Anti-Racism Action Plan
Among the priorities the Bowdoin College Museum of Art set itself a year ago with the launch of its FY 2020-25 Strategic Directions Document, is to "Enhance the opportunities for intellectual engagement and professional development to serve a diverse community and to promote inclusivity." While our commitment to this critical goal encompasses, as described in that document, student internships and fellowships, exhibitions, scholarly communications, public programs, and the acquisition and stewardship of collections, recent events clearly demonstrate the necessity of a reaffirmation of these essential principles.
The BCMA supports and endorses the vigorous commitment expressed by President Clayton Rose on behalf of Bowdoin college to anti-racism on June 11, 2020. As our community and our country fights for change and for justice in the wake of the murders of George Floyd, Rayshard Brooks, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery, Tony McDade, and other victims of racially-motivated violence, the Bowdoin College Museum of Art expresses its solidarity with Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC). Black lives matter. In this moment of righteous anger and collective grief, the Museum, as a vital part of the Bowdoin College community, rededicates itself to taking meaningful action against the historical forces of systemic racism deeply ingrained in the fabric of our society, and reasserts its determination to support and serve a diverse and inclusive community.
Museums are sites of knowledge, of cultural memory and heritage, and they must be harnessed to serve as an instrument for positive change. With this said, we also understand that we must acknowledge the complex histories of these institutions, including our own. In doing so, we believe that the museum, dedicated to preserving and activating the power of the imagination, can be a powerful voice for change, for justice, and for liberation.
To this end, the Bowdoin College Museum of Art pledges to undertake the following steps:
- To dedicate itself immediately to staff-wide anti-racism education through reading, discussion, and the solicitation of expertise from beyond the museum.
- To develop a strategic anti-racism plan and task force examining all aspects of the museum's programming, collecting, staffing, and engagement with the campus community to ensure a more diverse, equitable, and inclusive environment.
- To identify measurable goals to hold ourselves accountable for our actions. These will include researching our own institutional history, reexamining collecting, exhibition, and programming practices, and exploring new opportunities for partnerships on campus and beyond to combat racism and to promote the creation of new opportunity.
- We pledge to share information about our progress, including the publication of our antiracism plan and other milestones that serve as markers in a larger process, through this new antiracism webpage.