Thursday, June 27, 2013

American Family, Revisited

Happy Pride, museum-geeks! It's been an historic week with Supreme Court decisions to overturn DOMA and dismiss Prop 8 here in California, all in the last few days of Pride Month. We have plenty of reasons to be merry and gay. But for all the progress we've made lately, it's clear we still have a long way to go. Just a couple weeks ago a lesbian family was denied a family membership at their local children's museum. Luckily, children's museums are in the unique position to directly affect change and we do it every day by empowering children in the development of their imaginations. A strong imagination is a powerful tool in learning empathy and empathy is what drives movements of social justice.

Back in April I spoke about this at Pecha Kucha Night at the Association of Children's Museums conference in Pittsburgh. I got such positive feedback that evening that I decided to turn my presentation into a video.

Here it is:


4 comments:

  1. I loved this Margaret. It was really moving how the museum took such great strides in participating in an event that isn't typically viewed as family-friendly. I think that's because the nature of being gay in America is changing, which is great too. As a firm believer in the museum as engine of social change, this really touched my heart. Thank you for being a catalyst for change, and thank you for sharing!

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    1. Thanks for the kind words Amanda. Although I'd rather say that the mainstream understanding of what it means to be gay is becoming more accurate- from what I understand, the nature of being gay has stayed pretty much the same :)

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  2. I was moved to tears by this again! Thanks for posting this so those of us at the ACM conference can share it with our colleagues, families and friends. I will also send it to several organizations in my community that should, yep should, attempt something like this. Congratulations to the Children's Discovery Museum for taking a risk that paid off with such great outcomes for the children, families and community you serve.

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    1. Thanks for your support, Kathy! I can't wait to see what other children's museums do next to embrace their communities.

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