conversation went into wonderings about like, the ways that museums have benefited from things like colonialism and genocide and slavery. And war, as you know, maybe possible correlations to these visitation patterns that you were discovering, and that eventually led me and you to connect and to start the visit of color project.

Porchia Moore 28:58
Yes. Literally, literally from the lobby.

nikhil trivedi 29:04
That's right.

Porchia Moore 29:05
Along in amazing, beautiful history and relationship with MC n. So yeah. All again for the invitation. Yeah,

nikhil trivedi 29:12
thank you for joining us today. So fast forward to today, six years, seven years later. You're now the program head of museum studies and an assistant professor at the University University of Florida College for arts. And you know, so MANY of us and I'm see undervalue the complicated and often underappreciated work of educators. So first off, just thank you for the work you do out in the world and the work you do here in the American community. And I know that same educating that you've been doing here in our community for several years you've been bringing to your work at the University of Florida, and you recently experience some really frightening things as you develop the class and 2019 2020 called Race and intersectionality there. Can you tell us a little bit more about about that and what happened?

Porchia Moore 30:07
Yeah, so thank you for that question. And kale. So, um, what I was really interested in and what I've always been interested in, is the glam sector. So if you know me you know that I am. What I like to call a chill fellow, which is someone who was awarded a fellowship. It stands for cultural heritage informatics leadership library, and so I'm, I'm sort of officially trained as a librarian. But who specializes in museums and cultural heritage as a whole. So looking at the glam sector, so galleries, libraries, archives, and museums, and what I wanted, I kept getting requests from students, both in my program and outside of my program, people who wanted to this who wanted to take my course, who wanted to actually actually explore the cultural heritage landscape. And so I had an opportunity to develop a course a special topic scores on race intersectionality and looking at everything from cemeteries and archives to libraries, and museums. And one day, I got an email from a journalist who'd actually taken a picture of my course flyer and put out a flyer sort of advertising my course for the following spring. With these really sort of I don't want to say aggressive but leaning towards aggressive sort of questions like well, what is the purpose of the museum and what does race have to do with museums and I'm, the flyer had all of my my course information, like where the course was meeting, the time and all of that and I'd actually previously given an interview to a student who wanted to have me talk about my research in museums and technology. And the student said, Be on the lookout for an email, because we're thinking of developing this into a larger story. Fast forward, I very quickly realized that the email that I had received was not the email from the previous student. And so I Googled this person and found out that they were part of an international organization that actually pays graduate students who are earning degrees in journalism, to do undercover to basically to break stories on left leaning liberal professors. And so it turned out that this person very clearly said that they were going to be doing us conducting a story on me and my class. So I did more investigation found out that this student had actually waged a sort of campaign against another employee at the university. That person's safety was at risk. They had to scrub their identity from the website all that so I kind of dealt with that had to do some similar things. It just so happened that this student ultimately graduated, right before he was able to kind of fully do that story. But it was very frightening. Like he went live one time on Twitter and was like, I'm about to, you know, do this expo on the work that's happening at at USF. But anyway, it actually strengthened my resolve and helped me to understand that the work that myself and so MANY others do in museums and cultural heritage in general, not only does it matter, but that we have to get more even more clear about the why of our work, right. And so my safety was actually compromised. Had to do you know it was the whole thing, but I'm actually recognizing that I actually could be employed by a university, so working in higher education and still be concerned about my actual safety

in teaching a course on race museums intersectionality and having people actually question whether or not that was a valid topic and really not being able to understand how the role that race plays in cultural heritage, again, at a place of higher learning was was very frightening. And so that was an experience again, it really strengthened my resolve to be more sharp and more clear about the questions that I'm asking in my research, the questions that I'm putting forth in my classroom, also thinking about the fact that I very strongly believe that as an academic, is not my role, to keep my scholarship solely within Academy, that whatever I do in the classroom has to also have parallels within community. And so that was also important. And so because of that, I've committed to having additional conversations. creating all kinds of opportunity and having my scholarship also be rooted in community. So I've had a wonderful opportunity to co create two exhibitions here in Gainesville, one that focuses on the work of a local black folk artists, women, folk artists, by the name of Aileen Harris, have an exhibition that was able to sort of CO create there at a local Gallery, and then here on campus at the horn Museum of Art, were helped to co create an exhibition on contemporary black photographers and so being able to then facilitate dialogue and opportunities and programming in community so that while that was a sort of frightening experience, it was really important for me to again solidify who I am as an activist scholar because you can't call yourself an activist scholar and not willingly participate in the hard choices that it means to to be an activist. Mm hmm.

