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Tuesday, October 26 • 1:15pm - 2:00pm
Stronger Together: Facing Retaliatory Tactics In Cultural Institutions

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As we witnessed during the last couple of years, when staff organize seeking better practices and working conditions at institutions that have been unethical, colonial and/or toxic, we are often met with diverse patterns of control, abuse and retaliation. Boards and other decision makers can have unimaginable resources that most of us simply do not have access to: crisis management firms, expensive lawyers, PR firms, powerful friends, media influence, etc. The consequence of generations and generations of lack of accountability and transparency has left a sour taste in museum workers across the field; some leaving the field entirely, some too exhausted to even think of options, others stuck wanting to leave but unable to, others hoping that they can say the right thing for things to change for the better. 

This environment has particularly affected BIPOC and colleagues with disabilities, who are subjected to constant acts of discrimination.

Staff in many museums have lived in fear of being honest about the working conditions that we are subjected to, taking a stand can sound terrifying, even inconceivable.

This session will be an honest conversation about identifying patterns of narcissistic abuse in the museum sector, understanding how trauma makes us complicit in abusive systems and how we can protect each other from retaliatory practices. We will share examples of different types of tactics that decision makers have used to silence staff, control the narrative of the situation or even engage in union busting tactics. We will make time to build hope: this situation is not hopeless. It doesn't have to be. But that is up to us. 

This session is NOT under Chatham House Rules. I invite participants to attend as an act of courage and solidarity with those who have put themselves in danger to make the field better and more equitable for all of us.

avatar for Andrea Montiel de Shuman

Andrea Montiel de Shuman

Digital Experience Designer, Independent
Independent Digital Experience Designer & Cultural Advocate

Tuesday October 26, 2021 1:15pm - 2:00pm EDT
Channel 3
  Why Museums?