News and Events

Decolonizing Collections and Prioritizing Community Partnerships

(December 7, 2020 1pm PST/4pm EST)

Calls to decolonize collections and partner with communities have gained momentum in recent years. Decolonizing would mean transforming the way we view and interact with collections and people, de-centering white colonizer perspectives, and addressing the traumatic histories that have led to our existing systems. The current racial justice movement has made the need to be inclusive and to partner with communities even more clear. What would it look like if we rejected conservation’s traditional top-down approach and instead shared authority with Black, Indigenous, and other communities of color? This session will examine the need to dismantle our problematic foundations and discuss how we can enrich our work through partnerships with others. Click here to view the recording.


Héctor J. Berdecía-Hernández, Amy Tjiong


Brandie Macdonald, Melanie Adams, Joel Garcia

Conservation is Not Neutral: Emotion and Bias in our Work

(February, 2021)

Traditional models of conservation have taught us to attempt to maintain scientific objectivity at all times. However, in reality what has historically been called “objectivity” is actually just the continuation of the majority perspective, which was enshrined as ‘objective fact’ by scientific theories that went hand in hand with colonial subjugation of non-white people. As our job is to aid in the preservation of history, perhaps we should not try to eliminate feelings from our handling of emotionally significant artifacts, even when those artifacts do not emotionally
resonate with us personally. This session will explore the principle of neutrality in conservation and discuss how bias contributes to inequity in our field. Click here to view the recording of the event.


LaStarsha McGarity, Anita Dey


La Tanya Autry, Dr. Jontyle Robinson, Jamaal Sheats

“Telling Our Own Story: The Threat of Whiteness in Conservation.”

(April 1, 2021)

The Washington Conservation Guild Presented their Eighth Meeting of the 2020/2021 Season. Presenters include Jeanelle Austin and Acoma Gaither. View the recording here.


Jeanelle Austin, George Floyd Memorial Lead Caretaker

Acoma Gaither, MACC Racial Justice and Collections Care Fellow

For a list of archived events, click this link.

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