Updated August 15, 2022
The New Museum acknowledges its complicity in the systemic racism that permeates our culture.
We are committed to action and change that will continue to bring racial and gender equity to our workplace, our leadership, and our programs. This means continuing to confront many hard truths and acknowledging that this work will be ongoing. In the wake of the 2020 murder of George Floyd, the New Museum implemented several initiatives to improve equity in the workplace and expand the Museum’s commitment to diversity, equity, inclusion, and access (DEIA).
In early June 2020, we initiated two working groups: a cross-Departmental staff working group to develop and recommend necessary long-term, anti-racist actions; and a DEIA Task Force comprised of members of the Board of Trustees. The two groups worked together to propose the following actions that oppose racism and promote equity in our workplace. Some of these actions were already underway, others went into effect immediately, and all will be continually reviewed and revised. It is our goal to continue to update these pages as we build and expand upon DEIA initiatives across the institution. These actions and their current status are outlined below.
➔ Since 2020, the Museum increased the representation of BIPOC individuals in leadership positions from 24 to 44 percent including three in leadership positions: one artistic and two in senior leadership. Additionally, a BIPOC recruitment firm was engaged to lead the senior leadership search. The Museum’s Human Resources department is also working with each department on their recruitment practices, as recommended by the cross-Museum DEIA Task Force, to facilitate a more equitable pipeline, recruitment, and retention process for candidates of color.
➔ The Museum conducted a series of required anti-racist / anti-bias workshops for all Staff and Board in October and November 2020, and continues to host regular workshops, trainings, and programs for staff and Trustees.
➔ The Museum’s Staff Racial Equity Working Group, comprised of rotating participants from across departments and levels of staff, continues to meet monthly to stay abreast of and accountable to the agreed-upon goals and to recommend course adjustments as needed. The group also shares responsibility for presenting all-staff programs and events that promote equity and inclusion in the workplace—from artist talks to staff engagement workshops to learning sessions.
➔ After endorsing the Museum’s Commitment to Racial Equity in 2020, the Board DEIA Task Force continues to regularly meet to evaluate its progress. The Task Force is now focused on creating a more diverse and representative Board and frequently liaises with the Board’s Nominating Committee to assess requirements for Board nomination.
➔ New Museum programs continue to feature majority BIPOC voices and intersectional viewpoints across exhibitions, public panels and conversations, youth programs, educator programs, and community partnerships. Since 2021, the Museum has presented exhibitions featuring majority artists of color and women, including the landmark exhibition “Grief and Grievance: Art and Mourning in America,” which featured forty-seven Black artists; the 2021 Triennial, “Soft Water Hard Stone,” which included majority artists of color and women; and “Faith Ringgold: American People,” a long-overdue retrospective of the art of Harlem native Faith Ringgold. Additionally, artist fees have been integrated into the Museum’s operating budgets.
➔ In the transition back to onsite activities, the Museum has revived support for and promotion of the work of our community partners, including our groundbreaking partnership with Project Reset, a court diversion program; our ongoing relationship with the Bowery Mission; and new collaborations with organizations like BlkBookSwap, among others.
➔ The Museum has revisited its anti-harassment policies, which all staff are asked to acknowledge and sign, and offers training to cover topics such as implicit bias in the workplace.
➔ The Museum’s Board of Trustees revised and updated its Policy on Ethics to include language on Anti-Discrimination, which all Trustees acknowledged and signed.
➔ Diversity in hiring was identified as a top priority in the Museum’s continuing efforts to build a diverse work community. Managers and supervisors completed management training on equitable hiring practices and continue to be evaluated on how well they have implemented these best practices into their Departments. HR has developed inclusive job descriptions and interview guides which are crafted through a clear DEIA lens.
➔ The Museum frequently surveys the staff on matters of workplace culture, COVID-19 protocols, and effectiveness of DEIA trainings and workshops as a way to foster greater transparency and better internal communication. The Director conducts monthly meetings with each Department so that staff—at all levels—have the opportunity to surface issues and pose questions directly to leadership. All-staff communication has increased, and feedback is regularly sought on questions of culture, health, and safety in the workplace. The Museum has adjusted its exhibition opening timeline to accommodate for an additional day of staff walkthroughs.
➔ The Museum completed a review of staff compensation at all levels, and is implementing a plan that will bring greater pay equity to hourly staff.
➔ The Museum’s site heritage and land acknowledgements, which can be read here, were developed in collaboration with the Lenape Center and Dr. Mabel O. Wilson. These acknowledgements are also installed in the New Museum Lobby and are communicated preceding all public programs.
➔ The Museum now offers Juneteenth and Election Day as paid staff holidays.
➔ The Board DEIA Task Force and Nominating Committee are committed to proposing board slates which are at least 50% BIPOC.
➔ In 2021, the Museum modified the healthcare eligibility requirements to allow coverage for part-time staff working 20+ hours per week, increasing the number of those eligible for healthcare by 18%.
➔ An update on the Museum’s DEIA commitment, goals, and progress is included in the Director’s Report at all quarterly Board meetings.
➔ An annual report on progress to goals was shared with the staff in 2021 and another is forthcoming in 2022. Updated DEIA goals were shared out with the senior team, Board of Trustees, and full staff, with accountability from specific departments and positions.
➔ The budget for DEIA initiatives, trainings, and and programs have been fully integrated into Departmental budgets.
➔ A vendor selection process was implemented in 2021 to increase candidate diversity for new contracts. For (non-program-related) contracts over $5,000, the vendor selection matrix mandates that at least one BIPOC-owned business be considered in the top three finalists.
➔ Staff and Board have developed multiple opportunities for BIPOC patronage and engagement, building on the Museum’s past and future diverse programming.
➔ The cross-museum DEIA Task Force was convened in July 2020 by our director in collaboration with other museum directors across the city, and has been meeting consistently since August 2020. This task force works collaboratively to pool experience and resources, bringing on consultants to advance understanding of how museums can promote diversity, equity, and inclusion across the field – from hiring and recruitment and wage equity to how to become anti-racist institutions.
As of August 1, 2022
Isolde Brielmaier, Deputy Director
Scott Campbell, Director of Campaign Advancement
Monique Fuentes, Retail Manager
Regan L. Grusy, Chief of Staff and VP, Partnerships
Sarah Bailey Hogarty, Director of Marketing and Digital Strategy
Amy Lee, Development Associate
Bernardo Mosqueira, Curatorial Fellow
Margot Norton, Allen and Lola Goldring Senior Curator
Jasmin Tabatabaee, Assistant Education Specialist
Keila Tennent, General Counsel and VP, Community
Ian Wallace, Curatorial Assistant
Madeline Weisburg, Curatorial Assistant
Andrew Westover, Keith Haring Director of Education and Public Engagement
Carlos Yepes, Registrar
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