Reaching Out, Reaching In: Museum Educators and Radical Transformation - Dec. 2020

Article By Kerry Downey


This article offers a gender/queer, first-person perspective of the necessary role educators play in the link between museums and local communities who have been historically and systemically oppressed (BIPOC, LGBTQ+, people with disabilities and intersections therein). By linking racial and labor equity, this article argues for a deeper consideration of the ways museums are activated and transformed through educators’ labor and praxes. In order to create greater equity and to achieve museums’ missions, we must look to educators as leaders in the work of transforming white supremacy culture. This article offers the “handle” as a model for political understanding of how relationships are structured through power and oppression, thereby locating ways we can radically transform our institutions by centering equity, anti-racism, and education. Critical to any social justice work, art is the active space that is essential for creative expression and our holistic well-being.