nikhil trivedi 36:12
Yeah, I mean, that sounds like such a difficult and trying thing to have to navigate while you're just simply doing your job,

Porchia Moore 36:21
just teaching. Yeah.

nikhil trivedi 36:23
I'm so sad to hear that experience. And you know, we're in this moment right now, where, you know, the past several years there's been a growing if we if we look back to Trayvon Martin and to sort of like, spark that I'm really moved the current civil rights movement that we're experiencing in the United States here. I think we're also seeing a backlash, right and it's playing out in some of the ways that you've experienced and folks being targeted directly, who are trying to advance the conversation and push people thinking beyond the white supremacist boundaries that we've operated in, and museums I imagined aren't you know, immune from it from being targets of that sort of backlash? Have you seen or experienced things yourself that you'd like to speak to?

Porchia Moore 37:23
Yeah, so like I said, it definitely my experience my early experience in moving here to Florida, in a very largely proud Republican state, definitely opened my eyes and even surprisingly, coming from being a South Carolina native. Open my eyes, just add to the level and degree in which so called patriotic education, is really and truly has a lot of signifiers has a lot of cultural signifiers. So one of the things that I personally done is to shift our program to a critical Museum Studies program. But then in talking with So last summer, I remember at the height of the pandemic, one of the things that I remember expressing to colleagues and friends with a lot of fervor and passion is that I kept saying we all have to be on the same page, because I can truly see that what is about to come, is a wave of people basically saying, we need to have patriotic education. I kept seeing that and hearing that in the media. And what I have seen and heard from other colleagues, is particularly when we talk about historic sites, we're talking about plantations, historic homes, certain history museums, people literally calling up institutions and demanding whether what demanding to know whether or not these institutions practice CRT, and if they practice CRT, then they were going to revoke their membership that they were no longer going to be donors that they would want to open, you know, pull their open support of these institutions. If that is frightening to me. Because we know for a fact that museums are not neutral. We know that there's no such thing as a patriotic education that a patriotic education, the way that it is currently framed, literally continues to advance white supremacist narrative. It's an impressive narrative. And so I have seen again and have spoken with colleagues that are going back to this notion of safety having their actual safety, which includes their mental health be compromised at some of these sites. Because you have people showing up to plantations or historic sites, and actually, being verbally aggressive with museum professionals and combative. And actually, I had somebody told me the other day they were actually giving a tour. And somebody said, Did you just use CRT, this interpretation on this? And I'm like, What does that even mean? Um, so anyway, I say all that to say, um, we have to get clear and our discipline we have to get clear about not just our language, but our messaging. We have to be clear about really understanding what is at stake for our material culture. What does that stake for? The actual museum experience like Who are we moving forward? You know, the conversation today is around this notion of like big ideas and this notion of like digital civil rights. And to me when I think about digital civil rights, if this is something that we are all agreeing that we believe in that we want to advance that we want to progress, then we also have to take a step back and also acknowledge that in order for us to

say that we want to focus on digital civil rights, we have to also acknowledge that there's a movement that is happening and we saw that movement globally with murder, you know, the horrific murders of both Ahmad arbory and George Floyd, but the reality is, we've seen these murders and horrific brutality against brown and black people for years. And so what it what it signaled to me is that, you know, clearly clearly depending on where you are and who you are, we all have different sort of lived realities, but what it what I saw with the the murder of George Floyd, and the global response was that we are at a moment in time where this is a kind of what feels in some way, like some different kind of movement, and we really have to harness that energy and that willingness for the transformation that we've been talking about for a number of years. And really, again, the word that keeps coming to me today is just this notion of clarity that we have to be clear in our messaging and clear in our goals because we are we as in cultural heritage, particularly museums interpretation, all of that we are under attack people are, you know, for example, I don't know if y'all have been following what happened about a month or so ago. I forgot where this was, but we're seeing it happen across the country. People actually saying well, CRT is harmful. It's making white children hate themselves. So we had we saw school districts actually pulling from the shelves, children's books on Harriet Tubman, Martin Luther King Rosa Parks figures that we all have collectively agreed are critical civil rights figures, right. Folks who have done the work to help us increase our equity, right? Increase our humanity. And so the fact that we are allowing this patriotic education movement if you will, for propaganda, to now actually go back and say that they're actually co opting the very language of equity and inclusion that we have created. So you're saying school districts higher ed, you're saying whole groups of people say, Well, we have to have a diversity of viewpoints. So if you are allowed to teach about the Holocaust, that we also have to teach about the opposing viewpoint? Well, in my world, in the world that I hope everyone else wants to inhabit. There's no opposing viewpoint to the Holocaust. It is something that should not have occurred, and there's no sort of like multiplicity of viewpoint that we can teach there. So that was a long answer. But yeah,

