CLHO Priorities for 2021
Adopted by the Board of Directors, November 17, 2020
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To strengthen the work of those who preserve and share the stories and objects of Connecticut’s past.
CLHO is the support network and advocate for history in Connecticut. We are a hub for learning, a source for ideas and assistance, and a catalyst for the history community.
- Best Practices: Promoting and demonstrating excellence in the history field
- Community Impact: Making history meaningful for everyone in Connecticut
- Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion: Encouraging a wider range of stories about Connecticut’s past and welcoming a broader group of people into that work
- Knowledge: Providing opportunities to learn and exchange ideas
- Responsiveness: Listening to and meeting the needs of our community
- Stewardship: Strengthening shared responsibility for Connecticut’s heritage
To serve our constituents as the COVID-19 pandemic continues, CLHO will:
- Conduct Colleague Circles and workshops virtually
- Survey and reach out to our members regularly to deepen our understanding of their needs
- Look for opportunities to respond to those needs and strengthen the network for history in the state
- Organize an online programming series “Keynotes of Change” in lieu of an in-person conference to increase our constituents’ knowledge base of histories that have been underrepresented in Connecticut
- Develop a broader nominating approach for board and committee recruitment
CLHO Board Response to Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion
“… to respond to this moment, there are many ways to respond, but one way is to get your own house in order…to make sure your house listens carefully to the needs of those who you may not even see as marginalized, but who think they’re marginalized.”
—Lonnie Bunch, “Racism, Unrest, and the Role of the Museum," American Alliance of Museums Annual Meeting, June 9, 2020
In response to renewed calls for reckoning with America’s racial history in 2020, we recognize that CLHO needs to do more at all levels of the organization—including programming, membership, and board composition—to ensure that we represent and support the history of all of Connecticut, not just of those who have traditionally been represented in museums and historic sites.
We also recognize that the COVID-19 pandemic requires us to be flexible and creative in what we do and how we do it in order to fulfill our mission; and that the pandemic’s ripple effects will have an ongoing impact on the history and museum community.
Therefore, these pathways have been identified as priorities for the CLHO Board to work toward supporting all of Connecticut’s history community:
- Expanding understanding of our audience to include people who “do history” in places like cultural, religious, community or ethnic organizations, as well as in traditional history organizations and institutions of higher education.
- Enlarging the scope of our Membership Committee to address Membership and Constituency, incorporating outreach to people and organizations not currently part of our membership.
- Conducting a research project to identify cultural, ethnic, or religious organizations in Connecticut with whom we should consider engaging, in keeping with our mission of serving and supporting small organizations. This should build on our existing effort in collaboration with Connecticut Humanities and the Department of Economic and Community Development to establish a database of cultural organizations in the state.
- Partnering on programming and outreach with organizations who are already engaged with Black, Latinx, and other histories, such as the Center for Africana Studies at CCSU.
- Addressing longer-term diversity in the history field by working with students at CCSU and elsewhere.
- Focusing more of our programming on “underrepresented histories” to increase our constituents’ knowledge base and to highlight effective projects around the state.
- Engaging people from a wider range of backgrounds in the work of our staff, board, committees and task achievement groups (TAGs) by implementing broader recruiting and nominating processes.