CCLI National Landscape Study: The State of DEAI Practices in Museums
Diversity, equity, accessibility, and inclusion (DEAI) have become central concerns for museums. Across the field, leaders are asking—with increasing urgency—how museums can diversify their visitors, staff, and boards; create welcoming and inclusive environments and workplaces; and ensure that museum offerings reflect a broad range of interests, experiences, and needs.
Museums have approached DEAI efforts in different ways and at different levels, from developing special exhibits and events for specific audiences to offering staff diversity training to board development. Despite more than three decades of discussion about DEAI, however, our organizations still wrestle with questions about where to focus, how to gauge success, and how to make changes “stick” so that these efforts endure beyond one person, project, or program. As a field we lack a clear picture of where museums are putting forth effort. How do museums, for example, prioritize DEAI? What activities and practices are most prevalent? Where are museums making inroads operationalizing DEAI into the foundational principles of museum work? This study emerged from these questions and from the recognition that we can not support what works (or change what does not) until we better understand the current landscape.