Diversity and Belonging Policy
DIVERSITY AND BELONGING AT THE ANCHORAGE MUSEUM
The mission of the Anchorage Museum is to be a museum for people, place, planet, and potential, in service of a sustainable and equitable North, with creativity and imagination for what is possible. Activating that mission ensures that everyone is welcome here. The museum seeks to integrate a diversity of voices, viewpoints, knowledge and skills throughout our city, state, and the region of the Circumpolar North.
The museum understands the importance of words and that meanings evolve. The museum understands the values of diversity, equity, and inclusion in the following ways:
Diversity is all the ways in which people are different at the individual and group level. Organizational diversity requires ensuring that multiple perspectives are represented. Exploring the intersection of art, history, science, culture and design, the Anchorage Museum shares multiple perspectives and experiences that tell a greater story of place. We welcome diverse perspectives and recognize all are enriched when a diversity of voices, viewpoints, and skill sets are engaged and included in the work we do.
Equity means that all have equal access to opportunities, which may require accommodations to ensure access. Equity requires recognizing past exclusion and achieving genuine inclusion. Achieving equity requires deliberately applying time, resources, and consideration to achieve this goal. In addition, our Museum values its relationships with the community through building trust and understanding.
Inclusion means an environment in which all individuals are treated fairly and respectfully; are valued for their distinctive skills, experiences, and perspectives; have equal access to resources and opportunities; and can contribute fully to the organization’s success. Inclusion requires intentional, ongoing effort to ensure that individuals from a diversity of backgrounds fully participate in all aspects of organizational work, including decision-making processes. It also refers to the ways that diverse participants are valued as respected members of an organization and/or community.
The Anchorage Museum activates its commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion through its practice and programming, and ensures:
- The Museum is accessible. The Anchorage Museum is committed to overcoming barriers created by language, ability, or income.
- The Museum is welcoming. The Anchorage Museum acknowledges it sits on traditional Dena’ina homeland and is the beneficiary of a rich heritage and knowledge. The Museum is welcoming to all residents, including Alaska’s first peoples, newcomers, and visitors.
- The Museum activates social cohesion through social practice. Social cohesion envisions a society in which every human being has the capacity to achieve wellbeing. Social cohesion promotes trust and equity and minimizes disparities and marginalization. Social practice engages the creative sector with the community in creating and developing collaborative change.
- The Anchorage Museum embeds diversity, equity, and inclusion in its operations, from staff, volunteers and board of directors, to programming, exhibitions and collections. The museum supports pay equity, hiring diversity and employment practices, and in providing a safe and welcoming place to work in and to experience.
Museum Equity Practices
The museum promotes diversity, equity and inclusion through inclusive programs and practices, promoting greater access, by offering complimentary or reduced admission opportunities, through enriching community partnerships and by respecting community protocols, and through its programming.
Land acknowledgements – the museum begins public meetings and major events with a land acknowledgment.
Programming reflects the value that all are welcome here and strive to respond to a variety of needs, ages, communities, languages, and perspectives and to include special events that focus on reaching a broad range of community members.
Promoting Access through Language, Ability, Sensory and Cultural Programming
The museum will endeavor to provide linguistically accessible services to English-language learners and to feature sensory-accessible tours and educational programming, as feasible.
The museum complies with Americans with Disabilities laws, regulations, and principles to ensure full access to visitors with disabilities.
The museum will recruit docents from diverse backgrounds and perspectives.
Ensuring Income is Not a Barrier to Admission
The museum seeks to provide access to low-income visitors through free admissions for low-income visitors through free days; First Fridays; community events and programs; outdoor programs; and sponsored field trips for students and educators from Title 1 schools.
The museum will continually examine possible admission options and programs for low-income families.
Engaging Community Through Partnerships
The museum will create partnerships with community-based organizations to ensure outreach and programming reaches into all of Anchorage’s neighborhoods and to communities throughout the state
Respecting Residents Through Community Engagement Protocols
The museum will develop protocols to guide visiting artists and scholars in working with Alaska’s diverse communities.
Respecting Alaska and the Circumpolar North’s Indigenous Peoples
- Provide collections/archive access to Indigenous peoples, the surrounding community, the State, and other Northern regions
- Work with Alaska Native and other Indigenous artists and scholars, including through collecting practices, residencies, and fellowships
- Include Indigenous curators as part of museum programming and staff
- Center land acknowledgement and decolonization practices
The Anchorage Museum is committed to embedding diversity and equity in its governance and operation throughrecruitment, hiring and retention, training, and tracking diversity, equity, and inclusion metrics.
