Diversity, Equity, Accessibility, & Inclusion
Our Commitment to DEAI
Ramsey County Historical Society (RCHS) is committed to preserving our past, informing our present, and inspiring our future. The “our” repeated three times in our mission is intentional—we exist to serve everyone in our community to the best of our abilities.
For most of its 72 years, RCHS has viewed itself as a neutral party, preserving and presenting community history. To be sure, we strive to preserve and present the facts of history without prejudice, but to pretend we do not have some biases would be disingenuous—we are humans—and flawed at that.
As an organization established, governed, and largely staffed by people of European descent for most of its history, the stories that were most accessible to the organization were Eurocentric. Unsurprisingly, this has resulted in some significant omissions in our work, omissions that we are now doing our best to avoid.
In 1998, RCHS started to address one such critical omission—the story of the Dakota people in the region. Building relationships with Dakota Elders led to the addition of tours and programs telling the stories of the people of Ȟeyáta Othúŋwe (Cloud Man’s Village) from the perspective of the Dakota. These programs persist today with the continued guidance of Dakota advisors. The Society has also been committed to seeking out and adding programming that would not have been on its radar a decade ago. Quite frankly, we had been missing out on some extraordinary and fascinating history, and because we missed it, so did many of our members. If you have been attending History Revealed programs or read Ramsey County History magazine, you have seen the additions that are helping tell a more complete story of Ramsey County.
We are committed to moving forward and telling our community’s stories—as many of them as we can. Thank you for joining us as we explore all parts of Ramsey County.
Ramsey County Historical Society
Ramsey County Historical Society Statement on Diversity, Equity, Accessibility, and Inclusion
The Ramsey County Historical Society acknowledges that the lives, pain, and accomplishments of many individuals and communities have been ignored, marginalized, or even erased throughout the history of Ramsey County. We recognize that institutionalized, systemic racism and discrimination persists today and traumatizes our fellow human beings, and that RCHS has been a part of these systems that continue to harm members of our community.
At the heart of history are the experiences of people — stories told, voices heard, and narratives recounted. Yet, RCHS has not done enough to identify and share stories from every community it serves, leaving many stories untold. RCHS has a responsibility to center the perspectives and lived experiences of Black, Indigenous, and people of color when their stories are shared.
The RCHS Board of Directors, Staff, and Volunteers are united in our commitment to fully integrating the principles of diversity, equity, accessibility and inclusion in all that we do as we fulfill our mission of preserving our past, informing our present and inspiring our future.
In its governance, RCHS is committed to:
- Recruiting, engaging, and retaining a Board of Directors that is reflective of the community
- Ensuring policies and procedures are inclusive
- Fostering a culture of respect both internally and in outreach
- Implementing additional transparency in communications to better encourage and support community feedback and accountability
As an employer, RCHS is committed to:
- Fostering a workplace that respects each individual, seeks and values diverse perspectives, and ensures each employee can actively contribute to fulfilling the organization’s mission
- Ensuring that recruitment and hiring practices are inclusive and effective in attracting and hiring diverse candidates
As an economic entity, RCHS is committed to:
- Establishing and maintaining a diverse and inclusive network of vendors
As a community service organization RCHS is committed to:
- Empowering community members and organizations to control culturally specific content that prioritizes their lived experience and wisdom
- Expanding collecting and preservation activities at RCHS to incorporate more culturally diverse materials and support the preservation of collections held in trust by community
- Continuing to recruit Black, Indigenous, and other authors of color, and continuing to publish more diverse content in Ramsey County History magazine and other platforms
- Ensure RCHS facilities and programs are accessible to all audiences
We recognize that the work requires constancy of effort and is ever-changing. Mistakes made along the journey are opportunities for us to humbly learn and evolve. We authentically face and undertake the work with resolve and energy knowing that equitable and inclusive opportunities for everyone contribute to a just, vibrant community where full stories are told, every voice is heard, and history resonates with us all.