Conversation Starter Tool

Mission and Vision:

  • What does community mean to you? Who is your core public/audience/community? 
  • How does the museum address injustice? 
  • Do the institution’s mission, vision, and core values support the goals of restorative justice? 
  • To what communities is the museum not reaching out?
  • Does the museum address diversity? Does it seek equity and inclusion?
  • Is the museum invested in fighting racism and undoing colonial practices?

Personnel:

  • Has your staff or board taken anti-bias training? If so, how long ago and what biases are your volunteers perpetuating?
  • Have you hired from diverse outlets in the past?
  • How do you convey value and appreciation to your interns?
  • How diverse is your board, in terms of social and occupational background?

Collections:

  • What are some current gaps in your collection? What new collecting strategies have you considered adopting? Have you reached out to multiple communities in order to diversify your collection? Is your collection relevant to both the museum’s core constituency and new communities? 
  • Have you recently conducted provenance research to ensure that all objects in the collection came in legally? Have you considered the repatriation of museum objects in your collection?

Engagement:

  • How has your institution traditionally related to visitors? Who has your audience been in the past, and who would you like to involve in the future?
  • Whose stories has your institution traditionally told, and whose has it neglected? How can you design exhibitions and programming that will allow your institution to engage with your publics in a more just and equitable way?
  • What does restorative justice mean within the context of your particular community? Where do you see gaps in the issues your institution has addressed?