Commitment to Diversity, Equity, Access, and Inclusion

Oppression is woven throughout the history of the land now known as Concord. The colonists who lived here did so, in part, to escape the religious persecution they faced in England. They, in turn, oppressed the Indigenous communities who had lived in this area once called Musketaquid. A century and a half after colonization, the “shot heard round the world” was fired to oppose the oppression the heirs to Concord’s first colonial settlers experienced at the hands of King George and his Parliament. Yet while fighting a war for their own liberty, many revolutionary households were, incongruously, enslaving Africans. Although slavery was abolished in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts in 1783, the debate concerning the abolition of slavery throughout the rest of the country would become one of the dominant issues that defined life in Concord in the 19th century. In more contemporary times, Concord continues to confront the mistreatment of marginalized groups in our midst and in our world. Our exhibitions and programming endeavor to unite us in terms of our shared history and inform debates over how, in the future, we can “build a more perfect union.”

The Concord Museum is committed to preserving the artifacts that recount all sides of this complex narrative and, through our exhibitions and programming, to sharing an inclusive story about our past and ongoing efforts to counter oppression. Those values are reflected in our commitment to building and sustaining a diverse and welcoming community, including addressing barriers to full inclusion of historically underrepresented groups. In that spirit, we are committed to recruiting and hiring a more diverse staff and diversifying the membership of our board and volunteer leadership. Recognizing that multiple voices and perspectives enrich our work, we embrace a broad definition of diversity and are dedicated to ensuring an environment where differences are valued and respected and where all members of our community are fully engaged participants in our mission. We commit to offering educational programs that shine a light on once-hidden histories and that serve a wide range of students, adults, and families, including those from ethnically and socioeconomically diverse communities. Our nation’s founding ideals of “liberty and justice for all” are represented eloquently by chapters in Concord’s history, but that history also includes moments when these ideals went unachieved. As a community, we remain steadfast in our embraces of these ideals, which remain at the core of the Museum’s mission.

This statement (and accompanying history and action plan) was adopted by the Concord Museum Board of Governors on December 8, 2021. The Board recognizes that this is just a first step but one that formally underscores our commitment to diversity, equity, access, and inclusion as a central part of our mission into the future.

To learn more about the history and action plan click here.