AAM Organizational Constitution

Updated January 2023

Our Mission

Champion equitable and impactful museums by connecting people, fostering learning and community, and nurturing museum excellence.

Our Operational Values

AAM employees strive to embrace and demonstrate these core operational values in support of an engaging, inspiring, equitable, and inclusive workplace culture.

Strive for Equity

The museum field and our society were built on inequity, and we believe it is our responsibility to understand where and how we perpetuate inequity and structural racism. We have the courage and tenacity to mitigate inequity to the best of our abilities while supporting our members to embed racial equity in everything that they do. We hold ourselves accountable to continual assessment, learning, and action that builds a more inclusive organizational culture and produces equitable outcomes in all areas of our work internally and externally.

Celebrate Our Passion, Creativity, and Joy

We are passionate about museums and are proud to work in support of their success. We have a  deep commitment to our work and are dedicated to helping the museum field tackle some of its greatest challenges. We seek to leverage the diversity, imagination, and creativity of the field and our AAM colleagues to find solutions that are inclusive and equitable. We prioritize time to celebrate our colleagues and our accomplishments, big and small, formally and informally. We create a work environment that allows and encourages our colleagues to bring, experience, and share joy, recognizing that joy manifests differently for each of us.

Prioritize Impactful Service, Products, and Experiences

We provide excellent and impactful service, products, and experiences that align with our mission, strategic priorities, and values; and are adequately supported by our resources and capacity. We exhibit care for those with whom we interact, internally and externally, by anticipating their needs, proactively addressing their concerns, providing solutions, and exceeding their expectations. We understand that respect from and for ourselves, our colleagues, and those with whom we interact is the necessary foundation for excellent and impactful service. We recognize boundaries and do not allow ourselves or our colleagues to be mistreated in any way.

Maintain Transparency, Respect, and Support for Each Other

We value relationships with our colleagues, external partners, and the people who make up the museum field. We recognize that the ability to be open, honest, and transparent with each other and the museum field we serve requires a commitment to building trust. We respect the diversity of identities, lived experiences, ways of knowing, opinions, and work styles of our colleagues and museum field, and recognize that everyone benefits from this diversity. We respect each other’s creativity, individualism, and time; and we follow through on our commitments to each other. We welcome rigorous and respectful debate in the interest of achieving our goals and we actively seek feedback from colleagues.

Listen, Learn, and Grow

We are a learning organization that identifies challenges and opportunities, raises new ideas, and courageously tests new approaches to improve our quality, collaboration, and outcomes. We embrace teamwork and continuously learning from those within and outside of our organization, and those with different perspectives and lived experiences, just as we seek opportunities to share our knowledge and experience with colleagues. We exhibit humility and are unafraid to acknowledge that we are on our own learning journey in all areas of work. We divest from perfectionism and lean into curiosity. We accept failure as an inherent risk of innovation and know that it’s our response to failure that matters most: identifying, correcting, and learning from it.

Sample AAM’er Behaviors

 Strive for Equity

  • I take personal responsibility for continuing my own learning journey around bias, structural racism, privilege, and how I can best support a more inclusive and equitable work environment.
  • I evaluate my work and my decision-making through an equity lens and I take responsibility for the impact of my decisions and actions, even when the impact differs from my intent.
  • I hold myself and department accountable to disaggregating data and outcomes by race and other social identities to determine where disparities exist, and then work to mitigate those disparities.

 Celebrate Our Passion, Creativity, and Joy

  • I seek ways to showcase and celebrate the important work and diversity of museums and museum people, the work AAM does on their behalf and the contributions and support of my colleagues.
  • I leverage my creativity and that of my colleagues to identify solutions to
  • I share my ideas for how to improve our workplace culture, and I listen to ideas shared by my colleagues to promote a positive, inclusive, and equitable environment that includes space for laughter, fun, and joy.
  • I seek higher levels of involvement in work I find interesting. I share my passions with others and seek out ways for my talents to be fully utilized.

 Prioritize Impactful Service, Products, and Experiences

  • I strive to make all those with whom I interact feel heard and valued, and I address their questions and concerns
  • I allocate the necessary time and effort to my work and utilize the tools and resources at my disposal to ensure the services, products, and experiences I deliver are of the highest quality and provide the greatest impact possible within the parameters of AAM’s and my own capacity.
  • I accept responsibility for errors and actively work to correct them.
  • I set realistic and healthy boundaries and proactively communicate those boundaries to my colleagues. I acknowledge and respect the boundaries of my colleagues and when I recognize proposed or current work exceeds the boundaries of myself or my colleagues, I engage in finding alternative solutions.
  • I prioritize and protect my wellbeing and the wellbeing of my colleagues, including speaking up and alerting a supervisor if I or a colleague is being mistreated.

Maintain Transparency, Respect, and Support for Each Other

  • I take responsibility for the intersectionality of my identity and remain conscious of how my privilege and power impact those I encounter.
  • I take personal responsibility for understanding, respecting, and appreciating others who are different from me and whose perspectives or approaches differ from mine.
  • I do what I say I am going to do. If I am unable to keep a commitment or meet a deadline, I immediately inform all people who will be
  • I communicate proactively and productively, readily sharing information others need, telling the truth, and maintaining confidences.
  • I have the courage to say the things that make us uncomfortable and to give honest and direct feedback in a respectful and timely manner. I am receptive when others share their feedback with me.
  • I jump in to help my colleagues when needed, whether through moral support and encouragement or by lending a hand to help accomplish work.

Listen, Learn, and Grow

  • I seek out ways to expand my knowledge and skills, related to the museum field and my individual expertise, and let my supervisor know how they can support my professional
  • I actively seek out more inclusive ways to gather information and make sure there is diverse representation in the outcomes of my work.
  • I share information with my colleagues to support their professional development and actively identify professional development/growth opportunities for those I
  • I suggest new ways of working and actively search for ways to simplify processes and improve the user experience. I am receptive to new ideas shared by others.
  • I work with my colleagues to test out new ideas and to learn from these experiences.
  • I embrace constructive feedback and take ownership of my behavior and performance.
  • I proactively seek out the information I need to do my job, and I make recommendations or decisions to solve problems.

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