Change as a Constant
|Octavia Butler as inspiration
“All that you touch you change. All that you change changes you. The only lasting truth is Change.”–Octavia Butler
|Nicole (l) and Sage (r) at the High Museum of Art
I’ve also discovered that the technology of the future is less important than the problems we will solve—or create—with it. People who have known me for a long time are, today, surprised by how much I know about technological innovations after two years on the job. A self-proclaimed “analog girl in a digital world,” I grew up on the wrong side of the digital divide. Even now, my mother’s neighborhood in my home community of Jacksonville, Florida lacks the infrastructure for high-speed internet. Although she pays for wireless service, that service remains spotty and unreliable. Streaming a binge-able show or videoconferencing with colleauges is nearly impossible. I have remained somewhat skittish about early adoption of new tech tools (Alexa, I’m looking at you).
|Image by R. Black
The Future of Labor is an Equity Issue
During my first week as a fellow, CFM founding director Elizabeth Merritt and I talked at length about current issues in the field and how my work might engage some of these. Questions about museums and culuture change were real and inspring for both of us. Once we began to talk about the work that groups like #MuseumWorkersSpeak and #MuseumsRespondtoFerguson were doing, I knew that my fellowship would highlight the theme of labor in some way. In collaboration with the CFM team, I directed my efforts here around issues of museum and the future of work, with a focus on equity as a deliberate through-line. I connected with colleagues and new friends in the field and sought out innovative practices around unbiased hiring. I started this work with the FutureLab: Hiring Bias project in partnership with technology company, GapJumpers. I am honored to say that I will continue this focus on the future of the museum workforce in my new role as director of inclusion at the Alliance. I will remain committed for scanning for change and visioning a more equitable future, as I truly believe that the future of labor is an issue of diversity, equity, accessibility, and inclusion. As Y-Vonne Hutchinson has stated, “diversity and inclusion is really the labor policy issue of our time.” I am grateful to the Mellon Foundation, the ACLS Public Fellowship, and the American Alliance of Museums for this opportunity. I am especially proud to have worked with Elizabeth Merritt and the CFM team and I am eternally thankful to all of you, dear readers, for supporting me on this journey. Onward!