NASAA Notes: December 2021

December 1, 2021

Massachusetts: Racial Equity Plan

The cover of Mass Cultural Council’s Racial Equity Plan features a still image from the film Drip Like Coffee by Anaiis Cisco, 2021 Mass Cultural Council Film & Video finalist. Photo courtesy Mass Cultural Council and Anaiis Cisco

Mass Cultural Council has just published its first-ever Racial Equity Plan, which outlines the goals and actions needed to create a more racially equitable cultural sector in Massachusetts. The plan builds on Mass Cultural Council’s previous 2017 Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion plan and aligns with the governor’s Executive Order 592, which commits state agencies to advance workforce diversity, inclusion, equal opportunity, non-discrimination and affirmative action.

The new plan was developed through a process that welcomed staff input, gathered public input through a Racial Equity Listening Series, drew from previous equity staff training, and prioritized “specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, and time-based” goals for fiscal years 2022-2024. These goals include external actions that aim to promote race equity through greater commitment to underserved Black, Indigenous and/or people of color (BIPOC) communities. Specific actions include hiring BIPOC outreach coordinators to foster new relationships, requiring applicants to provide a statement on anti-racist and racial equity actions, and significantly increasing grant making to BIPOC applicants by 2026.

Looking inward, the Racial Equity Plan also lists actions to be taken by both the agency and the governing council to promote a culture of anti-racism and equity. Steps include hiring an employee to manage and lead anti-racism, racial equity and decolonization work; starting monthly discussions; and updating the Racial Equity Plan at every spring council meeting to ensure that it is a living document that adapts to current challenges.

Mass Cultural Council sees the Racial Equity Plan as the first of many plans to ensure a more equitable allocation of resources. Future plans could include targeted strategies for equity in disability, gender and rural communities, among other historically underserved communities.

For more information on the Racial Equity Plan, contact Mass Cultural Council Executive Director Michael J. Bobbitt. Mass Cultural Council’s equity work is featured in NASAA’s recent report, In Pursuit of Equity: Four Case Studies of State Arts Agencies.

In this Issue

From the President and CEO

State to State

Legislative Update

The Research Digest

Announcements and Resources

More Notes from NASAA




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