Even prior to opening our museum doors, we envisioned this museum would be welcoming to those of every race, ethnicity, and nationality, and those of every physical and cognitive ability, gender, sexual orientation, religious beliefs and to all ages. We are proud of the work we’ve accomplished and want to bring our philosophy of inclusion into this exciting new initiative.
Since the opening of the museum, the number one question people ask us is how to talk about race. The NMAAHC education department’s mission has made deliberate strides toward being a “brave space” to discuss race, equity, and inclusion. We explore how these topics relate in both a historical and cultural context. In 2014, we launched our signature program, “Let’s Talk! Teaching Race in the Classroom.” Every year we’ve learned, reflected, and refined the program content – always growing and striving to do better.
The first thing to understand is that it is a process. This process of understanding and talking about race begins by learning where you are on your own journey. The starting point is different for each and every individual. It is informed by how you see yourself and how you’re seen by others. Add in all your unique experiences in addition to factors like place, family history and community, and the starting point will be different for every person. Each of our paths will be different based on who we are and how we got here.
Issues of race are sometimes blatant and obvious, sometimes subtle and nuanced, and often difficult to confront. However, with commitment and caring, we can all play an important role in dismantling racism to create a more inclusive, just, and safe society. By committing to understanding and talking about race, all our lives will be better.
Thank you for sharing your journey with us. Let’s talk, think, and act together! Choose a topic below to begin.