I want to state loudly and emphatically, we have zero tolerance for any form of discrimination or harassment at 21c Museum Hotel.
21c was founded on the belief that contemporary art can be an agent for positive change and diversity, equality, and inclusion have always been at the heart of our brand and mission. Contemporary art surrounds our team and our guests, creating a haven for artistic expression and a forum for conversations around today’s most pressing and troubling issues.
Though privacy issues limit our ability to discuss the details, we can share that we received reports of experiences at 21c Durham which are not in keeping with our culture, and which frankly, were and still are difficult to hear. We immediately conducted an inquiry into the issues raised and implemented corrective actions.
We did not stop there. We made a concerted effort to understand what internal factors led to these incidents and how they can be prevented by our team in the future. We have spent time and resources reviewing processes and culture across 21c. We have worked to identify the gaps in our own Diversity & Inclusion efforts, and to determine the ways in which to address them. Going forward, we must ensure that the experience of our team is as inclusive and equitable as the art on our walls and the programming in our museum. That everyone on our team has the same opportunities and access to resources that will help them grow their career.
There is still a lot of work to be done. Here are some initiatives we have undertaken so far:
– Reporting: Each and every 21c teammate needs to feel safe at work. Safety includes physical wellbeing, psychological safety, acceptance, and inclusivity. While our Teammate Policy Guide clearly lays out the company’s position against discrimination, harassment, and retaliation, as well as numerous avenues of reporting incidents outside of a direct manager, we realized that we could do more to ensure our workplaces are able to facilitate complex and sometimes difficult conversations. We have connected teammates with a variety of tools through which they can share feedback on their experiences at 21c and report behavior not in keeping with 21c’s culture including:
o A direct line to the corporate leadership team to report concerns or ask questions
o A toll-free number that allows teammates to report concerns anonymously
– Additional Training and Educational Resources: We have introduced supplemental training and discussion tools to complement our current anti-discrimination and harassment training that focus on leadership responsibility, bystander responsibility, unconscious bias, addressing bias in recruitment and workplace decisions, anti-racism and your role as an ally.
– Listening & Engaging Unbiased Perspectives: One of the strongest things we can do as leaders is to ask for help. In addition to conducting our own teammate survey this month, expert partners are helping to inform and advise our efforts, providing an honest, unbiased view on how we are doing, where we are making progress, and where improvement is still needed.
During this time, we also confronted the fact that 21c needs more diverse leadership across the company. By 2023, we have established the goal of having 30% BIPOC leadership across the company. We are currently in the process of forming the 21c Racial Equity Task Force,
which is open to ALL teammates, across all properties, representing diverse voices with the goal of increasing Black leadership at the company and setting goals around Diversity and Inclusion at 21c. The vision for this group is that it will focus on areas such as recruitment and hiring; programming and education; and goal setting, implementation, and reporting.
We are grateful to everyone on our team who has shared their experiences or asked questions that challenged us to listen, learn, and get better every day. We look forward to the work ahead and are dedicated to ensuring that 21c Museum Hotels is a safe, welcoming, and inclusive place to work and visit.
Chief Operating Officer
21c Museum Hotels