Museums: Race, Diversity and Institutional Change

Museums: Race, Diversity and Institutional Change

What is structural racism? How does it prevent us from achieving true diversity among our staff, boards, and audiences, and in our programs?


This panel discussion is inspired by programs at previous museum conferences. At the American Alliance of Museums (AAM) annual meeting in 2015, the response was overwhelming to a session about the killing of Michael Brown in Ferguson, MO. It eventually led to a regional discussion about related topics at the Western Museum Association (WMA) conference last month.


To continue the national momentum, please join us on November 4, 2016, at 5:30 p.m., to hear perspectives on structural racism and diversity from three museum professionals. Noelle M.K.Y. Kahanu will report on her participation on the WMA panel, Museums & Race 2016, and share her observations from working in the local museum community; Kathy Suter will draw on her experiences at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of the American Indian, and ideas about how the Hawai‘i Museums Association and its members may facilitate the dialogue on change; and Kippen de Alba Chu will describe efforts by AAM to provide guidance to museums for implementing structural changes.


This event will be the first of a series of three discussions over the next six months. The co-sponsors are aware that the topic of structural racism cannot be adequately addressed by any one event. The intention is to start a conversation. Please join us in initiating this potentially difficult dialogue as we reflect on the national and regional dialogues and their relevance for local museums and related institutions. Be prepared to share your experiences and concerns!


[no_team team_type=”below_image” team_image=”2040″ team_name=”Noelle M. K. Y. Kahanu” team_description=”A Native Hawaiian writer/poet/artist/scholar with 15 years of program and exhibition experience at the Bernice Pauahi Bishop Museum, Noelle remains active in the Native Hawaiian visual arts community as an artist, curator, and arts organizer. She is deeply interested in how issues of privilege and racism persist, even when diversity is seemingly achieved. (Photo credit: Kapulani Landgraf)” team_position=”Assistant Specialist, Public Humanities/Native Hawaiian programs, Department of American Studies, University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa”]
[no_team team_type=”below_image” team_image=”2041″ team_name=”Kathy Suter” team_description=”Kathy Suter retired from the Smithsonianʻs National Museum of the American Indian in 2012 after 12 years of designing and producing exhibit media. She is now the President of the Hawaiʻi Museums Association and lives on the Big Island.” team_position=”President, Hawaiʻi Museums Association”]
[no_team team_type=”below_image” team_image=”2042″ team_name=”Kippen de Alba Chu” team_position=”Executive Director, ʻIolani Palace” team_description=”Kippen has been with ʻIolani Palace for 10 years. He currently serves on the board of directors for the American Alliance of Museums, Friends of Hawaii Robotics, Hawaiʻi Alliance of Nonprofit Organizations, and is the immediate past president of the Western Museums Association.”]


[no_team team_type=”below_image” team_name=”Karen Kosasa” team_position=”Director, Museum Studies Graduate Certificate Program, Department of American Studies, University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa”]


WMA 2016

Museums and Race 2016: Transformation and Justice

September 26, 2016

Selected Resources (There are many more — these are just a few)






Current and Recent Commentary

Session Presenters


Karen Kosasa or Kristin Remington,
or Stacy Hoshino (808-469-4551),


[no_team team_type=”below_image” team_image=”2055″ team_position=”Museum Studies Graduate Certificate Program, University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa”]
[no_team team_type=”below_image” team_image=”2056″ team_position=”Hawaiʻi Museums Association”]
[no_team team_type=”below_image” team_image=”2057″ team_position=”Friends of ʻIolani Palace”]
[no_team team_type=”below_image” team_image=”2058″ team_position=”Hawaiʻi Council for the Humanities”]


ʻIolani Palace
Kanaina Building

364 South King Street
Honolulu, HI 96813

Free parking is available on ʻIolani Palace grounds after 6:00pm.
Additional parking is available in the surrounding downtown Honolulu area (parking rates may apply).Please read posted signs carefully and take note of TOW AWAY information.

[no_google_map google_maps_scroll_wheel=”true” address1=”364 S King St, Honolulu, HI 96813″ zoom=”17″]