Racial Equity Statement
Approved by the CAM Board of Directors January 27, 2021
As an alliance of museums and individuals, the California Association of Museums (CAM) is committed to realizing our vision of Stronger Museums for a Stronger California. We recognize that museums have been and continue to be complicit in promoting stories, individuals, and values that reinforce white supremacy and dominant cultures while marginalizing and oppressing others. To accurately represent the people of California, yesterday and today, strong and resilient museums must center equity in their practices and work to intentionally disrupt racism and practices of exclusion.
We believe equity is essential in fulfilling our mission to “unify and strengthen museums to expand their collective impact.” We are committed to helping our field reveal underlying structures of privilege and cultures of bias to interrupt racism and oppression. This work must start by acknowledging our organization’s complicity in perpetuating these oppressive systems and proclaiming our moral obligation to listen, learn, and transform. We will continue this process by implementing a workplan (below) that measures our actions and accountable steps to foster a culture of anti-racism and inclusion.
Our Values for Diversity, Equity, Accessibility, and Inclusion (DEAI)
Community & Collective Action = diverse and inclusive representation, collaboration
Inclusive Leadership = respect, trust, empower, shared authority, vitality, humility
Responsiveness = listening, relevance, action, progress
Reflection & Connection = empathy, growth, adaptation
Our DEAI Workplan
Step 1: Ongoing Training on Systemic, Systematic, and Structural Exclusion
To strengthen an inclusive community, the CAM Board of Directors and staff will receive ongoing training in how existing systems reinforce privilege, exclude members of the community, and how to interrupt and change those systems. This training began at the Board’s November 2020 retreat and will continue in 2021 with the guidance of a facilitator with expertise in diversity, equity, access, and inclusion.
Step 2: Listening to Underrepresented Communities
March 2021 to March 2022
An Equity Task Force established by the CAM Board of Directors will meet with and listen to communities that need to be included and better represented in the organization. The task force will be made up of Board and committee members who represent those communities. We intend to host a series of meetings with a range of groups, including but not limited to Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC), LGBTQIA, people with disabilities, and emerging professionals. The first meeting with the leadership of emerging professionals groups occurred in October 2020.
Step 3: Task Force Makes Recommendations to the Board
March 2021 to September 2021
The task force will summarize and report the feedback to the CAM Board of Directors after each of the meetings. Each report will include recommendations for ways CAM can give power and authority to these communities to reshape the organization to be more relevant and committed to them.
Step 4: Create an Action Plan of Systemic, Systematic, and Structural Change
October 2021 to November 2021
The CAM Board of Directors, with assistance from the task force, will create a responsive plan of action for systematic change on a scheduled timeline. This plan will also include ways of measuring the organization’s progress towards these goals so that the organization is held accountable.
Step 5: Communicate Plan to Our Public
CAM will share this plan with its public, especially members and stakeholders, so they are aware of how the organization will grow and adapt based on the feedback from these communities. We will encourage the public CAM serves to be in dialogue with us about these changes and to help hold the organization accountable to meeting these goals.
Step 6: Make Change, Evaluate, and Report to the Public
Starting December 2021
Based on the plan, the CAM Staff and the Board of Directors will activate the plan to grow and adapt its relevance and commitment to the communities. The organization will report progress to the board and to its public on at least a quarterly basis. When CAM is not successful in reaching a goal, the organization will demonstrate how it will adapt to reach the success outlined within the plan.
Our Process and Continual Work
We recognize that becoming a more equitable organization is the start of an ongoing journey, rather than a destination. This will be an evolving process. We are committed to articulating our steps, documenting our process, and recognizing those who contributed along the way. The task of updating this document to reflect this evolution and our journey has been assigned to the Executive Committee for annual updates. This document and plan were produced by CAM’s Diversity, Equity, Accessibility, and Inclusion (DEAI) Task Force in Fall 2020, after two equity training sessions involving Board, staff, and committee members and a facilitated retreat with the Board of Directors with Dina Bailey of Mountain Top Vision LLC. The members of the DEAI Task Force are Jennifer Caballero, John Echeveste, Mark Katrikh, Karen Kienzle, Delta Pick Mello, Joaquin Ortiz, and Christine Stokes.