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Racial Equity Plan Launched

Michael J. Bobbitt, Executive Director

Serving a Diverse Massachusetts

Two women of color standing shoulder-to-shoulder in front of wood paneling. They face forward. Each has what might be the verge of a smile on their faces.
Cover of Mass Cultural Council’s Racial Equity Plan, featuring a still image from the film Drip Like Coffee by Anaiis Cisco, 2021 Mass Cultural Council Film & Video Finalist.

We believe in a more equitable investment in the power of culture.

As a state agency, Mass Cultural Council’s grant-making is a public investment into an important economic sector and health and human services. As stewards of public resources, we are striving to become more intentionally inclusive when we design programs and services, and make policy and funding decisions, to ensure we are reaching all residents of the Commonwealth.

As Executive Director, it has been a priority in my first year to focus on racial equity. Anywhere I work I try to use my privilege to change systems and perpetuate a culture of racial equity – and here’s why.

With the release of our first-ever Racial Equity Plan, Mass Cultural Council commits to doing the ongoing and long-term work of being a racially-equitable and anti-racist organization.

We are dedi­cated to making racially equitable investments in historically-underinvested communities, and will focus on two main areas:

  • External: Support and encourage an equitable and anti-racist cultural sector in the Commonwealth by increasing the financial investments and support services for under-resourced organizations and individuals.
  • Internal: Strengthen Mass Cultural Council’s operational and governance practices, policies, and procedures by evaluating them through a racial equity/anti-racism lens.

Our Racial Equity Plan sets a course for the next three years (FY22-24) for how we will better support those in, and served by, the cultural sector who have been systemically excluded.

It proposes to strengthen and extend the work of the Agency’s 2017 Strategic Plan goal of Advancing Inclusion and Equity to align with the Governor’s Executive Order No. 592 and to provide racially equitable investments in the cultural sector.

It marks a culmination of Agency staff and governing Council training and cultural competency education over the last few years so that we are better prepared to embark on the reworking of our systems and processes.

This plan is a living document, and we will be providing quarterly updates on our progress towards racial equity to our governing Council and sector stakeholders. We know as an Agency, as a team, and as public servants it is our responsibility to learn more and do better, and to take steps to make our programs and services as inclusive, accessible, and equitable as possible.

Mass Cultural Council stands in solidarity with movements that are working to improve the lives of those oppressed, marginalized, and targeted by the breadth of White Supremacy in the United States.

We invite you to download the Racial Equity Plan, review some frequently asked questions about this work, and monitor the progress of our journey.

signature of Michael J. Bobbitt

Michael J. Bobbitt
Executive Director, Mass Cultural Council

Racial Equity Statement

Mass Cultural Council works to invest financial, programmatic, and informational resources equitably. It also provides leadership to repair, heal, and build toward a cultural sector where racial diversity flourishes, decolonization of art and the cultural sector is achieved, and inclusion and belonging is the norm. Massachusetts’ communities, residents, and visitors benefit from robust diversity in the cultural sector, without which the Commonwealth cannot continue to thrive.

A vision of the world that honors a breadth/variety of perspectives makes for a richer and more productive cultural sector. Seeing the world through different perspectives and bringing those ideas to life is the charge of the cultural sector and its leaders. Mass Cultural Council supports these creative visions and visionaries with co-creative, inno­vative, equitable, inclusive, and decolonized programming and grant making.

Download the Racial Equity Plan

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