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Shared knowledge around art and film enriches our communities and helps all thrive and engage in a global society. Equity, diversity, and access to art, film, and education are critical to the ongoing work of the Portland Art Museum and Northwest Film Center.

We recognize that at the heart of modern museum work is a tension between our mission to preserve the past, and a moral obligation to confront bias and inequities entangled with that inheritance. Museums have historically highlighted certain stories while marginalizing and oppressing others. Influential elements of political, cultural, and economic systems maintain injustice and inequity through the control of power and resources, resulting in limited access to and engagement with art and film. As one of the oldest art museums in the United States, we acknowledge our role in supporting these systems.

As an institution and individuals, we commit to advancing racial equity and inclusion now and in the future as a foundation to address other disadvantages or forms of inequality. To fulfill our Mission, our commitment means including, serving, resourcing, validating and centering our colleagues and community members of color on an institutional and individual level. We will:

  • PARTNER WITH DIVERSE COMMUNITIES THROUGH EDUCATION by engaging multiple perspectives, embracing difficult conversations, and accepting feedback
  • Question our assumptions, interrupt the status quo, and challenge dominant culture thinking through how we COLLECT AND PRESERVE ART AND FILM
  • Change policy and align programs to advance equity and break down barriers for the ENRICHMENT OF PRESENT AND FUTURE GENERATIONS

We will hold ourselves accountable to this important work by:

  • Being transparent about the way we work and the way decisions are made
  • Continuing regular meetings of our Equity and Inclusion Team
  • Drafting and implementing an Equity Plan with approval and commitment from the Board
  • Implementing an Equity Lens as a tool for Museum-wide decision making in areas such as hiring, exhibition planning, and program development
  • Revising this Equity Statement on an ongoing basis

We understand that equity and inclusion work is difficult and we acknowledge that we will make mistakes as we learn and grow. However, we believe that beginning with a focus on race is critical to eliminating the inequities of other historically marginalized groups. We embrace the opportunity to keep learning and evolving and challenge everyone to do the same.