Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion at the Anchorage Museum
I. Statement of policy
The Anchorage Museum's mission 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 means that everyone is welcome here. The Museum seeks to integrate and ensure diversity of all voices, viewpoints, knowledge and skills throughout our city, state and the region of the Circumpolar North in order to meet its mission.
The Museum understands the importance of words and that meanings evolve. For purposes of this document, the Museum understands the values of diversity, equity and inclusion in the following ways:
Diversity is all the ways that people are different and the same 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 and in the work we present to the public.
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 diverse individuals 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, inclusion and anti-racism 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 to volunteers to board of directors to its programming, exhibitions and collections. The Museum supports pay equity, diversity in hiring and employment practices, and in providing a safe and welcoming place to work in and to experience.
II. Museum Equity Practices
The Museum promotes diversity, equity and inclusion through inclusive practices, promoting greater access, providing admission opportunities to the Museum, enriching community partnerships and respecting community protocols, and through its programming.
a. Inclusive practices
i. Land acknowledgements – the museum will begin public meetings and major events with a land acknowledgment
ii. Programming will reflect 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
b. Promoting access through language, ability, sensory and cultural programming
i. The Museum will endeavor to provide linguistically accessible services to limited English proficient guests and to feature sensory accessible tours and educational programming as feasible
ii. The Museum complies with ADA laws, regulations and principles to ensure full access to visitors with disabilities
iii. The Museum will recruit docents from diverse backgrounds and perspectives
c. Ensuring income is not a barrier to admission
i. The museum will seek to provide access to low income visitors through the following:
1. Free admissions for low-income visitors through free days, Polar Nights, community events and programs, outdoor programs, etc.
2. Sponsored field trips for students and educators from Title 1 schools
ii. The Museum will likewise continually examine possible admission options and programs for low-income families
d. Engaging community through partnerships
i. 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
e. Respecting residents through community engagement protocols
i. The Museum will develop protocols to guide visiting artists and scholars in working with Alaska’s diverse communities
f. Respecting Alaska and the Circumpolar North’s Indigenous peoples
i. Provide collections/archive access to Indigenous peoples, the surrounding community, the State, and other Northern regions
ii. Work with Alaska Native and other Indigenous artists and scholars, including through collecting practices, residencies and fellowships
iii. Including Indigenous curators as part of Museum programming and staff
iv. Providing land acknowledgement and decolonization workshops and trainings for community organizations
III. 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
i. The Museum will include language to demonstrate our commitment to equity/diversity in our recruitment advertising, including:
1. Proposed statement in job descriptions and in recruitment announcements:
a. The Anchorage Museum connects people, expands perspectives, and encourages global dialogue about the North and its distinct environment. 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 skills are included and engaged in the work we do and the work we present.
2. Recruitment audiences: The Museum will diversify where jobs are advertised and add the following language to applicant recruiting/advertising:
a. 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.
b. Hiring and Retention
i. The Museum employee handbook will include the D/E/I policy statements contained in this document and in all other foundational documents including:
1. D/E/I policy statements
3. Standards of Conduct
4. Tenets of Organizational Culture
ii. 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
1. Medical/Dental/Vision coverage for domestic partners
2. Insurance coverage for gender identity related issues
3. Paid/unpaid FMLA coverage for family issues, including non-traditional family members
iii. The Museum will conduct annual equity training on topics that may include: implicit bias, land acknowledgments, internal equity programs and procedures and policies, etc.
iv. The Museum will ensure a safe, equitable workplace, and include a statement of safety and welcoming in employee onboarding packet and other relevant locations
c. 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.
d. 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.
IV. Commitment to ongoing evaluation
a. 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.
b. To guide our work, we will develop a set of guiding principles to measure progress on the established priorities, including tracking the impacts on achieving these values of:
i. Programming - Program evaluations to include demographic questions to determine diversity of audiences and inform future outreach and engagement strategies.
1. Educator evaluations
2. Number of students engaged from Title 1 schools and information provided by the Anchorage School District
iii. Visitor Services. To ensure the museum is welcoming, we will strive to collect information to track visitor demographics including:
1. Collection of non-members contact information when possible and appropriate
2. Collecting zip codes for visitors, when possible and appropriate
3. Including demographic questions on exit surveys
4. Collection of demographic information on free days and/or other major public events
5. Focus groups and other evaluation in conjunction with strategic planning
6. Collection of both quantitative and qualitative data
7. Understanding of demographics of Museum members
8. Regular self-assessment/evaluation of language used for marketing/PR and fundraising
Conduct annual satisfaction survey to include request for demographic information
V. Board Policies
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 plan:
• 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
• 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 September 25, 2019
Image by Kerry Tasker