My master’s thesis is signed, sealed, and delivered! Though I plan on continuing my research (and publishing in the future) it’s nice to be done with this first step. Check out a sneak peak of what I’ve been up to over the past fourteen months.
As museums struggle to reach diverse audiences, recent demographic changes within the United States have prompted professionals to look critically at their staffs and ask tough questions pertaining to racial diversity in the professional field. Exhibitions and programs alone cannot be expected to achieve connections between institutions and their surrounding communities. Increasing the racial diversity of the decision makers within museum allows institutions to better communicate to their visitors of all backgrounds. Institutions around the country are developing internship, fellowship, and graduate programs specifically designed to meet the needs of their communities by training young professionals of color about careers in museums.
My thesis examines these model programs designed to increase the racial diversity of the museum profession. Informed by reports compiled by the American Alliance of Museums over the course of almost four decades, interviews with leaders in the field, and the study of current professional development programs, this research identifies and analyses current successes regarding the diversification of the museum workforce and encourages continued action throughout the field. As new challenges to inclusiveness in America continue to present themselves, this research hopes to spark not only conversation, but also action pertaining to the development of a work diverse population of museum decision-makers.
What progress have you seen in the field that is helping diversify museums?