nikhil trivedi 44:17
let's so much rich perspective that you're sharing with us today. You know, you talked about harnessing harnessing the energy of the current movement, particularly, you know, at the increased edits increase over the past few years. You know, I agree we can draw a track client from Emmett Till right to today. The movement never stopped. It's been continuing. But in the past few years, there's been this energy right. And there was a talk that I'm seeing this year by Gretchen Jennings and Sara Phalen. And Juline About an audit of statements that museums gave Oh, yeah. As, as a response to the horrific murder of George Floyd. And I know you've got some thoughts on statements. So I wanted to bring the conversation there and ask you about this sort of sense of harnessing Deanna energy of the current movement, and what we've seen from, from museums in these statements.

Porchia Moore 45:25
Mm hmm. So I have what's the word I'm looking for? I am not anti statement. But what I will say is that it was profoundly odd if you will, to see the flurry of statements that came out, protect, you know, particularly by cultural heritage institutions. And these statements overwhelmingly, lacked criticality and self awareness, like institutional self awareness. So how is it that you could I'm trying to think of this expression, my grandmother would say, I'm just going to use this colloquial expression from my grandmother. How is it that you could put your two lips as my grandmother would say, how could you put your two lips together and say that black lives matter and museums when you have all white boards? How could you put your two lips together and say that all you know that you are dedicated to diversity, equity access and inclusion and you have no bipoc folks in leadership? How could you put your lips together and say that that your writing you took the time to write a statement in this moment that felt like pressure and you're seeing everyone else do this blah, blah, but you won't take the time to invest in actual facilitation? Consultation, resources, whatever that thing is, six months ago, a year ago, four months, you know, four years ago, five years ago, to actually invest in deep excavation of your institution, for the healing of your institution, for the healing of your communities. But also so that you can increase your actual racial literacy. It does not compute. Especially what was interesting to me about the statements is that the statements also lacked awareness about the fact that you're presenting these statements and you're also not even able to have the language or ability to diagnose systems of power in your institution. So who's who's writing these statements? And then how does how does your so called commitment to Black Lives etc. How does that actually play out in terms of how you're now going to if you if you write the statement, some of the statements that I read, the statements automatically call for immediate action. And the first thing that I can think of in terms of that immediate action would have to be dismantling all of these different systems of power. In your own institution. We didn't see that. And so overwhelmingly, these statements to me read and sounded just like PR, or like, you know, statements that were like, knee jerk if you will. So I'm not questioning the intentionality behind the statements. But what I'm saying is that they were huge red flags about the level of work that we still need to do across the field. And I will call out this institution and I'm, please forgive me if anybody from this museum is watching and I'm not saying that name correctly. But the institution that I have been following since the pandemic is an institution that had never heard of, it's something like the Sonoran Sonora desert Museum. Yes, the Sonoran Desert Museum. The thing that I appreciated about that museum and because of that, I've now been following them. I just absolutely love all of their social media. Is that they essentially said, in light of everything that is happening, it is we we just realized that not only have we not been doing things well, but that we weren't even aware at the depth of

deficits that we actually had. And so what we need to do, what we're going to do now is to basically make some immediate corrective pauses and changes. And basically they said, We're going to do the work internally. We hope that you ride with us externally, but we are committed to this work. And then almost immediately, they did something that I thought was also powerful. They created some kind of like, series, if you will, that center the voices and experiences of bipoc like scientists, and they basically say we're going to make mistakes, but again, we hope that you ride with us, but if not, we're going to keep this train moving. And I felt like that was the most honest and authentic statement that I had seen, because it wasn't like, we've done this work, and we've done it well for so long, or we're going to do this work. It was just it was a very honest reflection. Like we messed up. We didn't have this awareness and moving forward. This is how we're going to grow. Please bear with us. And I just appreciated that.

nikhil trivedi 50:52
Yeah, I mean, you and I have talked about how one of the most important ways to build trust is by showing vulnerability, right. I feel like the example you're sharing with this scenario does or museum, you know, they're very publicly like figuring things out with their public. Right and that vulnerable thing to do.

