Commitment to Racial Equity (2020)

Updated August 26, 2020

The New Museum acknowledges its complicity in the systemic racism that permeates our culture.

We are committed to taking action and making changes that will bring racial 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 early June, we convened two working groups: a cross-Departmental staff working group to develop and recommend necessary long-term, anti-racist actions, and a DEIA Task Force of the Board of Trustees. The two groups have worked together to propose the following actions that oppose racism and promote racial equity in our workplace. Some of these actions are already underway, others are effective immediately and all will be continually reviewed and revised. These actions are outlined below.



Staffing and Leadership

➔ The Museum will immediately begin to increase the representation of BIPOC individuals in senior management, Department Heads, and artistic leadership positions to 50%, and build pipelines for talent. To this end, it will immediately begin the search for two BIPOC candidates for leadership positions: one artistic and one administrative. We will work with consulting firms that specialize in BIPOC recruitment for these searches.
➔ The Museum will schedule a series of anti-racist / anti-bias workshops required for all Staff and Board by the end of October 2020.
➔ The Museum Staff’s Racial Equity Working Group will continue to stay abreast of and accountable to the agreed-upon goals and recommend course adjustments as needed.
➔ The Museum Board’s DEIA Task Force will continue to stay abreast of and accountable to the agreed-upon goals and appoint a liaison to the Staff Racial Equity Working Group.


➔ The Museum will commit to prioritize BIPOC talent, voices, and intersectional viewpoints in its exhibitions, public programs, and publications.
➔ The Museum will commit to share online programming and promotional space with our community partners.

Organizational Culture and Policies

➔ The Museum will implement an anti-racist HR policy, separate and distinct from Anti-Discrimination and Anti-Harassment policies, which all staff are asked to acknowledge and sign.
➔ The Museum’s Board of Trustees will develop an anti-racist Statement as part of the Ethics Policy, which Trustees will be asked to acknowledge and sign.
➔ The Director, Department Heads, and senior managers, who are responsible for hiring and recruitment, will be evaluated on meeting DEIA goals as part of their performance reviews.
➔ The Museum will implement HR and operational policies to foster better transparency and internal communication including redesigning the All Staff meeting format along equity lines. Staff surveys and regular pulse checks for feedback on work culture and effectiveness of trainings will be regularly conducted.
➔ The Museum will conduct an annual review of staff compensation at all levels for gender and racial equity check.
➔ The Museum will publicly acknowledge the Indigenous and African American heritage of the land on which it sits on its website and on a plaque displayed in a prominent location near the Museum’s entrance.
➔ Offer Juneteenth and Election Day as paid staff holidays.


Staffing and Leadership

➔ The Museum will work to increase the representation of BIPOC individuals on the Board of Trustees from 25% to 50%.
➔ The Museum recognizes the crucial relationship between racial equity and economic stability and is committed to identifying a range of resources and benefits that can support part-time and contingent staff members.
➔ The Director and senior team will report quarterly to the Board of Trustees on progress toward these goals.
➔ The Museum will commit to an annual review of this plan to review progress and establish new objectives.

Resource Allocation and Building Pipelines for BIPOC Support

➔ The Board of Trustees will commit to allocate funds to support the goals outlined here.
➔ The Museum will commit to engaging and hiring BIPOC-owned vendors across all Departments, working toward 50% of any new contracts across Departments.
➔ The Museum will build a viable and lasting pipeline of BIPOC supporters.

The Museum Field

➔ The Museum will co convene a cross-museum racial equity working group to share information and best practices.

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