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The birth of Empowered Collaboration!

Over the last year I have been conducting research into the ways to combat the lack of diversity in heritage institutions. In a series of blog posts I explored practical ways to challenge problematic labellinghighlight erased groups, and improve overall representation in exhibitions.

I found, in all these instances, collaboration with under-represented groups is imperative. Collaboration resulted in fair representation in exhibitions, increased visitor numbers and increased diversity in visitors.(1) When collaborating with under-served groups, heritage spaces must ensure they do this ethically by fully understanding privilege, lived experience and emotional labour.

I call this empowered collaboration.

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GLAM and Diversity are Cancelled. We Need GLAMorous Intersectionality

This post was first posted on the ARA New professionals website.

Words are a powerful force, used correctly they can galvanise people to take down oppressive regimes, change hearts and minds, and tell stories of the universal human condition. The impact of language changes over time depending on the context in which it is used.

And this is why I can no longer abide the words ‘diversity’ and ‘inclusion’, used in the context on of the GLAM (Galleries, Libraries, Archives and Museums) sector.

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5 stages of accepting your privilege

In this post I will break down the 5-6 stages of accepting your privilege, how it affects those surrounding you, what you can do about it, and how to stop making it a problem/issue for people like me to solve.

When I conduct workshops outlining practical steps to increase intersectionality and representation within the Galleries, Libraries, Archives and Museums (GLAM) I begin with what I believe to be a foundational element: understanding privilege.

Once an individual understands their privilege they then have the ability, if they so choose, to use their new found understanding of their world to lift up the voices of the marginalised and overlooked.

In short – using your superpower for good.

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ARA 2019 Handouts

This page post is dedicated to the 2019 Archives and Records Association, taking place in august 2019. On this page you can find the handouts and presentation for the day.

Please remember to credit Jass Thethi, Managing Director of International GLAM, and link to the website if you use the material for any reason.

Empowered collaboration Presentation: https://docs.google.com/presentation/d/e/2PACX-1vTVsVK_eUCIc9iALJdIodqQeDcquJKRXAqChWfo651B6DnzdTrVOffhBwzZKt0RfQ/pub?start=false&loop=false&delayms=3000

Privilege Quiz (Rapid Fire Race Edition): https://docs.google.com/document/d/e/2PACX-1vQVJ8UyROkbIM4ZFbIf4rES6JYo2ggYGD5O_ceH8gtNh9K6qQQqG85dOVa-ZgE9cg/pub

Survey: https://docs.google.com/document/d/e/2PACX-1vSzDLK_DarbvMxmi9Pvsy6Rd08tYCosRp_PA_zHwcWpSUwzEVV9vfSiUeXnIPUKsA/pub

Glossary: https://docs.google.com/document/d/e/2PACX-1vSYMg1tzwjwpcjUDn8pT-iZj_LIeQLqvvQjcYnRHUS49d7TiRVo581GycY7aMU18w/pub

Wilful and Wondrous Women

First published on The John Rylands Special Collections Blog in March 2019.

To celebrate International Women’s Day (although I like to think of it as the whole month) I would like to discuss some exceptional women from history that changed the world in their own way. This blog will explore the lives of Caroline Hershel, the first female astronomer; Mary Prince, an anti-slavery activist, who was also the first woman to write autobiography and petition the courts. We will explore the ideas of problematic icons by discussing the pioneering author, Colette.  Last but not least, The Ananna, Manchester – an organisation founded in education, health-care and friendship.

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Creating spaces for people like me in Special Collections.

First published in CILIP Rare Books and Special Collections Newsletter Issue 111 April 2019.

This article will attempt to solve the lack of inclusivity and diversity in the cultural sector in 1000 words. Just kidding! This article will outline some of the issues surrounding inclusion and diversity in libraries. I will offer some ways to start to create an environment in which underserved groups; BAME, LGBTQIA, Working class, and differently abled, can thrive as staff.  I will include a quick break down of current statistics, discuss my experiences and promote Empowered Collaboration, a toolkit that includes sensitivity and privilege training, which in turn can apply to recruitment and retention methods.

Cultural institutions are homogenous…

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The fallacy of diversity presentations.

This blog post examines my personal experiences of when non-marginalised groups discuss diversity in the GLAM sector. It will cover, why I feel these presentations are not for me, the emotional labour involved in conferences and ways to tackle these problems. 

My careers getting off to a good start, so I’ve been going to a lot of conferences. These conferences and workshops ask the hot topic question; how do we get diverse audiences into museums, galleries and archives? 

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