The museum includes language to demonstrate our commitment to equity/diversity in our recruitment advertising, including a diversity statement in job descriptions and in recruitment announcements and diversifying where jobs are advertised. Included will be language similar to the following in applicant recruiting/advertising: All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, gender, gender identity or expression, sexual orientation, national origin, genetics, disability, age, or veteran status.
Hiring and Retention
The museum employee handbook will include DEI values and language.
The museum will seek to ensure pay and benefits equity through regular reviews of salaries comparing internal and external ranges and benchmarks to ensure consistency and fairness, including medical/dental/vision coverage for domestic partners, insurance coverage for gender-identity-related issues, paid/unpaid FMLA coverage for family issues, including non-traditional family members
The museum will include equity communication and training on topics that may include implicit bias, land acknowledgments, internal equity programs and procedures and policies.
The museum will ensure a safe, equitable workplace, and include a statement of safety and welcoming.
The museum will aspire to support the full identity of all its employees through gender and cultural designations in appropriate circumstances such as email signature lines, gender non-binary forms, and similar opportunities.
Transparency and Accountability
The museum will ensure that staff and board understand the organizational commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion through sharing this policy and promoting practices.
Commitment to Ongoing Evaluation
The museum is committed to continued monitoring and evaluation of its diversity, equity and inclusion practices at all levels, including assessing our progress in promoting these values.
The museum will develop a set of guiding principles to measure progress on the established priorities, including tracking the impacts on achieving these values of:
- Programming - Program evaluations include demographic questions to determine diversity of audiences and inform future outreach and engagement strategies
- Education – To include educator evaluations, number of students engaged from Title 1 schools and information provided by the Anchorage School District
- Visitor Services - To ensure the museum is welcoming, we will strive to collect information to track visitor demographics including: Collection of non-member contact information when possible and appropriate; collecting zip codes for visitors, when possible and appropriate; including demographic questions on exit surveys; collection of demographic information on free days and/or other major public events; focus groups and other evaluation in conjunction with strategic planning or other major efforts and milestones; collection of both quantitative and qualitative data; understanding of demographics of museum members; regular self-assessment/evaluation of language used for marketing/PR and fundraising
- Members/Donors - Conduct annual satisfaction survey to include request for demographic information
Board Governance Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Policy
The Anchorage Museum is committed to embedding diversity and equity in its governance and operation through recruitment, hiring and retention, training, and tracking DEI metrics.
The Anchorage Museum aspires to develop, promote, and sustain an organizational culture and reputation in the communities that we serve as a high-performing organization that values, nurtures, and leverages diversity, equity, and inclusiveness in all that we do and in what we present to the public.
The Anchorage Museum is committed to ensuring the diversity of its board, staff, volunteers, and programming. We accomplish this through leadership, values, policies, and practices. We define diversity to include race, ethnicity, gender, gender identity, religion, culture, national origin, sexual orientation, physical abilities, age, parental status, philosophy and viewpoint, and socio-economics. We define inclusion as the practice of ensuring access to Museum services and facilities, including employment, programming, and other opportunities. We define equity as the absence of disparity.
Together, these values create a rich community of opinion and skills necessary for the Museum to achieve its mission and vision.
We respect different experiences and cultures across this diversity and work to create a culture in which all people are supported, recognized, and rewarded in making their best contributions to the mission of our organization.
Our board membership and talent pipeline shall be made up of smart, talented, engaged, and knowledgeable people from diverse racial, ethnic, gender, sexual orientation, cultural, professional, and class backgrounds. The board will continue to support the museum’s ongoing sustainable visibility, outreach, and recruitment to diverse communities.
Our statement rests on the fundamental assumption that our work in the nonprofit community is enriched and made better by having a diversity of voices, viewpoints, and skill sets around our organizational table––encompassing board and staff. Our commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion is an organizational policy affirmed by board approval that includes board composition, staff composition, volunteer and fellow/intern composition, and program composition.
The organization will work toward complying fully with this value statement in alignment with the strategic framework:
- Include diversity-related measures performance goals
- Review and make appropriate changes to board and staff policies to comply with the values embodied in this policy
- Provide and conduct board and staff training on diversity issues
- Ensure compliance with accessibility requirements including the Americans with Disabilities Act, the Civil Rights Act of 1964, and other statutory and regulatory equal protection and rights legislation
- Monitor, and update as needed, diversity indicators for board and staff, collect baseline data, and implement and report periodically on policy and plan compliance
- Conduct proactive outreach for diversity candidates at all levels of employment and board service
- Evaluate progress toward plan goals annually and adjust strategies and tactics accordingly
(Adopted by the Board of Directors of the Anchorage Museum on Sept. 25, 2019. Updated 2023)
Image: Kerry Tasker