Diversity Initiatives: A Welcome, an Invitation, and a Voice
At the entryway to Chicago Children’s Museum (CCM), a vibrant collection of nearly 400 self-portraits greets visitors, proclaiming, “We are Chicago Children’s Museum.” The faces of children, teachers, community leaders, parents, and caregivers from a variety of backgrounds are intermingled with mirrors so that all visitors are reflected in the museum’s community.
This collection is much more than a “monument” to diversity and inclusion. Each portrait was created by an individual as an expression of his or her personal story. The collection reflects CCM’s approach to community engagement, which focuses not only on representation but on inclusion, participation, and first-person voice. Diversity is not simply about the statistics of audience makeup; it is about ensuring that communities and individuals leave their mark on the museum and have a hand in shaping the experiences they encounter here.
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