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CEO DATELINE – Association seeks to diversify museum leadership, governance

March 22, 2019
By Walt Williams

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The American Alliance of Museums has launched an initiative in five metropolitan areas to increase diversity and inclusion on museum boards and leadership teams.

The “Facing Change” initiative is a multi-year project provide the framework, training and resources for museum leaders to build inclusive cultures within their institutions that more accurately reflect the communities they serve, according to AAM. The initiative is being funded by $4 million in grants from three philanthropic foundations. 

“To make real and lasting change, work needs to be done at the top where the tone and priorities for each museum are established,” AAM CEO Laura Lott said in a statement announcing the initiative.  “Museum trustees and leaders can and must do more. Complementing the hard work and investments being made to diversify the talent pool, programming, and collections of museums, AAM aims to drive long-lasting systemic culture change.”

AAM recently announced the initiative will roll out in five “Museum Communities of Learning.” They are Chicago; Houston; Jackson, Miss.; Minneapolis-St. Paul, Minn.; and the Oakland-San Francisco Bay Area.

Factors considered in the selection of communities included the density of museums and cultural organizations as well as regional demographic diversity, according to the association.

The association is currently accepting applications from zoos and museums in the five communities to participate in the program.