SFMOMA has developed a strategic plan to enhance and reinforce diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) efforts across the museum. Developed with staff, trustees, and professional consultants, the DEI Strategic Plan builds on the museum’s 2018 Strategic Plan, outlining strategies and actions SFMOMA will take to achieve the following goals:
- Build awareness of DEI issues
- Enhance diversity, equity, and inclusion
- Foster community and belonging
- Improve organizational accountability and continuity in systems and structures
DEI STRATEGIC PLAN PROCESS OVERVIEW
From fall 2019 to summer 2021, over 300 staff and trustees participated in one or more of the following phases of SFMOMA’s DEI planning process:
- Training. In 2019, staff and trustees participated in racial equity training facilitated by Race Forward. In 2020, staff completed five training sessions facilitated by Dr. Darlene Hall on Power and Privilege 101; The Psychology of Privilege; Conflict and Communication; Sociocultural, Privilege Dynamics in Communication; and Unconscious Bias. These educational sessions created baseline knowledge among staff and board from which the museum started its DEI strategic planning work.
- Diversity Action Framework creation. In July 2020, staff and trustees gathered in open forums to discuss and identify key DEI priorities at the museum. In all staff meetings, department meetings, and surveys, staff provided feedback which was integrated into the Diversity Action Framework (DAF), a document outlining recommended tactics to improve DEI at SFMOMA and transform our culture from the inside out. The DAF eventually served as the foundation for SFMOMA’s DEI Strategic Plan.
- Meet and define scope of work. In fall 2020, SFMOMA established: (1) a DEI Core Team of trustees and staff to oversee museum-wide DEI planning and activities, and (2) five cross-functional Project Teams to identify priorities and activities for the DEI Strategic Plan. Each Project Team was assigned a focus area aligned to one of the museum’s five operational pillars: (1) Internal Operations, (2) Exhibitions and Art Collections, (3) Training and Professional Development, (4) Community Engagement, and (5) Organizational Accountability and Continuity.
- Collection of data. We conducted research including a review of DEI studies and examinations of peer institutions’ DEI practices. Relevant data was additionally collected during a series of facilitated discussions with staff and two staff surveys conducted by SFMOMA’s People Team. Surveys helped prioritize areas for improvement and establish baseline metrics. Each Project Team also conducted research and gathered data to inform key goals for their respective operational pillars.
- Action Plan development process. From December 2020 to June 2021, Project Teams used the DAF as a foundation to develop detailed Action Plans for each operational pillar. Goals aligned with the museum’s DEI themes (building awareness; fostering a culture of community and belonging; enhancing Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion; and organizational accountability and continuity).
- DEI Strategic Plan development. From July through October 2021, Project Teams and executive team leaders partnered to integrate, organize, and consolidate the activities of each Action Plan for SFMOMA’s comprehensive DEI Strategic Plan.
- Board Project Team. In September 2021, a team comprised of ten trustees was formed to focus on board-specific actions within the museum’s DEI Strategic Plan. From November 2021 to March 2022, this workgroup conducted an initial review of committee charters, policies, and practices. The group partnered with board leadership and committee chairs to identify recommended changes to ensure prioritization of diversity, equity, inclusion, and access in board and committee practices.
DEI THEMES OVERVIEW
SFMOMA’s diversity, equity, and inclusion work is grounded in the following themes. Action Plans were generated with specific activities and goals related to these critical themes.
- Develop a clear path to build trust, accountability, and cultural competency to support equity and belonging at SFMOMA.
- Cultivate a community of employees, trustees, and external partners who exemplify values of diversity, equity, and inclusion within SFMOMA and beyond.
- Increase exposure to other cultures and ways of thinking and learning.
ENHANCE DIVERSITY, EQUITY, AND INCLUSION
- Understand barriers to DEI generally, as well as to museums and cultural art institutions specifically. Use research, facts, and data to guide plans for improving DEI.
- Improve the representation and inclusion of diverse and underrepresented groups at SFMOMA by recruiting and retaining diverse employees and creative thinkers.
- Nurture SFMOMA’s local, national, and international reputation as a welcoming, community-centered, and inclusive cultural institution.
FOSTER COMMUNITY & BELONGING
- Genuinely welcome, include, and respect diversity of values and perspectives among staff.
- Develop a stable working environment where every individual feels ownership and is accountable for cultivating a culturally competent workplace and continues to develop professionally.
- Provide every employee and visitor equal access to the museum’s physical space and community.
IMPROVE ORGANIZATIONAL ACCOUNTABILITY & CONTINUITY
- Develop policies and structures that foster dialogue and practices in support of DEI.
- Align people, practices, and operational structures with the museum’s DEI Statement of Intention and core values.
- Ensure that DEI issues are included in planning and decision making across all divisions and functional areas of the museum.
- Coordinate and align DEI activities and use SMART (Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, Timebound) reporting practices across all Actions Plans to ensure progress, accountability, and transparency.
OPERATIONAL PILLARS OVERVIEW
- Internal Operations focuses on the museum’s internal systems for how we interact and work together. These systems can include methods for addressing staff complaints and HR issues in all forms, improving meeting culture, boosting morale, and more.
- Community Engagement focuses on the museum’s systems for engaging with and supporting the communities we serve. These systems can include methods of providing free public access to the museum, encouraging dialogue between communities and the museum, facilitating community advisory groups, and developing new community partnerships. Many of these focus areas fall under the purview of Education and Community Engagement, Membership, and Visitor Experience, and some related initiatives are already in progress.
- Organizational Accountability and Continuity focuses on how the museum can work in alignment with our values and DEI statement long term. These systems can include creating methods for goal setting, encouraging transparency with internal and external stakeholders, and establishing metrics for success and progress.
- Training and Professional Development focuses on the museum’s systems for investing in the education and professional development of staff. These systems can include employee career path development, management skills development, and museum-wide DEI-related training.
- Art Collections and Exhibitions focuses on the museum’s systems for how we collect, curate, exhibit, and register artists and artworks. These systems can include methods for diversifying exhibitions and collections, identifying and tracking artist demographics, and increasing transparency and equity throughout the exhibition process.
IMPLEMENTATION AND EVALUATION
- Each Project Team developed detailed leadership structures to help identify Executive Sponsors, functional areas, and point people responsible for executing each Action Plan task and tracking progress.
- Project Teams will serve as thought partners and support implementation. Executive Sponsors will serve as consultants to both the Project Teams and functional areas to ensure progress and consistent alignment on all goals.
- Implementation will take place over three phases (Phase I: 1–2 years, Phase II: 2–3 years, and Phase III: 3–5 years). Each Project Team identified the status for each task (as some tasks are already underway) and the phase in which it should be accomplished.
- Progress will be tracked on a regular cadence. Each quarter, Project Teams will report progress to the DEI Core Team and solicit feedback, reflect and revise as necessary, and ensure implementation success.
- The DEI Core Team will review the full DEI Strategic plan annually to ensure that organizational prioritization and a continued focus on equity are maintained.
- For more information about each operational pillar’s Action Plan goals and progress, please email DEI@sfmoma.org.