Recently, @BlackAmherstSpeaks shared a post on Instagram of a student who experienced racism within the Mead Art Museum. In the comments, another visitor shared an experience in which people from their tour group were racially profiled in our space. You can read the post here.
We believe Black Lives Matter and appreciate the labor of the folx running @BlackAmherstSpeaks and the bravery of the students and alumni who shared their experiences publicly. We offer a sincere apology to the individuals who shared their experience and anyone who has experienced racism within the Mead.
The Mead is committed to creating a museum environment in which every visitor feels welcome and comfortable. Our goal is always to create an environment in which Black and Indigenous people of color can engage with art and ideas. Clearly, the experiences @BlackAmherstSpeaks shared indicate that we have more work to do. We need to listen and take action to evaluate and ensure that our protocols make everyone feel welcome in the Mead, regardless of race, ethnicity, gender identity, socio-economic background, religion, age, disability, sexual orientation, geography, citizenship status, neurodiversity, religion, or other identities or any combination of these identities.
Among other concrete plans, we intend to:
- Develop, with input from students, alumni, staff, security, and colleagues, an anti-racism action plan across the Mead, including, but not limited to continued anti-bias training for staff, student lobby attendants, and security
- Consult with our colleagues in the Office of Diversity and Inclusion for advice on the best way to audit our protocols
- Provide all Mead staff with training in visitor experience and on the content in our exhibitions and programs, so they are prepared to create a welcoming experience
- Create an ongoing forum that invites feedback from BIPOC about experiences of racism, racial profiling, and other factors that contribute to feeling welcomed
- Launch and maintain an anonymous Google form to create opportunities for audience feedback on their experiences at the Mead
We encourage you to follow and share your experiences with @BlackAmherstSpeaks. We also welcome your direct feedback. You can email firstname.lastname@example.org, direct message @meadartmuseum on Facebook or Instagram, or submit anonymously using the google form linked here. Our Education team will review all feedback and share it with the broader staff in a way that ensures anonymity.