Porchia Moore 51:12
Yeah, yeah. Yeah, it was good to see that level of vulnerability.

nikhil trivedi 51:19
So, I want to lift up a tweet that you recently gave. I feel like this is a good moment to bring it up. The tweet read I'm ready for a revolution. Personal field wide stateside, global. We are past time. Let's get it. Love to tweet. But I think you know, in the context of this conversation and what you just shared about statements and you know what transformation is needed. What is your what are your big ideas for what the museum field needs in this moment?

Porchia Moore 52:00
Um, I think that thank you for that question and provocation Nikhil. My big idea in this moment. Um, first is that perhaps we need to slow down, which I think might be a little bit counterintuitive. But I still feel like in a lot of ways, both both individually and institutionally. Some of us did not take advantage of the time that we had at the beginning of the pandemic while we were in quarantine. And I say that because I wrote that tweet, because I was growing, really kind of weary and agitated at the things that I was both seeing and not seeing. Right. So I was feeling like I was kind of tired of hearing the same things being turned over and over and over again, we already know that museums have a lot of work to do and accomplish in terms of racial equity literacy, whatever. We already know what inclusion is, we have talked to we are blue in the face. And what I wanted was something different and so I say all that to say what I did on a personal level was basically say i It has to start with me and I want a need to change. And I did a lot of that basically doing a lot of unlearning. And the thing that I kind of began with just in my scholarship and in my professional journey was pulling back a little bit more and thinking about what is my future scholarship going to look like? And actually what does it need to look like? If I am going to truly be committed to activist scholarship, but also this notion of like liberation, because liberation to me is something that I think and dream about all the time is something that is the core of who I am. And so what I came to understand, is that my big idea for the moment that we are in and I hope that you know, it's it's a moment that is expansive My big idea is that we must as institutions teach to transgress, and that language comes from the amazing feminist scholar Bell Hooks, who teaches us that literally to educate is the practice of freedom. And if we don't do anything else in museums, we educate. And so the big idea is that we should really be thinking about the ways that we can counter this message about patriotic education and multiplicity. of diversity of viewpoint, because I feel like the wave is going to keep coming. If they can pull children's books off the shelves, children's books about the Civil Rights figures that you know, Martin Luther King and Rosa Parks. Do you not think that they can walk into our museums and question the interpretation that, you know, that we have on the wall in terms of the labels, or question our programming or question like, so, yes, we need to have a D call a decolonization moment. We've already have that we're having that that doesn't need to go anywhere. But what I'm talking about is, are we going to allow people to walk into our museums and begin to question the work that we've already been invested in and say that it is now based on CRT or that is now too radical or too revolutionary or whatever. We've barely made a dent and things that were saying that we need to make. And so, again, I just think that we have to kind of turn our we have to, again, all be in sync. We have to think about the ways in which we can share both messaging and strategy in our digital platforms, right? So thinking about strengthening again, how we think about access in terms of the digital world, how we think about creating equity. The other thing that happened at the height of the pandemic that I was just like, I don't understand is when all of these museums were closing. And schools were scrambling to figure out okay, we don't have much we don't have content like we're how are we going to get content to teach all the things that we need to teach the museums or writing your community museum educators are right there we it would have been the most easiest thing to do to connect museum educators with classroom teachers via Zoom via whatever and use our collections use all of that. Tour material like whatever it is

to help strengthen teachers and facilitate student learning and this time where folks were like, I don't I don't know what to do. Um, so I don't know I think I've said a lot of different things there. But my main thing is the big idea is to teach to transgress. And to understand sort of what we did at this point. Now I'm trying to remember a few years back when we wrote our guide to resistance, or you know, with visitors of color project, thing that I really want us to convey is like our museums can be used as a place of beauty a place of respite, a place of learning, but we also have to teach visitors that they have every right to ask institutions to shift and to change. And on the flip side, we have to also again, internally be very clear again about who we are what is our why, what are we committed to because if we all collectively agree that museums are not neutral, then what are we and how are we going to facilitate that messaging in a clear, a clear manner

nikhil trivedi 58:09
and I just shared the link to that guide in the chatter folks. Yeah, I mean, Portia got so much. You know, you've talked, you've, you've contributed so much to this conversation and to the field and your work. And you've also talked about you know, yourself as a dark skinned black woman from the Deep South, and the challenges that you experience just day to day working in this field. So you know, taking going from the big idea of the whole field, and bringing that back to yourself. Why do you work in museums, why do you work in museums?

