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Diversity and Inclusion

IDEA Statement and Action Plan FY 2022

The staff and board of the San Diego Natural History Museum will ensure that our values of inclusion, diversity, equity, and accessibility (IDEA) are apparent in our institutional policies, departmental procedures, and day-to-day practices. The current phase of our work is focused internally because we are the ones who design communications, programs, and experiences for the broader San Diego community, and our values will be embodied in these endeavors.

Every member of our Museum community is protected from discrimination and harassment by federal and state law, but that is not enough. It is important to us that every member of our community is welcomed and celebrated for our diversity of race, color, ancestry, national origin, religion, sex, age, sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, and differing abilities. We each should feel accepted and respected for who we are and what we contribute to the Museum, without regard to our departments or titles.

Now is the time to act on our values because there are Museum staff who feel excluded, undervalued, and unheard. It is our shared responsibility to change the conditions that push anyone to the margins of our community in any way. We understand that there exists in American society historical and modern systemic barriers to full inclusion and acceptance for all people. While the nation grapples with these larger constructs in inequality, we are focusing our internal work on the realm that we have the power to change today: our museum community. Specifically, we are pursuing personal learning and interpersonal interactions before we can focus on external and systemic and institutionalized issues. For FY 21-22 we commit to the following goals:

  • Development of policies and procedures to promote IDEA in recruitment, training, and hiring practices for staff, volunteers, and board members. This includes but is not limited to procedures to minimize unconscious bias in the recruitment and hiring process, the creation of a new People and Culture Coordinator position, and a recent increase in The Nat’s minimum wage.

  • Ongoing training and professional development to educate ourselves on IDEA issues and ensure that employees at all levels have access to resources that help them advance their skills. This includes but is not limited to learning from different communities about their needs and barriers to engaging with the Museum. Last year we completed three trainings on unconscious bias, race and racism, and LGBTQIA+. This year we commit to four trainings on various subjects, including Indigenous people and accessibility, as well as dedicated funding of $50,000 to support staff in their respective professional development needs.

  • Ensure transparency by communicating the Museum’s IDEA values to employees, volunteers, and the public via our website, signage in the Museum, social media communication, and internal emails and documents.

  • Continue collaboration with other organizations in Balboa Park to promote IDEA parkwide. This includes meetings, trainings, and discussions with peer organizations, and participating in a park-wide employee engagement and inclusion survey, aiming for at least 75% staff participation.

Although we will deliver results on these goals during this fiscal year, our inclusion, diversity, equity, and accessibility efforts will continue into future years. We will revisit this commitment to action each year so that all of today’s staff and future staff can thrive as members of our community.

Read more about our goals from FY20-21 below.

  • Collaborate with the Balboa Park IDEA group and participate in the Park-wide IDEA employee
    survey which will serve as a baseline indicator for the IDEA work that we need to do as an
    organization and Museum community.

  • Prioritize IDEA by adding a learning component as a standing agenda item on All Staff, Executive Management, Strategy Team and Board Meeting agendas.

  • Develop an IDEA statement with input from staff, board, volunteers and constituents. The statement will be posted in the Museum, on the website and other uses as appropriate.

  • Develop a land acknowledgement statement and determine guidelines for usage.

  • Implement policies and procedures to promote IDEA in recruitment, training, and hiring practices for staff, volunteers and board members, including casting a wider net in promoting job, program and volunteer roles to ensure equitable opportunity.

  • Participate in training to educate ourselves on IDEA issues and provide training opportunities for staff, board and volunteers including learning from different communities about their needs and barriers to engaging with the Museum.