About Diversity, Equity, Inclusion and Accessibility (DEIA) at moCa

December 2021

moCa’s commitment 

moCa remains mission-focused on supporting artists and serving communities. moCa strives to be an affirming, learning, equitable organization where people of all backgrounds can collaborate in creating, interpreting, and advancing contemporary art. As a cornerstone of the cultural community, moCa will be a welcoming space of exchange, where artists, staff, supporters, and guests feel heard, respected, valued, and engaged. moCa will maintain an open, adaptive atmosphere that empowers those who have been historically marginalized. Our work will embody values including accountability, dialogue, experimentation, honesty, and care. Embracing change and centering creativity, moCa will reflect and uplift DEIA values in its program, policies, practices, and people. 

The museum, as an institution of public trust, cultural history, and community engagement, can be an axis for constructive change. Although always breaking barriers by engaging a broad spectrum of artists and art from a tremendously diverse mix of communities, moCa has had to confront its own concept of equity and inclusion as an institution, and how it both has and has not practiced those values in the past. 

Like many museums, a series of recent events challenged moCa to look critically at its people, practices, and decision-making, particularly as it pertains to matters of race. Subsequently, moCa has embarked upon a challenging journey to establish itself as a safer, braver space, a learning culture, and a comprehensive equity practitioner. moCa’s DEIA journey has been in progress for several years, with stronger focus over the past 18 months, and it will continue to evolve as moCa seeks to implement these principles and their expressions into the fabric of the institution. This work will be ongoing but is a core component of our refreshed culture, aligned with deep listening, critical reflection, documented action, and a posture that adapts to new learning and growth.

These core commitments underpin moCa’s work.

At moCa, we believe that this work: 

◼is essential.

◼is a moral, ethical, and human imperative.

◼is responsive to the needs and desires of artists working today.

◼is critical for an organization committed to both learning and contemporary culture.

◼must address power, process, practice, and people across all facets of the organization and our community. 

◼affirms and uplifts those who have been historically marginalized or excluded.

◼forms the basis for trusting relationships through accountability and transparency. 

◼increases relevancy and value for our community.

◼reflects the adaptive, forward-thinking mission of the organization.

◼is the basis for exchange, collaboration, customization, and growth.

◼is a continuum and not a destination. 

Successful work at moCa occurs when these attributes are present:

◼Commitment: dedication without expectation for reward

◼Courage: willingness to take risks, listen to learn, admit mistakes, interrupt bias, and lead with humility

◼Consistency:  reliable and steady concentration 

◼Learning: regular, relevant training, education, and development

◼Policies and Procedures: guidelines to enact and enforce equitable practices

◼Accountability: standards-based, action-oriented acceptance of responsibility

◼Transparency: open, honest dialogue, clear communications, shared data

◼Measurement: setting goals and metrics, conducting regular reviews, refining and adapting continually

◼Vigilance: constant, unyielding focus and determination

◼Care: attentive, constructive support, responsibility, and actions for the benefit of other people 

◼Generosity: liberal giving of time, space, compassion, understanding

Key Terms 

◼Diversity: Specific to the workplace, diversity is the presence of differences within a given setting. These include people who represent various ages, racial, ethnic, socioeconomic, religious, and cultural backgrounds, lifestyles, experiences, and interests. 

◼Equity: Differentiated, targeted treatment in order to address the needs of those most marginalized, such as removing barriers to fair treatment, justice, and access to opportunity.

◼Inclusion: The intentional, ongoing effort to ensure that all people fully participate and feel a sense of belonging in all aspects of the organization, including decision-making processes and access to power.

◼Accessibility: Ensuring equitable access to all physical, communication, programming, and social spaces for everyone along the continuum of human ability and experience. 

◼Anti-Racism: The practice of opposing racism and promoting racial justice. Anti-racism is an active process of identifying, eliminating, and/or changing racist systems, organizational structures, policies, practices, and attitudes to redistribute power equitably.

◼BIPOC: Black, Indigenous, People of Color 

◼Representation: Ensuring that people who have been marginalized hold significant roles, agency, and power across the organization and contribute meaningfully to moCa’s mission, vision, program, and planning. 


We welcome your feedback. Please reach out to community@mocacleveland.org


Past updates

March 2021

May 2021