Antiracism Resources: Ensuring an Antiracist Work Environment

Mon, 10/26/2020 - 13:46
DHPSNY Staff

Recently, the Antiracism Resources series discussed resources for building a diverse workforce. In tandem with those goals is the need to create workplaces that actively support diversity and inclusion. 

Released this past July, the second edition of The Time’s Up Guide to Equity and Inclusion During Crisis takes into account changes brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic and discusses why the creation of an antiracist workplace should be prioritized, especially in times of crisis such as the current moment. This guide provides actionable steps to build an antiracist work environment, including shifting our vocabulary about race, leading with equality in mind, and bolstering policies that support antiracism work. Pandemic-specific topics include considerations to keep in mind when having to make difficult staffing changes and maintaining inclusivity and flexibility when structuring work-from-home opportunities and schedules. While written with a focus on businesses, the Time’s Up Foundation’s insights are still relevant and accessible for cultural organizations of all sizes. 

Commenting specifically on the cultural heritage field, author and activist Joan Baldwin argues that to create antiracist work environments, it is imperative for organizations to examine the role of intersectionality, referring to the complex ways in which categories like gender, race, and class can overlap to compound discrimination or disadvantages. In Diversity without Intersectionality is a Cart without a Horse, a post on the museum-focused Leadership Matters blog, Baldwin writes that organizations should be “mindful of not only creating a diverse workplace, but an equitable and supportive one as well.” Beyond simply hiring BIPOC employees, museums and heritage organizations should acknowledge the challenges of intersectionality and ensure employees who inhabit several marginalized identities, such as Black women, are not tokenized but offered respect and support in order to thrive.

Is your institution striving to build an antiracist work environment? Please comment below, email us at info@DHPSNY.org, or connect with us on the DHPSNY Facebook page or the DHPSNY Community Facebook Group

This is part of a biweekly blog series on sharing information, promoting resources, encouraging discussion, and amplifying the voices of Black Indigenous People of Color (BIPOC) doing antiracism work in archives, museums, history sites, and library special collections. DHPSNY is committed to supporting the diverse network of collecting institutions that safeguard and ensure access to historical records and library research materials across New York State. To learn more, visit our first blog post in the series.

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