Equity Action Plan
Approved by the CAM Board of Directors November 6, 2023
CAM's Equity Toolkit gathers a range of resources that are currently available in the museum field. The topics, content, and resource links in the toolkit will be continually evaluated and updated.
As educational institutions that serve the public, museums have a vital role to play in helping Californians understand and address racism and inequities within their communities. To authentically fulfill this crucial role, however, museums must acknowledge that they have historically uplifted stories, individuals, and values that reinforce white supremacy and dominant cultures while marginalizing and oppressing others – both internally and externally. A significant and ethical step is to address the institutional racism and exclusions that exist within museums. In a foreword for the American Alliance of Museums’ (AAM) Facing Change publication, Dr. Nicole Ivy wrote, “Effective inclusion work begins inside the structures of our museums and within each of us.”
Simultaneously, a workers’ rights movement and disillusionment in the museum sector have been building, resulting in an increase in labor unions and public calls for leaders to address pay inequality and job security. Citing burn-out, low wages, and lack of advancement, a fifth of museum staff and students surveyed by AAM in 2021 do not expect to be working in the sector three years from now.
CAM is committed to helping museums address the institutional racism and exclusions that exist within our field and our institutions. This internal assessment and strategy for change is also required within professional networks that support the museum field, including CAM.
In early 2021, CAM’s Board of Directors approved a racial equity statement and workplan to gather feedback from three underrepresented groups: Black, Indigenous, People of Color (BIPOC), emerging museum professionals (EMPs), and museum workers in rural areas of California. With financial support from the Getty Foundation and guided by an Equity Task Force, two rounds of focus groups were convened in June and October 2021, facilitated by anti-racism and inclusion consultant Dina Bailey of Mountain Top Vision. The focus group participants cited many inequities within the museum field and CAM and identified pathways for addressing them. A direct outcome from these listening sessions is CAM’s Equity Action Plan, an actionable and measurable plan, to better serve underrepresented groups within the museum field and to support museums in their efforts to become equitable.
Equity Action Plan
With adequate resources and support, the Equity Action Plan will provide training, networking, and access to resources that support underrepresented and disadvantaged individuals within our sector and increase knowledge around diversity, equity, accessibility, and inclusion. The plan lays the foundation to collectively address the internal barriers that prevent more equitable access and practices within museums and our sector, thus leading to more inclusive museums that serve all Californians.
Do you have questions or concerns? Please complete this anonymous form to share your feedback with the Equity Advisory Committee.
Thank you to the following individuals for their time, expertise, and contributions to the Equity Action Plan!
Equity Task Force Members: (Chair) Kristen Mihalko, Director of Operations, Balboa Park Cultural Partnership; Carolynn Birilli, Assistant Curator, Museums of Lake County; Demetri Broxton, Senior Director of Education, Museum of the African Diaspora; Carolyn Lopez, Assistant Curator & Registrar, LA Plaza de Cultura y Artes; Nicole Miller-Coleman, Board Treasurer & Fundraising Co-Chair, Women’s Museum of California; John Echeveste, CEO, LA Plaza de Cultura y Artes; Brittani Orona, Ph.D. Candidate in Native American Studies and Human Rights, UC Davis; Assistant Professor of American Indian Studies, San Diego State University; and Solimar Salas, VP of Museum Content and Programming, Museum of Latin American Art.
Consultant/Facilitator: Dina Bailey, Mountain Top Vision
Focus Group Participants: Jen Aguilar, Samantha Alberts, Sedda Antekelian, Sewon Chung Barrera, Alexis Bunten, Gina Carrillo, Jen Dao, Cristina Edwards, Heather Farquhar, Jennifer Foster, Sara Godin, Maria R Gonzalez, Robin Gose, Paulette Hennum, Renay Jenkins, Erika Katayama, Hiju Kim, Kimberly Kirkhart, Natalie Kramm, George Luna-Peña, Alessandra Moctezuma, Jessie Modlin, Haydee Naula, Gladys Ochoa, Javier Plasencia, Felicia Shaw, Benina Stern, Katy Titus, Laurinda Willard, Maureen T. Williams, Joy Yamaguchi, Anonymous (19)
This project is made possible with support from the Getty Foundation.