UMMAA Evolving: Change in our Museum
We are a community of faculty, staff, and students committed to creating a cultural and academic space in our Museum and University that allows people to participate and contribute with the full expression of their identities and abilities. We recognize that many of these identities have historically been marginalized and systematically excluded from participating and engaging in anthropology, archaeology, and museums. Within these fields, the goal is to understand and relate to the human condition in all its expressions, but as scholars and humans we have fallen short of this ideal in everyday practice. Researchers in all three disciplines have often viewed individuals and even whole societies as the “other”—subjects of curiosity to be studied and classified. We reject this view, and we celebrate the full spectrum of identities, including race, culture, gender, sexual orientation, and ability. Further, we recognize that inequities in these fields continue to this day and that it is our responsibility to deconstruct the systems that allow injustice to persist. To this end, our community has created an action plan to address the systemic failures within these fields.
We welcome those who wish to join us in this work, to learn new ways of engaging with people, and to become better stewards and community partners. We acknowledge the colonial foundations of our teaching, collecting, and scholarship. We strive to hold ourselves accountable and to empower each other to engage in the difficulties that come with addressing these pasts in order to create a more equitable and inclusive future for these disciplines and for all people. You can stay up-to-date with our progress by following the hashtag #UMMAAevolving.