How many books does it take to get to center of thesis week?! Here at CGP, classes and academic responsibilities halt for a full week once a semester to allow for research. Many of my classmates traveled the country in pursuit of interviews and archival materials. All of the work leads up to a 35-page thesis paper or thesis project which we will turn in before graduation in order to receive our diplomas. I promised myself at the beginning of my second year of graduate school that I would use this forum as a place to
brainstorm ideas and express musings, not complain about stress and lop frustrations around. But, let me just say that the pressure is building!
One thing is for sure – I am loving my research. I’m studying racial diversity in the museum professional field and have gotten to interview almost a dozen leaders from the field about topics ranging from inclusive museum environments to changing racial demographics in the United States! My interviewees are working tirelessly in museums and cultural institutions around the country helping to combat the lack of diversity in the field – and I couldn’t be more thrilled to talk with them about it.
I’m basically arguing that there is a reciprocal relationship between diversity of staff and diversity of audience; exhibitions and programs alone cannot achieve real museum diversity. In essence, expanding the racial composition of the museum work place enables organizations to better reflect the variety of communities in which they are located. In order to broaden perspectives and better represent America’s rapidly changing population, museums must focus on an institutional commitment to diversity, on increasing funding opportunities to diversity-based initiatives, and on reaching out to students of color through targeted fellowship, internship, and graduate programs. *look at that not so sly thesis statement integration
I know it’s early to be working on titles but I’ll throw out an option! Not So Black and White: Racial Diversity in the Museum Professional Field – what do you think?