Porchia Moore 58:55
That's a good question. I work in museums. Um, gosh, I mean, for so MANY reasons. One primary reason is because of my grandmother. Right? Um, and for all of the ancestors before her whose names I don't even know because they survived and they allow me to be here in this moment. And so not only if their stories matter, then the objects and stuff associated with their stories matter. And because I love museums, because I had a mother who was a fourth grade teacher who took me to museums and historic sites on the weekends, while other people were going to like football games. She instilled in me a love of like language and story and objects. And so museums to me, for lack of a better word, I hate to use it in this sort of sense, but like they're not they aren't genuinely like magical places. And so because of that, I love museum so much. I want them to be the healthiest that they possibly can be. So I work in museums as like an homage to my ancestors. And if you look at my visual background, this is actually an image of a Sankofa bird, and so Sankofa is a con word comes from the con language from the people of Ghana. And Sankofa literally means to sort of different things. It means it is not taboo to fetch what is at risk of being left behind. And that's sort of like the principle for why I do what I do. It is not taboo to fetch what is at risk of being left behind. And the shortened version of that is go back and get it. And so that's why I work in museums because I want to go back and get all of the stories that have been intentionally excluded. But I also want to mine all of the things that I don't know. So thinking about, like archives that have been suppressed, suppressed, or just trying to like in this powerful creative way, reimagine what it is a museum professional is and can be, reimagine what it is that institutions can be. What how one of the ways that we can actually change our approach to museum work as a profession in the 21st century. So that's why I work in museums, because I'm working from that principle of Sankofa to go get the things

nikhil trivedi 1:01:39
go get go get the things Yeah, I love that. Portia that's so beautiful, and thanks for bringing your your grandma into the space. Thank you. Yeah. I mean, honestly, I feel like that's a good note to close on. Is there. Is there anything that we haven't touched upon, that you'd like to share with with the conference today?

Porchia Moore 1:02:04
I'm just that you know, so again, thank you so much for for this invitation. You know, I love you and I love always being in conversation with you. And thank you to Eric, who's always amazing. I think that I would ask everyone in the museum community to make sure that one, you take care of yourself, because self care, as Audrey Lord has taught us is an act of preservation. It's an act of liberation. And we can't continue to do this work if we aren't caring for ourselves, but also understand that like to care for ourselves also means to practice community care. So that's something that I'm definitely growing into, like, really, truly understanding how to practice community care. I feel really fortunate to have to be in community with unico. All these years with you know, roles in a Lithia of inclusive them with Gretchen Jennings and Jeanine Brian from empathetic museum from you know Elizabeth Callahan and and Nisa, and all the wonderful people from mass action and all these different movements. We've all been able to like practice community care and the work and activism that we've been able to do. And so what I'm encouraging everyone to do is to make sure that particularly if you are an institution where this work is still confusing, or it's still not being invested in well in terms of finances and funding and time, that you are not alone. And so you can and should be connected to either other individuals in your area, or to any of us out here in the world trying to facilitate and make change. So that's that would be I think, my sort of final final thing, Nikhil we're gonna do we have time for questions or no.

nikhil trivedi 1:04:01
Oh, yeah, we can take questions. Yeah.

Porchia Moore 1:04:03
Yeah, let's, uh, questions if we have a couple

nikhil trivedi 1:04:08
minutes, folks, feel free to put questions in the chat or in the q&a section. Yeah, I mean, I I guess I'll just take a moment while we give a little space for questions to come in. To thank you Portia. You know, I love to you as a dear friend as well. And I appreciate every chance we have to share space with each other. And I appreciate so much the perspective and the grounding you bring to the community and the difficult work, the challenging work that lies ahead of us in the years to come and the broad ranging thinking you bring to every space that you're in. So thank you, Portia.

