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June 3, 2021
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Our Commitment to Re-Opening Through the Lens of Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Access

As OMCA prepares for re-opening, we're sharing our commitments to equity and safety.

by OMCA staff

After these many months of sheltering-in-place, we are finally at a time when we will gradually bring staff back on campus, followed by you, our visitors. We know this moment brings anticipation and excitement, but also perhaps anxiety and concern. For these reasons, our extraordinary OMCA Safety Team has been hard at work putting in place the greatest possible safety precautions to ensure your safety and the safety of all those around us.

Not only has our Safety Team considered all of the aspects of what it means to be safe as we return; they have also grounded safety precautions in a commitment to equity, recognizing the disproportionate impacts of COVID-19 on communities of color.

As part of this work, the team has developed the following DEIA commitments to navigate the reopening planning process:

  • Acknowledge the disproportionate impact of the COVID-19 crisis on differing groups within our public and workforce. Center the voices/perspectives of those most exposed through their work on campus and those most impacted by the pandemic in the decisions we make for a safe reopening. 
  • Seek ways to uplift and support those who have been most impacted by the pandemic within our communities. 
  • Mitigate bias and stigma in the ways we communicate about the COVID-19 virus externally and internally. 
  • Post and communicate OMCA's safe reopen policies as collective safe community agreements, promoting buy-in and dialogue rather than restriction and imposition. 
  • Keep OMCA's mission, values, and goals at the center of all decision making and act with a mentality of abundance in order to find innovative solutions to ensure the physical safety and mental well being of all staff, partners, and visitors.
  • Stay conscious of socially constructed dynamics of diversity through active self-reflection and compassionate growth-focused listening. 

“On the Visitor Experience team, it is our job to make sure that the decisions we make for welcoming and engaging visitors are inclusive, and that means ensuring that they do not have a disparate negative impact on people and groups within our community,” said Associate Director of Visitor Experience, Christina Young. “Early on in the pandemic as the Safety Team gathered and began defining our work, we knew that we could not allow for our COVID-19 safety decisions to mirror the disproportionate negative impact that the pandemic has had on our community and globally. We saw this as an opportunity to uplift those most affected.” 

The frontline staff team, including Visitor Experience Associates and Gallery Guides, expanded its safety risks analysis phase to include a pandemic social impact analysis, including research projects which brought to light a variety of disparate impacts, from negative bias towards Asian American communities to inequitable access to health care, to the digital divide. This research then fed into our DEIA Commitments which have been at the root of our policy decisions. 

As we prepare to welcome our Members back June 11–13 followed by our free re-opening weekend on June 18, we look forward to seeing you back on campus and hope you’ll join us in uplifting these commitments in our community!     

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