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Core Concept Primer: DEAI demands an ongoing commitment of resources

Category: Diversity, Equity, Accessibility, and Inclusion
Graphic with text: Excellence in DEAI 2022 Report from the Excellence in DEAI Task Force

The Excellence in DEAI Report includes four Core Concepts, and overarching themes of excellence in diversity, equity, accessibility, and inclusion (DEAI). Each Core Concept includes Key Indicators, and tactical practices indicative of progress in each Core Concept. These primers serve as introductions to each Core Concept to help you spur conversation and action that advances excellence in DEAI at your museum.

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Excellence in DEAI Report

Core Concept: DEAI is the responsibility of the entire organization

Core Concept: DEAI is an ongoing journey without a fixed endpoint

Core Concept: DEAI work must be measured and assessed

Core Concept:

DEAI demands an ongoing commitment of resources.

Just as embarking on your museum’s DEAI journey is a task with no defined endpoint, allocating resources to this work must be ongoing. Implementing equity cross-functionally and sustaining excellence requires museums to commit significant financial and human resources to the effort.

The importance of the work should be reflected in the museum’s annual budget as well as within the scope of responsibilities of all museum staffers, each of whom should have explicit goals for the operationalization of equity within the scope of their role and function. Resource allocation to DEAI reflects an organization-wide commitment to the museum’s DEAI goals, values, and priorities in carrying out this work.

Key indicators indicative of progress in this core concept are:

  1. Allocate financial resources in the budget for staffing, capacity building, and internal or external DEAI expertise.
  2. Dedicate ample time for DEAI work, including individual and collective reflection, trust, and relationship building.


Opinions from the Field


DEAI Plans


From providing training to fit the needs and capacity of staff and just-in-time learning to dedicating a line item within the museum’s budget to ensure its DEAI responsibilities are met and the building is accessible to all patrons, transitioning your museum’s DEAI statement and plan from words into action will require a concerted effort across the organization and a dedication of financial and human resources. Equally important is creating and maintaining space (physical, emotional, and mental) for individuals at all levels of the museum to process what can be heavy and uncomfortable emotions. Intangible resources like trust, emotional wellbeing, relationship building, and time for reflection help build a sense of collective safety and purpose.

Read more on this Core Concept and find additional resources in the Excellence in DEAI Report.

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