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Recruiting Racially & Ethnically Diverse Museum Trustees

Category: On-Demand Programs: Diversity, Equity, Accessibility, and Inclusion

(This video runs 50:34)

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Supporting Documents

Guiding Question

Once we have reached out to potential new board members and expressed our interest in having them join our museum’s board, how can we effectively recruit them based on their qualifications, skills, relationships, and desire to join the board?

Webinar Highlights

  • Importance of articulating the goals of your organization in recruiting specific individuals to join, and being clear about what the work of diversifying the board consists of, challenges the organization is currently facing, how this new board member will help address those challenges, and what skills, experience, and perspectives they bring.
  • Difficult, but authentic conversations will often have to occur; be realistic about the progress your board has made to reaching its DEAI goals. Discuss what a new member’s participation will bring to the table, and also will receive from their participation.
  • Bringing in new board members with DEAI experience should not be the board’s primary focus when no other current board members possess that experience or when the board has not collectively engaged in DEAI work. No one board member should hold the board’s DEAI work. The board’s DEAI work should be held collectively among the board’s members.

Discussion Prompts

  • How does our board engage with potential board members? What is our selection process?
  • How intentional are we about including identity and skill criteria in our recruitment and selection efforts?
  • What skill sets do our board members already possess, and who possesses them? What skill sets are missing?
  • Which voices are potentially not being heard (e.g. our board contains five members with fundraising experience but no community members or those with experience in community organizing)?
  • Can our organization effectively articulate our vision and DEAI goals, and the steps we are taking to achieve those goals? Is there room for, or encouragement to, co-create and envision with community members?


Museum Board Recruitment Matrix

  • Teams of 2-3: two interviewers, one interviewee; participants rotate interviewee role
  • What skills do you bring to the table? Which identities do you align with, and how can they inform your experience? How do our organization’s values align with your personal values? What would you like to get out of the board experience?

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