Strawbery Banke Museum’s Commitment to Inclusion, Diversity, Equity, & Accessibility
Strawbery Banke Museum strives to create a welcoming environment for all visitors, staff, interns, volunteers, Trustees, and the community at large regardless of race, color, religion, national or ethnic origin, age, disability, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity and expression, veteran status, or other identities. The Museum uses the past to understand the present, to develop our ability to think critically, and to take an active approach to make some much-needed systemic changes.
An Active Commitment
Strawbery Banke is committed to fostering a workplace that is truly equitable, inclusive, and accessible for a diverse group of staff, volunteers, and visitors. It is an essential requirement that every Strawbery Banke staff member actively contributes to a culture of empathy, dignity, trust, and respect. Each person at Strawbery Banke Museum agrees to proactively prevent and address issues such as unconscious bias, harassment, gender disparity, racial inequity, political divisiveness, and barriers to accessibility.
Strawbery Banke invests in ongoing DEI staff training and development opportunities, which are partially underwritten by the generosity of Bangor Savings Bank.
Abenaki Heritage Initiative
Strawbery Banke’s Abenaki Heritage Initiative is an important part of the Museum’s mission to promote understanding of the lives of individuals in this historic neighborhood, as well as the Museum’s commitment to provide an inclusive environment and share diverse histories. Click here to learn more about the Abenaki Heritage Iniative.
Strawbery Banke Museum is on the homelands of the Abenaki people, who have ongoing cultural and spiritual connections to this area. We acknowledge the land and the people who have stewarded it through the generations. The history and culture of the Abenaki people are explored in the People of the Dawnland exhibit in Jones House.
Inclusion, Diversity, Equity, and Accessibility (IDEA) Task Force
In 2020, Strawbery Banke Museum formed the IDEA Task Force to take action in areas of inclusivity, diversity, equity, and accessibility for all visitors, staff, and the community at large. With staff participation and leadership, the museum is working to include a wide range of important initiatives that uphold the museum’s mission: “To promote the understanding of the lives of individuals and the value of community through encounters with the history and ongoing preservation of a New England waterfront neighborhood.” Click here to read more about the IDEA Task Force.
Strawbery Banke is committed to providing an inclusive environment for all visitors and improving accessibility to the museum grounds and its offerings for everyone. Click here for more information.
Enslaved Africans and African-Americans have played a significant role in NH history and the community of Strawbery Banke. Our museum staff is committed to telling their stories as enslaved and free people before NH’s ratification of the 13th Amendment in 1865, as well as throughout Puddle Dock’s post-13th Amendment history.
Historians have debated whether it is better to use modern phrases or historic language to describe people and their circumstances. By choosing more descriptive, thoughtful, and humanizing language to tell stories, historians can help to restore personhood and agency to those who were denied it while they lived. For example, by replacing words like “Master” with “enslaver,” “run-away” with “self-emancipated,” and “slave” with “enslaved person,” we are reminded that enslaved people had complex identities. Enslavement is a condition that was imposed on them, not the sum of who they were.
Click here to learn more about the historic households at Strawbery Banke where enslaved Africans lived and worked. The Black Heritage Trail of New Hampshire also includes sites and stories in the Puddle Dock neighborhood. Click here to learn more about Black Heritage Trail sites on the museum grounds.