Connected \\ April 13, 2018
Working toward radical inclusion
In a crowded ballroom at the Portland Art Museum during MuseumNext 2017 last November, Dr. Amber Johnson gave a talk called “Revolution Requires Forgiveness”, about using forgiveness as a tool to create dialogue between diverse audiences, specifically among museum staff. In just 35 minutes (35 minutes!) we discussed implicit and explicit bias towards social identities and how institutions’ engagement with diverse staff and audiences can overcome such bias through the work of radical inclusion and radical forgiveness.
Radical inclusion requires us to allow people to bring their whole selves to the table, our whole self at that table, and now you can start engaging in new ideas,
— Dr. Amber Johnson
We also discussed how this work is put into action with The Justice Fleet, a mobile network of experiences that foster community healing through art, play and dialogue. In keeping with PEM’s mission to create experiences that transform people's lives by broadening perspectives, attitudes and knowledge of ourselves and the wider world, my colleague Liz Gardner (Interpretation Planner at PEM) and I instantly knew we needed to bring this experience to our own museum.
In fact, we tracked Dr. Johnson down at a networking event at a nearby bar in Downtown Portland to express our awe and amazement, and then proceeded to set our plan in motion.