Organizational Change Toward Cultural Competency

By Jenni Martin, Children’s Discovery Museum of San Jose

Success for museums in the 21st century depends on embracing organizational change to meaningfully connect with new and diverse audiences. But how do we do this? What strategies will be most helpful to ensure that our museums have the capacity and the know-how to effectively practice diversity, equity, access, and inclusion, both inside and out?

CCLI (Cultural Competence Learning Institute) helps museum leaders catalyze diversity and inclusion efforts in their institutions. Developed by and serving a variety of types and sizes of museums, CCLI is a yearlong professional development institute for museum teams of three or more, including the senior leadership of the organization. With coaching and focused reflection, each team makes progress on an initiative that will transform their museum’s operations and relationships with its stakeholders around cultural competence.

The process includes a 2-day in-person meeting, strategic initiative and coaching, staff survey, monthly webinars, resources and tools, peer networking, and specialized support for executive-team level participants. Applications are currently being accepted for the 2020 CCLI Cohort, with an extended application deadline of November 21, 2019.

This is what participants say about the impact of their museums’ involvement in this unique and in-depth professional development opportunity focused on organizational change:

  • “Both the CCLI staff readiness survey and the kick-off workshop with our cohort pushed the internal Exploratorium team to narrow our focus towards creating a workshop for managers on ‘Recruiting and Hiring for Diversity.’ In true Exploratorium style, the team decided to prototype, test, and iterate the workshop based on feedback from staff participants. The results are already showing promise: managers feel they have new tools and institutional support to identify and increase our hiring of diverse highly-qualified people.” — The Exploratorium, San Francisco
  • “Part of our CCLI work involved demographic research about our city, our county, and the greater metropolitan region. We also compiled demographic data about our staff, volunteers, board members, and guests. This exercise helped us identify areas of strength and opportunity within CMC. With this information, we developed a data-driven CCLI strategy that magnifies our community engagement efforts and guides our hiring and training practices.” — Cincinnati Museum Center (CMC)
  • “The skills and perspective and gained through the CCLI staff development process allowed us to see that often when museums and science centers intend to work with diverse populations, we are really asking people to assimilate and fit into our establish mold. The CCLI curriculum gave us the new perspective to begin to rethink how we do our work.” — The Wild Center, Upstate New York

Submit your application for the 2020 cohort. If you have questions about CCLI, please send an email to Ann Hernandez, ASTC, or Jenni Martin, Children’s Discovery Museum. For more tips on applying, check out our 2018 CCLI webinar.


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