March 2021: The Atlanta Spa Attacks
The Mid-Atlantic Association of Museums mourns the loss of the eight people killed last week in the spa shootings in Atlanta. We extend our condolences to the families of the victims. We are horrified that this crime was fueled by hate, racism, and misogyny and was largely directed toward Asian, and Asian American women.
MAAM condemns such violence, racism, and misogyny. We stand in solidarity with and endorse the statements made by the Smithsonian Asian Pacific American Center
and many other cultural organizations. As museums, it is our role to support our Asian, Asian American, and Pacific Islander colleagues. We should always be listening to their stories, their accomplishments and their struggles. But now, we should be lending our support and offering a safe space for our colleagues to talk.
Our country has seen much in the ways of violence, and even more so in the past year. Our statements are not one-off efforts, but should be considerate of the issues at the time and should be a challenge for us to do better as museums and as a nation. We call on our field to stand up against racism, misogyny, and to support our colleagues and communities. Below you will find resources to help you navigate this conversation to #StopAsianHate
May 2020: Racial Violence and Discrimination
MAAM stands in solidarity with those protesting police brutality and advocating for change. MAAM knows that part of our goal of fostering excellence in the museum field includes demanding that museum professionals and institutions do better.
We can do better by leveraging positions of privilege to help our most vulnerable colleagues and visitors. We can do better by being anti-racist. We can better support our colleagues of color. We can do better by having conversations, sharing resources, and educating ourselves.
Let us foster excellence together. Our communities can thrive, but only if we can collectively strive to be a better society by holding each other accountable. Challenge assumptions, share resources, spark discussion.
We encourage you to watch this video. This video includes Black parents explaining to their children how to deal with the police and what their experiences were: https://www.instagram.com/tv/CA04jjVjvmQ/?igshid=19f963fz8nr1y
Calls to Action
How you can help right now:
Here’s what we can do within the museum field:
The National Museum of African American History Talking about Race web portal represents a useful resource for organizations struggling with how to engage in these conversations with visitors, staff, and community members. https://nmaahc.si.edu/about/news/national-museum-african-american-history-and-culture-releases-talking-about-race-web
On a personal level as a museum professional:
- On a personal level, look inward: audit your work, consider your privilege, and think about where your influences and ideologies come from.
- Recognize how injustices affect Black, Asian, Middle-Eastern, Latinx, and Indigenous colleagues differently than white colleagues.
- Give space to colleagues of color. Allow them to mourn, and center their experiences over your own.
- Support minority-owned businesses and restaurants
- Explore Black museums online. When the pandemic is over, make a plan to visit these museums or support them with a membership or a donation. For a directory of museums created by people of color, visit MuseumHue’s Online Directory: https://www.museumhue.com/hue-museums
More from Museum Educators Roundtable:
Helpful Pages (Originally shared by Southeastern Museums Conference-SEMC)
Museums and Race
A movement to challenge and re-imagine institutional policies and systems that perpetuate oppression in museums.
Mass Action Toolkit
This collaborative project seeks to align museums with more equitable and inclusive practices.
The Empathetic Museum
The qualities of 21st century museums are impossible without an inner core of institutional empathy: the intention of the museum to be, and be perceived as, deeply connected with its community.
The Incluseum advances new ways of being a museum through dialogue, community building and collaborative practice related to inclusion in museums