Equity and Inclusion

The Equity and Inclusion Working Group was formed in December of 2016 to formalize AIC's commitment to the issues of equity and inclusion within the organization and the field of conservation at large.

Equity and Inclusion Working Group Report

On May 8th, 2018, the AIC Board of Directors released and endorsed the report of the Equity and Inclusion Working Group. As a reflection of its endorsement of this report, the Board has formally approved the appointment of an Equity and Inclusion Committee and will be posting a call for members soon. 

  • You can read the full text of the report, "Recommendations for Advancing Equity and Inclusion in the American Institute for Conservation of Historic and Artistic Works," and share and download it as a PDF.

  • AIC Statement on Equity and Inclusion

    The American Institute for Conservation of Historic and Artistic Works (AIC), is committed to the premise that the preservation of cultural heritage is inseparable from our belief that the creative achievements and histories of all peoples must be acknowledged and honored. Through our support of conservation and heritage professionals, we actively strive to create an inclusive and equitable environment in which all members of our community are valued and respected. The AIC supports efforts to increase diversity at all stages of education and professional development so that we are able to attain the highest levels of professional integrity. We believe that a diverse workforce provides the multi-faceted perspectives, skills, and knowledge necessary to achieve excellence in the conservation of our shared heritage. In our promotion of the preservation of cultural heritage, we commit to valuing diversity and promoting equity.

    Equity and Inclusion Working Group Charge

    The charge for the Equity and Inclusion Working Group is:

    Survey and Discovery
    • Foster electronic and in-person member forums to engage in active conversation and constructive dialogue in order to gather ideas and perspectives from respective constituents on the state of social,cultural, and racial literacy as it relates to the preservation of cultural heritage.
    Compose a report to be submitted to the Board of Directors containing the following elements:
    • A review of similar initiatives in other professional organizations, institutions, and disciplines with the goal of compiling at a minimum three, but ideally more, mechanisms to assess issues of race and diversity whose implementation will result in a more inclusive organization. These models should integrate these findings with feedback received during the members forums described above, and specify concrete steps for confronting current issues of equity, inclusivity, and diversity within the field of cultural heritage conservation. The findings should also provide for the establishment of realistic goals and benchmarks for gauging success in future efforts.
    • A draft “Statement on Equity and Inclusion” that expresses the broader understanding of equity, inclusivity, and diversity issues as they impact membership, outreach, education and preservation/conservation initiatives and programs. It should emphasize AIC’s commitment to promoting social and racial literacy within our organization and underscore our commitment to embracing cultural diversity as an inherent aspect of cultural heritage. Selected issues might include the lack of race and gender diversity in our profession, socioeconomic barriers to entering the field, and challenges impeding effective communication around these topics, due to the sensitive nature of these concerns.
    • Ideas about how equity, inclusivity, and diversity efforts can be articulated in future iterations of the AIC strategic plan.
    Strategies and Programs
    • Suggest potential workshops and/or presentations topics for AIC members, possible programming opportunities for the annual meeting, and/or articles for AIC News, the FAIC Newsletter, and the AIC blog to increase the awareness of our membership about current issues of equity and inclusion and to provide members with the vocabulary with which to thoughtfully address and constructively confront them.
    The Equity and Inclusion Working Group is to fulfill this charge over a one-year period from the date of
    its formation. The Working Group will not exceed six members and will be composed of at least one
    member each from the Education and Training Committee and the Emerging Conservation Professionals

    The Chair of the Task Force will communicate with the AIC Board Liaison.

    Working Group Members

    • Jennifer Hain Teper, Chair
    • Heather Galloway, ETC Liaison
    • Kimi Taira, ECPN Liaison
    • Anisha Gupta
    • Beatriz Haspo
    • Thomas McClintock

    Board Liaison: Sarah Barack


    Equity and Inclusion in the News

    What Should You Say About a Sensitive Issue? Learn from the Confederate Statue Debate (Article on the AIC's statement on the Confederate Statue debate) http://associationsnow.com/2017/09/say-sensitive-issue-learn-confederate-statue-debate/

    Glossary of Terms

    Through our research, we have found many definitions of these terms, but perhaps the best appear in the American Library Association’s Final Report of the ALA Task Force on Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion (http://connect.ala.org/files/TFEDIFinalReport%202016-06-06_3.pdf), and are as follows:

    Equity is not the same as formal equality. Formal equality implies sameness. Equity, on the other hand, assumes difference and takes difference into account to ensure a fair process and, ultimately, a fair (or equitable) outcome. Equity recognizes that some groups were (and are) disadvantaged in accessing educational and employment opportunities and are, therefore, underrepresented or marginalized in many organizations and institutions. The effects of that exclusion often linger systemically within organizational policies, practices and procedures. Equity, therefore, means increasing diversity by ameliorating conditions of disadvantaged groups.

    Diversity can be defined as the sum of the ways that people are both alike and different. Visible diversity is generally those attributes or characteristics that are external. However, diversity goes beyond the external to internal characteristics that we choose to define as ‘invisible’ diversity. Invisible diversity includes those characteristics and attributes that are not readily seen. When we recognize, value, and embrace diversity, we are recognizing, valuing, and embracing the uniqueness of each individual. The [ALA] Task Force has chosen to define “diversity” in all its complexity in order to recognize and honor the uniqueness of each ALA member, all members of our profession, and our very diverse communities.

    Inclusion means an environment in which all individuals are treated fairly and respectfully; are valued for their distinctive skills, experiences, and perspectives; have equal access to resources and opportunities; and can contribute fully to the organization’s success.