October 2020 Update: Institutional Commitments

Earlier this year, SFMOMA committed to several actions as part of our DEI journey, and to sharing our progress regularly. Here is the first of what will be many updates as we move forward to address longstanding inequities, examine our biases, and challenge how we’ve been operating. We welcome your thoughts and helpful feedback at news@sfmoma.org.

The following action items were proposed by SFMOMA leadership in July 2020.

Action Item


Progress and Notes

Begin hiring for the Director of Employee Experience and Internal Communication, and Director of Diversity, Inclusion, and Belonging

Kenyatta Parker, director of Diversity, Inclusion, and Belonging started Sept 9, 2020.

Annie Jizmagian, director of Employee Experience and Internal Communication started Sept 14, 2020.

Manage and investigate employee complaints of discrimination and harassment, and conduct a review of past employee complaints, investigatory practices, and case trends.
Complete, with ongoing implementation of new protocols

Over the summer we worked with an external employee relations legal team to review past employee complaints. We are pleased to report that we have closed all pending matters and are implementing several corrective measures to help prevent and promptly resolve staff concerns.

These measures include a workplace conduct investigations policy and resolution process, as well as expanded confidential reporting options, and in-depth training for supervisors and staff. We will continue to take all steps necessary to ensure a safe, compliant, and inclusive workplace for our staff.

SFMOMA will provide tools and training to prevent and resolve issues, while providing safe avenues for employees to report concerns. Rodimiro Coronado, recently hired as director of HR and People Operations, brings 12 years of labor and employee relations expertise to lead these efforts.

Begin implicit bias training for all staff, with refresher training every year.
In Progress

All staff completed five sessions facilitated by Dr. Darlene Hall:

  • Power and Privilege 101
  • The Psychology of Privilege
  • Conflict and Communication
  • Sociocultural and Privilege Dynamics in Communication
  • Closing out the Diversity Action Framework

Unconscious Bias Training launched for all staff on September 25, 2020 and will be completed by November 20, 2020.
Additional training is likely to be developed with SFMOMA’s internal DEI Project Team.

Task leadership and supervisors with creating employee workplans that allow staff to dedicate paid time each month toward DEI work and community volunteering.
In Progress
We are in the process of allocating up to 10 hours a month for SFMOMA employees to participate in DEI efforts and programs at the museum.
Revise our exhibition review process through a DEI lens to make this process more transparent and inclusive throughout the museum.
In Progress

A revised Exhibition Development Process was first proposed in May 2019. After incorporating feedback and improvements, the new Exhibition Development Process was rolled out October 5, 2020, with the goal of increasing collaboration, transparency, and staff input, and reducing embedded biases.

Continue to participate in a collaboration/paid intern partnership with the Art History and Curatorial Studies Collective, a consortium of three historically Black colleges and universities: Spelman College, Morehouse College, and Clark Atlanta University.
In Progress

Our two summer interns in the Department of Painting and Sculpture concluded their remote internships August 27, 2020.

The team hopes to continue this partnership in Summer 2021.

Pilot gender-neutral restrooms in our staff spaces, to be extended throughout the entire museum when funding allows.
In Progress

All staff restrooms (multi and single occupancy) on levels LL, 8, 9, and 10 are now all-gender restrooms and have new signage.
In the public spaces in the museum, the single and family restrooms on the main floor and Floors 2, 3, and 4 are now all-gender, and have new signage.
Additional restrooms modifications are being scoped for a possible phase three.


The following items, also proposed in July 2020, require more discussion and staff conversation before effective measurable strategies can be created.


Action Item


Progress and Notes

Museums and cultural organizations are not (and should not be) neutral; we need to address what this means for our work at SFMOMA
In Progress
Our DEI Core Team is currently working with Leverage to Lead to create SFMOMA’s DEI Statement of Intention.
Develop a long-term programming partnership with one or more Black arts organizations in the Bay Area.
In Progress
We have had several conversations with a potential partner with whom we hope to work.
Provide a professional development program for prospective staff in all areas of museum operations.
Not Started
While this remains a goal, formal efforts have not yet kicked off. We recently hired Sabrina Poblete Silva as director of Talent Lifecycle. She has more than 10 years of full-cycle talent acquisition and development experience to help lead this initiative.
Begin plans to publicly share a breakdown of the racial and gender diversity of our staff, trustees, and collection, as we strive to diversify the museum. Our Collections team estimates that it will take two full-time staff members six months to obtain this information as it pertains to all the artists in our collection. This information was not gathered in the past, and its compiling is complex, as best practices move toward self-identifying and self-reporting for living artists. We are currently determining how best to proceed with that research.
In Progress

Data for the FY20 dashboard which includes staff, trustee, and artist racial and gender breakdown is being collected, with a goal of sharing the dashboard with staff by year-end. We are exploring how this information will be shown on SFMOMA.org, and how frequently it can be updated.

Continue to expand and diversify collections and works on view, with an increased focus on the sustained presence and prominence of works by underrepresented artists in the galleries and hire curatorial staff who can support these efforts.
In Progress

The Curatorial staff is continuing the work of expanding narratives within our collection displays, with a particular emphasis on amplifying Black voices. Newly installed works include historic examples by Black American artists from the Joyner/Giuffrida gift to SFMOMA, as well as other recent acquisitions.

The museum will launch a search for new curatorial staff this fall.