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"Must-reads" from 2020!

2020 is nearly over! As you look back and reflect on the year, check out some of the GEMM Steering Committee’s “must-reads” and "must-listens" from the past few months.


Insightful data and international perspectives, gathered by Pew Research Center, surveying 34 countries on components of gender equity. Great visuals and reader friendly charts/graphics.

--Andrea Crivello


The myth of “having it all” for working moms has certainly been exposed this year. There’s plenty to be pessimistic about, but let’s keep our eyes on the prize, friends: the revolution will have childcare!

--Marieke Van Damme


Robin DiAngelo, White Fragility: Why It's So Hard for White People to Talk About Racism - DiAngelo's book has been dissed of late, but I think it's a good starting point for some white people to begin their journey of understanding race relations in the US.

Ibram S. Kendi, Stamped from the Beginning: The Definitive History of Racist Ideas in America - This is a must read if you want to wrap your head around the full course of racist history; there's a lot to absorb, but important to do so.

--Anne Ackerson


The year 2020 has surely tested our collective resilience in the face of a global pandemic and compassion toward one another. Here is a selection of articles that explore where we are at this extraordinary moment in time:

For much-needed lighter news:

--Diana Murphy


If you don’t already follow Not Your Momma's History on social media, it’s well worth adding to your feed. Cheyney McKnight, the founder and owner, is an amazing museum educator and historical interpreter. Follow the Facebook page, visit her website, and support her work on Patreon. Learn more online here:

A data trove I have revisited throughout this past year is The Gender Action Portal from the Women and Public Policy Program at the Harvard Kennedy School. It provides a great list of gender focused data resources and summaries of research about Leadership, Decision-Making, and COVID-19 and Parents, Motherhood, and COVID-19. The website can be explored online here:

Zoom fatigue is real, but many places have pivoted very well virtually with online exhibitions and events. I have enjoyed watching Artemisia: Curator-led exhibition at the National Gallery London, viewing the virtual events for the Know My Name: Australian Women Artists 1900 to Now at the The National Gallery of Australia, and virtually wandering the exhibit Becoming Vanderbilt: An Exhibition at Rosecliff (Newport Mansions).

--Scarlett Hoey


This list has examples of how white supremacy culture shows up in our organizations. Okun says "Culture is powerful precisely because it is so present and at the same time so very difficult to name or identify. The characteristics listed below are damaging because they are used as norms and standards without being pro- actively named or chosen by the group." I'm dedicating time to sitting with this and getting real with myself about which of these I perpetuate, and what work I'm going to do to dismantle them.

--Natasha Ransom (she / her)


When I read these posts, I feel like Joan is my personal leadership coach. She has a magic touch when it comes to talking about timely issues and sharing essential resources. I can't count how many times I have read the blog on a Monday only to have it answer questions that have been rolling around in my head or present just the exact resource I need for working with my board. Sometimes, her words are a kind kick in the ass reminding me I have work to do and sometimes they are a gentle hug reminding me these are difficult times. I couldn't lead without it!


Since I spend most of my time preparing future museum professionals, I often feel anxious when students ask me about finding jobs during the pandemic. They may not want to hear it, but deep down I know I am not just preparing them for museum jobs. In fact, they are building skills that are highly transferable to many fields. This series reminds me of the value of museum work. We can apply our skills and talents to a wide range of creative and meaningful careers- beyond museums!

--Heidi Lung


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