The Museum of Us stands with the American Alliance of Museums in their condemnation of a recently issued Presidential Executive Order that stifles essential DEAI training.
We, as an institution, are deeply committed to equity, inclusion, and anti-racism. And, we understand that we cannot move forward to become a more equitable community and nation without acknowledging the systems that have historically inhibited progress, and that continue into the present day.
We remain committed to our values and will continue to offer anti-racism education through our “Race: Are We So Different”?” exhibit and programs. For the full statement from the American Alliance of Museums, and to read the Presidential Executive Order, please navigate to the links below.
AAM Statement in Response to the Executive Order on Combating Race and Sex Stereotyping
Posted on Oct 13, 2020
Arlington, VA — On September 22, 2020, the President of the United States issued an Executive Order on Combating Race and Sex Stereotyping. The Executive Order (EO), among other things, bans the use of terms such as “critical race theory,” “white privilege,” “intersectionality,” “systemic racism,” and “unconscious bias” in any training or materials used by institutions receiving federal funding of any kind.
The Alliance objects to the substance of this EO and is deeply concerned about the impact on the museum community, and the message it sends about addressing systemic racism in American life. Fostering diversity, equity, accessibility, and inclusion in the museum field is a core tenet of AAM’s work. We know our field has a long way to go in addressing systemic racism and building racial equity. However, at a time when the United States is engaged in a national reckoning, this EO threatens to undo any real progress toward achieving greater racial equity in our country.
AAM sees this EO as an affront to our core values, a rejection and denial of our country’s history, and an unacceptable step backward for racial equity. The EO flies in the face of decades of research and scholarship on racism in the United States and will foster discord and distrust; deny the lived experiences of Black, Native, and other people of color; and interfere with basic First Amendment rights. As one of the most trustworthy sources of information to the public, museums are committed to presenting diverse and inclusive stories of the past from multiple perspectives, in all their complexity. To do this effectively, free expression and diversity and inclusion education is necessary for museum professionals and vital to the future viability, relevance, and sustainability of the museum field. This EO creates fear and uncertainty in institutions at a time when leaders are in financial distress and cannot afford to pause on equity training or risk losing much needed federal funding.
We must recommit to advancing racial and gender equity now. If you experience any canceled or renegotiated contracts that use language from the EO please share any information with us through this form. Below you will find an FAQ and additional resources. We will continue to monitor the impact of the EO and keep you updated as new information arises.
To read the full press release by the American Alliance of Museums, please visit: www.aam-us.org/2020/10/13/aam-statement-in-response-to-the-executive-order-on-combating-race-and-sex-stereotyping/