Diversity, Equity, Accessibility & Inclusion
As a museum with a mission to create a better future for our evolving world, the Bell Museum condemns the persistent and pervasive racism of our country.
The history of museums, including ours, is one grounded in colonialism and discrimination. We needn’t look further than the founding of the Bell Museum nearly 150 years ago to see examples close to home. We recognize that our very foundations, our scientific collections, are rooted in the occupation and appropriation of Indigenous land and violence to natural resources. As a society, we have not fully attended to the difficult truths of our own past and that, in turn, has made this museum, like others, a less inclusive place than it should be. We strive to be a safe and familiar place for all Minnesotans.
At the Bell Museum, we accept our responsibility to disrupt the systems and thought patterns that have brought us here. We see the ongoing negative impacts of colonization on Indigenous people and their communities. We see that Black people fear for their very lives and suffer violence and injustice in every realm of society. We see the ongoing inequities experienced by other people of color. And we seek to better serve all marginalized people.
As Minnesota’s museum of natural history, the Bell Museum commits to:
- Understanding and acknowledging the history and current practices of museums, science, and education, and revealing where systemic racism and ongoing discrimination make these fields inaccessible and less safe for all people to participate in and contribute to.
- Auditing and improving our public engagement and research programs to ensure they are grounded in equity and amplify the voices of those whose contributions have not been valued or heard.
- Creating an inclusive environment for staff, student employees, volunteers, advisors, visitors, donors, collaborators, program participants, and all others who intersect with the museum.
- Continually examining and challenging our own assumptions, biases, actions, and policies that prevent our positive contributions to a more just and equitable world.
We dedicate the effort, energy, and resources to advance our work to address systemic racism in our museum and world. We will share the actions we are taking to support these commitments in this document.