Commitment to Diversity, Equity, Access, and Inclusion

The notion of “oppression” – and efforts to counter it – are woven throughout the history of the land now known as Concord. The first Puritans who colonized these lands did so, in part, to escape the religious persecution they faced in England. They, in turn, through the introduction of new cultural, legal, and religious norms, 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. Fought as a war for liberty, the revolution secured rights solely for white male property owners – the rights of women, non-landowners, people of color, and especially those who were enslaved during the revolution were not included in our nation’s founding documents. While slavery was abolished in this Commonwealth 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 and beyond. And woven together with that struggle was the suffragists’ effort to secure the right to vote as a first step in ensuring equal rights for women. In more contemporary times, Concord continues to confront the oppression of marginalized groups in our midst and in our world. Our exhibitions and programming endeavor to unite us in terms of our shared history that can then inform debates over how we best “build a more perfect union.”

The Concord Museum is committed to preserving the artifacts that recount all sides of this complex narrative and, in 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 full and 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 embrace of these ideals, which remain at the very 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 and updated by the Board on June 15, 2022. 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. And please note, The Museum chose the words “diversity, equity, access, and inclusion” purposely as they are in keeping with the standards and protocols established by the American Alliance of Museums, our accrediting body.