A Living Document of the Fleming’s Reckonings and Transformations:
Since the summer of 2020, the staff at the Fleming Museum have been reckoning with how to become an anti-racist museum that’s more responsive, relevant, and inclusive. We commit to enacting changes within the Museum, to affirm in action that Black Lives Matter and that the lives of Indigenous people and people of color matter. We recognize the long overdue and hard work that we need to undertake—personally and organizationally as a predominantly white staff—to address the foundations of white supremacy in the Fleming Museum. Museums across the world are founded in colonialist and settler colonialist values of extracting objects from their cultures. Those objects are presented with minimal context in a paternalistic framework that imagines itself to be beneficent or neutral. The ongoing work of redress and restitution is challenging and necessary for the Fleming and other museums to reorient their missions and values. The following statement is a living document of values that the Fleming Museum staff have developed.
We are at the beginning of our endeavors to reimagine our place in the University and the wider community. The foundations of this work lie in amplifying the perspectives of Black, Indigenous, and people of color who have been excluded—implicitly and explicitly—from the Museum. The Fleming Museum aspires to become a space for listening to our audiences and building avenues of trust with other organizations that are already doing this work. In order to build that trust, we will follow through on feedback with honest, reflective answers about past failures and ways we are committing ourselves to listening to the audiences we serve. That is why we have made feedback so central to this statement and our larger efforts as we move forward.