This blog is the place to exchange ideas, news, issues and thoughts about diversity and multiculturalism in museums. The Multicultural Initiatives Committee is a Texas Association of Museums Affinity Group.

Monday, 4 August 2008

What direction should the MIC take?

Last week, I had the opportunity to meet with Ruth Ann Rugg, the new director of the Texas Association of Museums (TAM). Ruth Ann set up the meeting so that she could get a better grasp of the MIC's purpose and goals. She also wanted to find out how else TAM could support the MIC. We discussed the origins of the MIC, which go back to the 1990s, when a group of TAM members wrote the Action Plan. Then I told Ruth Ann that ten years later, TAM wanted to review if anything had changed in those ten years. After an unofficial survey and talking to other museum professionals, we came to the conclusion that sadly, museums still lacked diversity in their staff, boards, exhibits, interpretations and audience. Many of the issues remained relevant ten years later. That is why in 2005, the MIC became an official affinity group.

Ruth Ann asked some interesting questions that I want to share with you: What is our role within the museum community? How can we keep on being relevant in the ever changing role of museums? Is the name "multicultural" really what we are about, or do we really mean diversity?

Those of us who have worked in this committee know that we don't want to be viewed as a group of and for ethnic minorities alone. Our role is much, much larger than that. But how do we get that message across? And how do we get all museums involved? Because really, this topic impacts every single museum and staff person.

Please feel free to share your comments. This is a good time to reflect on where the MIC has been and where we need to go.

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