Skip to content

January/February 2021 Museum magazine

The January/February 2021 issue of Museum magazine, a member benefit, focuses on topics of social justice and racial equity. In an effort to provide the broadest possible access to these critical topics, we are making these articles free and available to the public.

DecorativeFrom the President and CEO: Museums and Racial Equality
By Laura L. Lott

Excerpt: Museums are cornerstones in our communities and among the most trusted sources of information by the public. We have a duty to respond to our nation’s reckoning with racism and other forms of injustice. …

DecorativePoint of View: Movements, Moments, and Museums

By Melanie Adams, PhD, and Kayleigh Bryant-Greenwell

Excerpt: For change to be sustained, there must be an organizational commitment beyond a few passionate staff and a consultant. The change must take place at the very core of the organization. Museums must eliminate white supremacy culture in order to rebuild a culture centered on racial equity.

DecorativePoint of View: Playground for the 1%

By John Wetenhall

Excerpt: We must also rethink the structure and composition of museum boards by adopting reforms that are rooted in the best practices of corporate governance, the tradition of American museums to honor patronage, and the fiduciary obligation of museums to serve their community constituents.

A group of people sit around a table in the foreground with several other groups in the background.A Watershed Moment: Lessons from #MuseumsRespondtoFerguson and MASS Action

By Adrianne Russell, Anniessa Antar, and Elisabeth Callihan

Excerpt: Don’t reinvent the wheel. Racial justice in museums cannot happen by following a checklist. There is no one-size-fits-all roadmap; you must audit and individually address each one of your systems to impact the whole. But museums do not have to reinvent the wheel either.

A Liberatory Framework: Critical race theory can help museums commit to anti-racism and combat anti-blackness

By Porchia Moore
Excerpt: Museums are the most trusted institutions in our nation. If we adhere to standards set upon us by those who do not invest in scientific and academic rigor, reason, and standards, we forfeit that trust.

DecorativeRe-Engaging the Past to Re-Envision the Future

By Redell R. Hearn

Excerpt: Partnerships are relationships that require regular assessment and recommitment. The Mississippi Museum of Art and Tougaloo College have built on their collective strengths in sharing artwork from the past to foster community understanding about the importance of civil rights in the present.

DecorativeEmbracing the DEAI Mindset

By Makeba Clay and Cecile Shellman

Excerpt: Here, Clay and Shellman weigh in on what museums need to do before hiring a CDO, how they can hire the best person for the role, and how they can support that person in their work.

DecorativeThe White Supremacy Elephant in the Room

By Museums and Race contributors Janeen Bryant, Barbara Cohen-Stratyner, Stacey Mann, and Levon Williams

Excerpt: This work, which encompasses collections, exhibitions, programs, operations, funding, and governance, belongs to every one of us.

DecorativeA Roadmap for Equity

By Marianna Pegno, PhD, and Jeremy Mikolajczak

Excerpt: Now we have the hard work to do—we have to constantly check in and continuously assess ourselves. If we just have the plan but aren’t doing the work to move forward, then we aren’t truly committed to prioritizing IDEA.

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

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.