Porchia Moore 1:04:54
Thank you. Oh, so we question. Yeah, go for it. Um, so Kelsey, how do I take care of my mental health? Um, one of the things that I do to take care of my mental health is I hiked a lot in back in like 2013 and 14 at the local level. When I lived in South Carolina actually started a group called Portia and friends healing hikes. I grounded myself in nature. Um, I also, I also practice Halo therapy, whatever I can, which is like salt, crystal therapy, where you go to this place and it's got all this like Himalayan salt crystal, whatever, whatever. And you lay in the zero gravity chair, and they spray like salts mist in the air. I don't even know if it works, but it's calming.

nikhil trivedi 1:05:51
Yeah, it sounds bad. Um,

Porchia Moore 1:05:55
yeah, those are those are some things that I do. I try to read. I garden a little bit. I've kind of gotten into like late being a plant mom, but I do things that helped me what I what I have learned, especially because I am so I am because of my physicality. I am oftentimes placed in positions where this work actually feels more stressful. What I tried to do is practice like, embodiment, because what had happened to me previously at all I'm happy to share this I had experienced not one but most of all, bouts of burnout, mental physical, everything like my body broke all the way down. And I did not understand that like I was I did not have balance. Like I was like oh the work, the work, the work, the work and the work and not having the balance. And the tools literally broke my body down. had to figure out ways that I can like help nurture my own nervous system by doing the things that I love.

nikhil trivedi 1:07:04
Yeah, I've been taking advantage of my work, the work from home situation to go on bike rides. So for my lunch break, yes, I used to bike to commute, but it was stressful being in traffic and needing to get to a destination. But if I have half an hour, I'll just hop on my bike and meander with no destination on quiet streets and it's a much different experience.

Porchia Moore 1:07:28
Perfect. I think we might have time for one more question. I see something about CRT we kind of went up. What can you read it and go?

nikhil trivedi 1:07:35
Yeah, do you think we can teach those? This is like the big big question. Do you think we can teach those that are scared of these stories and of CRT to be more open? And less hostile? Is that possible?

Porchia Moore 1:07:49
Oh my God says no. Because I think that there's definitely some propaganda and programming that is happening. But also some people are some people are committed to exclusion, and that is their form of self. Preservation. I do think we have both an obligation and a moral whatever, to help people understand what CRT is, and CRT. I mean, the fact first of all, nobody in the world is teaching critical race theory to anyone that's not in graduate school. critical critical, and most people in graduate school do not have access to CRT. Critical Race Theory is actually a legal studies, if you will. It's a legal framework for analyzing the ways in which race has disproportionately oppressed people of color. That's what CRT is. So the fact that it has been reduced to this other thing, it literally does not compute to me as someone who is a critical race theorists and who was exposed to the class in my doctoral program. The fact that there are people who are unfortunately being fed this onslaught of misinformation in the media, I don't personally think that the goal should be to try to like change someone's mind. That's to me a misuse of your energy. The goal should be again to get very clear on who you are, why you do the work and how that work shows up in your institution. You're wasting time trying to convince other people about something that they are committed to.

nikhil trivedi 1:09:31
And you're, you know, not centering the marginalized and oppressed people by asking the question, and I think, you know, history has taught us that we don't actually need to convert everyone in order to, you know, to pass more sane policies and to establish you know, more just treatment of all people.

Porchia Moore 1:09:53
Yeah, I mean, you know, even though ironically, even though I am someone who focuses on race, I do that for a number of reasons. I still always go back to my as my kind of calibration device. I always, always go back to what Toni Morrison told us that race is a distraction, like the function of race, if we allow ourselves to get caught up in it in terms of like trying to convince someone of something I'm never going to commit, convince anybody of my own humanity. I would never I'm not ever going to do that. But if we allow it to kind of go to that other level, we're wasting our time because that's a distraction. What's more important to me is having all kinds of people walk into the museum and find themselves joyfully, powerfully and lovingly, to get new narratives to have a rich educational experience. It is not my goal to spend time and energy trying to convince someone of something that they are committed to.

nikhil trivedi 1:10:58
So to send two or three sentences, what gives you hope

Porchia Moore 1:11:04
what gives me hope my children my twins up sold. Yeah, who are mighty and beautiful and amazing.

nikhil trivedi 1:11:15
Alright, Portia, thank you so much for your time today.

Porchia Moore 1:11:18
Thank you so much.

nikhil trivedi 1:11:19
Love you dearly, friend.

Porchia Moore 1:11:20
Love you too. And if anybody who's not following me, follow me on Twitter at Porsche muse. M. Thank you all so much.

nikhil trivedi 1:11:28
Thank you all.

Porchia Moore 1:11:29
Bye. All right. Bye.