Skip to content

American Alliance of Museums Names Task Force For Its National Diversity, Equity, Accessibility, And Inclusion Initiative

Category: Press Release
Facing Change logo with a waffle weave of teal, gre, orange and red on top of grey.

ARLINGTON, VA – May 14, 2019 – The American Alliance of Museums (AAM) today announced the members of a task force charged with developing recommendations to embed diversity, equity, accessibility, and inclusion more deeply into its excellence programs—including accreditation, the field’s gold standard for museum excellence.

The Excellence in DEAI Task Force is part of Facing Change: Advancing Museum Board Diversity & Inclusion, AAM’s unprecedented national initiative to diversify museum boards and build inclusive museum cultures. Backed by $4 million in grants from three foundations (The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, Alice L. Walton Foundation, and Ford Foundation), Facing Change will provide the framework, training, and resources for museum leaders to build inclusive cultures within their institutions that more accurately reflect the communities they serve.

“I’m thrilled that we have a strong, diverse, cross-disciplinary task force to guide this monumental and ground-breaking effort to determine the standards to which our field will hold itself accountable in DEAI excellence,” said Laura Lott, President and CEO of the American Alliance of Museums.

Facing Change has the potential to create fundamental change in the museum field,” said Task Force Co-Chair Lonnie Bunch, Founding Director, National Museum of African American History & Culture. “AAM’s standards and excellence programs inspire museums to achieve the highest level of professionalism—and I am honored to co-chair this Task Force to examine how to clearly embed principles of diversity, equity, accessibility, and inclusion into those standards. “

“Our charge is not an easy one—but it is such important work, and I am thrilled to co-chair this team. This is a major step in making sure that museum leaders think about DEAI in every aspect of what we do,” said Task Force Co-Chair Elizabeth Pierce, President & CEO, Cincinnati Museum Center, Cincinnati, OH.

The task force’s work will take place through December 2019. Its membership represents a diverse segment of national museum leadership:

  • Co-Chair: Lonnie Bunch, Founding Director, National Museum of African American History & Culture, Washington, DC
  • Co-Chair: Elizabeth Pierce, President & CEO, Cincinnati Museum Center, Cincinnati, OH
  • Paul Backhouse, Director, Ah-Tah-Thi-Ki Museum, Clewiston, FL
  • Amy Bartow-Melia (Accreditation Commission Chair), MacMillan Associate Director for Audience Engagement, National Museum of American History, Washington, DC
  • Rod Bigelow, Executive Director & Chief Diversity and Inclusion Officer, Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art, Bentonville, AR
  • Alison Brown, President & CEO, Science Museum of Minnesota, St. Paul, MN
  • Carole Charnow, President & CEO, Boston Children’s Museum, Boston, MA
  • Kippen de Alba Chu (AAM Board Chair), Chief of Staff, Fort Worth Museum of Science and History,
    Fort Worth, TX
  • Miki García, Director, ASU Art Museum, Tempe, AZ
  • William Harris, CEO, Space Center Houston, Houston, TX
  • Irene Hirano, President, U.S.-Japan Council, Former President and Founding CEO of the Japanese American National Museum, Los Angeles, CA and Washington, DC
  • Patricia Mooradian, President, The Henry Ford, Dearborn, MI
  • Victoria Ramirez, Director, El Paso Museum of Art, El Paso, TX
  • Belinda Tate, Executive Director, Kalamazoo Institute of Arts, Kalamazoo, MI


About the American Alliance of Museums

The American Alliance of Museums has been bringing museums together since 1906, helping to develop standards and best practices, gathering and sharing knowledge, and providing advocacy on issues of concern to the entire museum community. Representing more than 35,000 individual museum professionals and volunteers, institutions, and corporate partners serving the museum field, the Alliance stands for the broad scope of the museum community. For more information, visit


Press Contact:

David Harrison


Skip over related stories to continue reading article

AAM Member-Only Content

AAM Members get exclusive access to premium digital content including:

  • Featured articles from Museum magazine
  • Access to more than 1,500 resource listings from the Resource Center
  • Tools, reports, and templates for equipping your work in museums
Log In

We're Sorry

Your current membership level does not allow you to access this content.

Upgrade Your Membership


1 Comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Subscribe to Field Notes!

Packed with stories and insights for museum people, Field Notes is delivered to your inbox every Monday. Once you've completed the form below, confirm your subscription in the email sent to you.

If you are a current AAM member, please sign-up using the email address associated with your account.

Are you a museum professional?

Are you a current AAM member?

Success! Now check your email to confirm your subscription, and please add to your safe sender list.