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Beginning with a “rogue session” event in conjunction with AAM’s 2015 conference in Atlanta, this ongoing conversation cultivates a space for emerging museum professionals, graduate students, and museum staff members to consider the conference theme “The Social Value of Museums: Inspiring Change” in the context of internal museum practices including hiring, leadership, and working environment. This conversation is a “rogue session” and we invite you to join us outside of the conference. Our goals are to provide a forum to begin this conversation, to counteract the silence/taboo around discussing labor in museums, and to examine how working conditions impact diversity in museum staffs.

In contrast to the dominance of museum leaders’ voices in the discourse of social justice in museums, this conversation is facilitated by a diverse team of emerging museum professionals who are uniquely aware of the challenges presented by working in this field, particularly barriers to entry and advancement rooted in race and class. We approach this conversation with a shared perspective: Many museums have a stated commitment to acting as agents of social change, but we see an inconsistency between this mission and museums’ internal labor practices. We believe that only once museums recognize and resolve their internal inequalities can they truly begin to act as agents as social change. Participants who may critique or challenge this perspective are equally as welcome as those who agree.

Our intentions are to amplify and support social-justice-oriented museum professionals’ statements that the internal transformation of museums is a necessary step toward enacting social change, and to facilitate a conversation that leads to action.

For more information, contact us at:

Find us on Twitter @MuseumWorkers and use the hashtag #MuseumWorkersSpeak to join the conversation! Our monthly “Workers’ Wednesdays” tweet chats take place on the first Wednesday of every month from 2-3 pm and 8-9 pm EDT.

You can also join us on Facebook.