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Diversity, Equity, Accessibility and INclusion Toolkit

Museum volunteer programs are necessarily going through an evolution. The consideration of diversity, equity, access, and inclusion is essential to making volunteer programs more innovative, sustainable, representative, and impactful.

As representatives of museum volunteer managers, we have come together to create this toolkit to help you navigate DEAI work.

  Objectives of the DEAI Toolkit:

  • To assist people at all levels of experience and understanding in how to integrate DEAI in the context of a volunteer program by providing resources and tools to help with this work.
  • To diversify museum volunteer corps and make them more representative of the communities we serve, as historically volunteer corps are mostly homogenous.
  • To increase the comfort levels of our guests so they can see themselves in the stories we tell and are fully represented by our volunteers. Guests should feel welcomed and be empowered stakeholders in the museum mission and vision.
  •  To encourage organizations and volunteer departments to embrace DEAI practices. When DEAI is incorporated, museum volunteer work improves because there are no limits on who is participating, more points of view are considered and heard, and innovation and creativity can thrive.
  • To expand the reach and connection of volunteers to the communities that museums serve. It is important they are included in discussions of DEAI.

Setting Expectations for DEAI Work:
  • This is a working document that is subject to change. DEAI practices are dynamic 

    and constantly evolving. These four concepts are all connected and sometimes overlap.
  • Every volunteer program and museum is unique. This document includes a set of 

    guiding principles. You may not be able to accomplish all of them, but you can still find success. It is important to do as much as you can and strive to always continue to work toward more diversity, inclusivity, accessibility, and equity.
  • DEAI is a practice. Education is ongoing, so strive to continue to make change even if it doesn’t reach perfection.
  • Sometimes the right thing to do is harder and takes longer. Don’t be discouraged. Find venues for support among your peers.
  • Institutional change and buy in is ultimately essential for long term success and sustainability.

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