At the Center for Creativity, in the Columbus Museum of Art, we’re always asking ‘why?’ which leads us to big, heavy, and Interesting topics about how we as a museum affect our community. One of the great perks of working at an institution such as CMA that values critical thinking and sharing ideas, is that there’s always something to think about and someone to think with.
This quote, for example, came from a presentation at this years’ National Art Education Association conference:
“The goal of creating ‘Diversity’ should be ‘Justice.’ Otherwise, it is empty and for show.”
We posted this quote near the staff microwave and invited others to share their own thoughts and reactions:
“Diversity has no goal. People have goals.”
“The quote is accurate, but what does justice mean here? If it’s regarding fair and equal treatment, that essentially exists under law and social mores. The discrepancies we see are a response to diversity itself, as our laws and social mores favor homogeny. Lack of diversity is a symptom of that homogeny, which stems from the idea of a right/wrong answer, extending toward the respect we give one another, among other issues. The only way to get away from that is to seek out those that are othered to us, and attempt to form personal connections. Not out of the basis of a project, or includsion or further goal, but as personal experience. No one can get along with everyone, but so long as an open and honest exchange of ideas can occur, understanding, and hopefully empathy can develop. Without that, diversity can be ‘created’, but fair and equitable justice might have a hard time.”
“Is the end result of (lasting) diversity justice whether you meant to or not?”
“What is justice? Does it simply imply equal access?”
“ ‘Access is more than just being open’ …?”
“How does one create diversity? We can have diverse offerings, we can encourage a diverse attendance/audience, but we can’t force the diversity to happen”
“Creating is not the correct word here. You do not ‘create’ diversity, you ‘allow’ for it. How can we allow for diversity to exist in one place? And yes, the goal is justice.”
What are your thoughts? We invite you to share in the comments below!