Update from the Board of Trustees and Staff
March 26, 2021
In July 2020, the Marin Art and Garden Center trustees and staff issued a statement on racial injustice and inequality. Like many other organizations and individuals around the country, we were spurred to evaluate our own actions and policies in response to nationwide protests against racial injustice. Today, we wanted to report back to you, our community, on the steps we have taken since then.
Last summer, we pledged to:
In early fall 2020, we established a Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Task Force, with representatives from the Board, staff, and community. We have since expanded its name—and mandate—to the Diversity, Equity, Inclusion and Accessibility Task Force. This group took the lead in developing a set of policies guiding Marin Art and Garden Center’s action in these areas. The Board of Trustees adopted these policies at its March meeting; you can review the policies below.
We have reached out to other local organizations to help us connect with communities that are under-represented within our current staff and Board. We appreciate the time and support from the Canal Alliance and the Marin City Community Development Corporation, and also the San Geronimo Valley Community Center for sharing their experience working to improve diversity in their organization.
Although our activities in the past year have been somewhat constrained by the pandemic, we have shared job postings more broadly, to help us recruit new staff from a more diverse pool. We are also actively seeking to work with contractors and vendors that are owned or operated by people of color.
As part of our 75th anniversary in 2020, we debuted a new logo and visual identity. As we have been gradually replacing the signs around the grounds, we are including translation into Spanish wherever possible. Our new Visitor’s Map also includes a Spanish-language insert. We have updated our vision and mission statements to reflect a commitment towards inclusion, and just this week we will install a new entry sign welcoming visitors in both English and Spanish and confirming our values.
We believe the most productive approach Marin Art and Garden Center can take to the critical issues of Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Accessibility is to do the hard work of transforming our organization so that it truly serves the entire community. We are listening and learning from experts, peer organizations and potential partners who are engaged full-time in diversity work, and educating our staff and board.
We recognize that we are at the very beginning of this process, and we invite your participation as we continue.
Adopted by the Board of Trustees, March 16, 2021
Attract, recruit, hire, develop and retain diverse, multi-culturally sensitive staff and board members who are representative of Marin County’s diversity and can work effectively in cross-cultural environments.
Apply outreach efforts and create opportunities to attract diverse employees, board members, interns, task force/committee members and community volunteers.
Develop and implement an organizational culture of equity, inclusion, respect, trust, engagement, cultural sensitivity and cultural humility.
Communicate in a way that reflects our values and commitment to diversity, equity, inclusion and accessibility. Publicly communicate developments and progress related to all goals as frequently as warranted, but at least annually. Communications include, but are not limited to on-site signage and interpretative materials; promotional and program information; development appeals; business policies and practices and online and social media content.
Build, strengthen and retain strategic partnerships with community groups, organizations, businesses, contractors and individuals that serve and represent Marin County’s diverse communities.
Identify and implement community-oriented, cross-cultural programs and projects that provide benefits for Marin County’s diverse communities and further our mission.
July 24, 2020
The racial injustice and inequality Black, Indigeneous and People of Color suffer is unacceptable. The leadership of Marin Art and Garden Center want those members of our community who have been discriminated against, to know that we see you, we hear you, and we stand with you in the effort to permanently change this system that has existed in our nation for more than 400 years.
An essential part of our Mission here is to foster learning and growth. The Core Values we uphold include Honor—capturing respect, responsibility, stewardship and remembrance—as well as Sharing, which looks to embody community, belonging and openness. In order to stay true to these values, we must act. The first step is to acknowledge how we have been complicit with systemic racism.
Beginning immediately, Marin Art and Garden Center—trustees and staff—commit to increasing access for underserved communities to the valuable resources of the center and to broaden and diversify our visitor and program audiences.
We also pledge to establish a special task force comprised of board, staff, community members—and outside experts and partner organizations where necessary—to lead Marin Art and Garden Center’s equity, diversity and inclusion work, and importantly, to hold us accountable.
In addition, we are the place within our community that should explore ways to present Black, Indigenous and People of Color experience and culture to our audiences through a celebration of the arts—including visual arts exhibitions and music performances. Experiencing one another’s worlds leads to better understanding.
We will work to increase diversity and representation of other communities on our board and among our staff and contractors and vendors.
We express this commitment publicly and hold ourselves accountable.
Please join us on this mission.
The Board of Trustees and staff of
Marin Art and Garden Center