The mission and work of the Ann Arbor Hands-On Museum and Leslie Science & Nature Center is intended to be inclusive for every member of our community, and we know that in order to be successful it is important to dismantle our own biases and to provide opportunities for learning and exploration to everyone.
We also understand that changing this reality begins with organizations like ours providing educational opportunities that invite people to explore and engage in science. If organizations like ours don't learn, grow, and change then important opportunities will continue to be out of reach to those in our community that need them most.
In 2019, members from our staff participated in a year-long cohort with the Cultural Competency Learning Institute (CCLI), where we have highlighted areas that require deep and difficult changes. Our organization is committed to evaluating, confronting, acknowledging, and challenging our own biases and issues in order to create an environment that welcomes, invites, and supports opportunities for everyone in our community - especially our marginalized community members. We know that making real and lasting change must start with educating ourselves, listening to the voices of those who are excluded from this work, and looking deeply at our own culture. As an initial step, we have created this first official statement of Inclusion, Diversity, Equity, and Accessibility.
We know we have a lot to learn, improve, change, and do. We are committed to engaging with other members of museum, camp, nature center, education, and STEM to STEAM fields to make deep and lasting transformations. To that end we are doing work to dismantle barriers that stand in the way of true equity. We will look to, and support other organizations, whose mission is to change them. As we strive to do our part in this critical work, we recognize that we will need to take time to assess, evaluate, seek input, and make further changes. We welcome everyone in our community to join us as we move forward in this difficult, but necessary, exercise.