Museum Essentials: Supporting anti-racism

Supporting Anti-Racism

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About this course

Supporting Anti-racism is one of a number of modules that sits within the Museums Association's Museum Essentials Programme. 

This module is for everyone who works in and with museums, and those interested in joining the sector. It aims to raise your awareness and build your confidence in taking action for anti-racism. 

The module is divided into 5 sections with 5 lessons in each section. It takes 5-15 hours to complete and can be worked on in stages. 
We hope that by providing a mix of information, exercises, resources and signposting you will be able to develop your confidence and competence around your own anti-racist practice and be more equipped to take action. 
Supporting Anti-racism connects with the individual and institutional integrity, and public engagement and public benefit competencies of the Associateship of the Museums Association (AMA). For more information about the AMA please click here.  

This module is not a substitute for in-depth anti-racism training and we would recommend all learners take part in further training and development. We signpost to further training opportunities in the final section of the module. 

Caption for banner image: PurpleSTARS at Museum of London, credit Orson Nava,

Captions for images below, from left to right: Jukebox collective at National Museums Cardiff art galleries; Raquel McKee, African Caribbean Support Organisation Northern Ireland (ACSONI) advising Bethany Skuce, National Museums NI Conservator; Pupils of Loyne Specialist School at Judges Lodgings 2021 (Lancashire County Council)

Dismantling racism

Everyone can be part of dismantling racism and advancing racial justice. This module offers space to build your awareness and understand how you can take action.

Anti-racism and museums

In this module, we consider the relationships between museums and racism. We go on to think about what anti-racism can involve in museums of all sizes, across the UK.

Creating and sustaining change

Action for change is needed at an individual and organisational level. In this module, you will have the opportunity to create plans for action in the long-term.

Frequently Asked Questions

How long will it take to go through this module?

5-15 hours, which means each section of the module has a two-hour focus. This is only a guide. You may learn at a different pace, you may want to delve deeper into a particular subject area, you may want more conversations with colleagues, your team and beyond. The beauty of an online learning course is that you can take as long and a little time working your way through it.

Is there a module start date?

There isn't a module start date. This is an open module that you can start and finish whenever you want. As an individual Museums Association member you have full access to the content while you remain a member.

Do you have to complete each section in the order it appears?

The module has been designed so that there are no mandatory sections or exercises. This means that you can complete them in whichever order is most meaningful for you. Dip in and dip out of the different sections as and when you need help or choose to complete the course section by section, exercise by exercise.

Does completing this module mean I don’t have to do any further anti-racist training?

No. This module provides an opportunity to raise your awareness and build your confidence to take action for anti-racism. It is not a substitute for in-depth anti-racism training and development. We recommend all learners commit to further training and long-term development in this area.

Where can I find more information about the Museums Association’s anti-racism work?

You can find out more about our anti-racism campaign work on our website here

This module could be emotionally intensive. Where can I find more information on support for my wellbeing and those I work with?

We recognise that engaging with this module’s content could be emotionally intensive for some learners, especially those with lived experiences of racism. The Museums Association’s Wellbeing hub offers advice and signposting to support. We also include a list of suggested sources of support in the module.

Do I have to complete all of the exercises?

The exercises have been developed to help you reflect, capture and focus your learning, you can complete them in whichever order you wish and you may find that some of the exercises are less relevant for you and as such you may choose not to complete them.

Is there an opportunity to discuss our learning with other learners?

We don't have a discussion area within each module, but look to share your reflections with your own network or peers.

Do I have to be a member to participate in the Museum Association's Museum Essentials online learning programme?

Yes. Museum Essentials is a membership benefit for all our individual members. To become a member visit our website.

Do you release new content every week or every month?

No we don't. Unlike other online learning courses where they adopt a 'drip drip' approach to content we have made all the content available from the point of enrolment. The reason we have done this is we didn't want to add to any 'pressure' to complete at a pace decided by us. We know that life is unpredictable, people have different commitments and learn in different ways - so we wanted to build in as much flexibility as possible which means you can choose to complete everything in a week or over 6 months - it is up to you.

Can I save content from this module?

Yes. Throughout the module there are links and more detailed downloadable content. We would encourage you, if you wish, to download the content or save the links if that supports your learning. We also know that some of you may be working in remote locations, stores or on the move where connectivity may be an issue - so downloading them may help. But remember as long as you remain a member of the Museums Association you will be able to access the Museum Essentials modules and content.

What do I do if I have any questions about the module or Museum Essentials?

There is functionality within the platform that enables you to send questions as a learner to the Museums Association. In addition feel free to email the module leader directly their contact details will be available on the Museums Associations website.

How do I navigate the content?

The module is divided into five sections and within each section there are 5 lessons. Whilst the content has been designed with a beginning, a middle and an end you can progress flexibly through the content. Use the Next button to take you through the course until you reach a section or a lesson you want to engage with.

Meet the expert

Antonia Canal

Antonia is Policy and Campaigns Officer at the Museums Association. With experience in the charity, education and cultural heritage sectors, she’s worked in a range of roles focussed on learning, engagement and community development.  


Alice Lodge and 191 others have booked this class

Tom Hughes

Natalya Best-Forbes

Stella Byrne

Really well developed and thought-provoking course. So many helpful articles, exercises and points to consider and develop. Definitely something I'll be coming back to time and again.

Alistair Brown

Jenny Oxley

Nicola Euston

Victoria Haddock

Charlotte Ford

Sarah Cowie

Anthony Dawson

Very thought provoking, made me really reflect on my own privelege as a white male (but one who is also disabled and gay) and how that privilege despite disablity and gay counts for far more. Very introspective. Challenging. Humbling.

Miss Helen Reynolds

I don't know why we have to do this module. It is so biased and left wing.

Vanessa Trevelyan

This has been such a useful course. It was really helpful to be able to do over time and in manageable stages. It has given me a range of perspectives and altered my own perspective from thinking about how I felt about racism to how people who are affected by racism are feeling.

Ella Hackett

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