The University of Minnesota Twin Cities, and so the Weisman Art Museum, is located within the traditional homelands of the Dakota people. It is important to acknowledge the peoples on whose land we live, learn, and work as we seek to improve and strengthen our relations with our tribal nations. We also acknowledge that words are not enough. We aspire to honor and respect the Indigenous Peoples—past, present and future—by establishing meaningful, reciprocal relationships with Indigenous communities and by incorporating Indigenous knowledge in the work of the museum.
Moreover, diverse communities have a right to access fully the creative opportunities and resources at the Weisman. Museum staff strive to make inclusion and access foundational for learning programs and educational development at the museum. A practical commitment to equity and diversity is the shared responsibility of all students, staff, volunteers, board members, collaborative partners, faculty, and University leadership. WAM activities will be grounded on policies and practices that advance diversity and promote equity and inclusion.
In order to achieve these goals, we embrace the following imperatives:
- Champion Equity. Work to eliminate barriers to participation by historically underrepresented groups.
- Advance Diversity and Inclusion. Make every aspect of our recruitment, hiring, training, advancement, and retention practices equitable; work to ensure that leadership and staff reflect the diversity we value and the inclusivity to which we aspire.
- Extend a Universal Welcome. Forge new pathways to engagement, both within and outside the museum, to increase the participation of historically underserved communities and advance inclusive practices in programming, collections, and exhibitions.
We are committed to a museum where:
- Diversity, equity, access and inclusion are recognized as core institutional values that drive decision-making, resource allocation, and the development of all policies and practices.
- Diverse students, staff, and faculty are recruited, retained, and supported.
- Collaborative internal and external partnerships support the emerging needs of students, staff, faculty, and the communities in which we live and work.
- Access and Inclusion: continuously inviting and welcoming people to an environment where all have the opportunity to engage with art at the museum and beyond.
- Community: creating equitable and collaborative partnerships to better work together within and outside the museum towards shared goals.
- Education and Learning: actively and intentionally using models and practices that incorporate content that reflects diverse ways of knowing, being, and experiencing the world.
- Sustainable Transformation: engaging in continuous individual and institutional reflection and collaboration to build capacity and integrate what we learn into our culture and infrastructure.
- Accountability: evaluating and assessing progress toward our equity and diversity goals.
As we continue to progress in this direction, we invite your comments and collaboration. Centering on key principles of equity, justice and inclusion, we aim to build and sustain a healthy and welcoming community that celebrates people from all walks of life. We invite you to read WAM’s DEAI statement in full to get a fuller picture of the specific benchmarks and programming initiatives undertaken already, and in the planning stages, thus far.
WAM DEAI Statement: z.umn.edu/WAM_DEAI
Help us make these efforts stronger by adding your voice, experience, and insight. Weigh in with your suggestions, revisions, comments, and concerns about WAM’s plans to support equity, justice, and inclusion in museum operations in the form below. We’ll incorporate your input into future iterations of this living document.
Give us feedback: z.umn.edu/WAMDEAIFeedback