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Racial Equity Progress Report (Apr – June ’24)

Cathy Cheng-Anderson, Senior Director of Business Operations and Chief Financial Officer

A regular report on our anti-racism work

photo of a seated man on a town green painting on a easel that's set up behind a table displaying his other works for sale.
Artist Mekhi Mendoza selling his art at a community event.

In 2021, Mass Cultural Council launched a three-year Racial Equity Plan outlining some of the internal and external steps we will take to support and encourage an anti-racist cultural sector in the Commonwealth. As part of the plan, the Agency has committed to sharing our progress on this work each quarter:

Continued Progress: 2 New Equity Plans to Launch in FY25

Next month, Mass Cultural Council will roll out two new equity plans: a Native American & Indigenous People’s Equity Plan and a d/Deaf & Disability Equity Plan. These plans, which were adopted by a vote of our governing Council on March 21, 2024 mark a significant milestone in our ongoing commitment to advancing equity and inclusion within the Commonwealth’s cultural and creative sector.

Expanding Our Equity Goals 

The plans represent an expansion of the Agency’s equity goals, which initially took shape with the launch of our 2021-24 Racial Equity Plan, which set the stage for a broader dialogue and actionable steps towards addressing racial disparities within our communities. Building on this foundation, the two new plans aim to address additional dimensions of identity and experience, ensuring that our equity initiatives are focused, comprehensive, and far-reaching. We believe this intersectional approach is crucial because it acknowledges that many individuals belong to multiple marginalized groups and face compounded challenges as a result.

The Native American & Indigenous People’s Equity Plan aims to address the unique experiences and systemic barriers faced by Native American and Indigenous peoples within the Massachusetts cultural and creative sector. The plan is geared towards relationship building; elevating visibility, and representation; cultural education and language review, and refining our grantmaking strategies to equitably serve Native and Indigenous communities.

The d/Deaf & Disability Equity Plan aims to address the unique experiences and systemic barriers faced by individuals with disabilities within the cultural and creative sector. The plan will outline action steps to refine our grant making strategies, and to expand our professional development offerings and outreach to equitably serve and welcome individuals who identify as being d/Deaf and/or Disabled. Additionally, it will focus on improving the Agency’s support and accommodations to ensure a more inclusive environment for all.

To ensure the successful implementation of these plans, we expect to form specialized task forces to help us complete the action items outlined and envisioned. These task forces will consist of stakeholders, including community leaders, advocates, and subject matter experts. Their role will be to help the Mass Cultural Council team to effectively carry out the initiatives outlined in the plans and to continuously refine our strategies based on feedback and evolving needs.

Both plans will go into effect on July 1, the first day of Fiscal Year 2025, and lay the foundation of our continued efforts over the next three to four years. More information on the plans will be available at that time.

Track on-going progress using our equity journey map.

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