I have been working on setting up the Social Justice Alliance of Museums (SJAM) – an international network of museums and related bodies that believe in the concept of social justice.
In times of real pressure on public funding there is a threat that the progress many museums have made towards a more democratic future will be stopped in its tracks as funding cuts bite and as traditional museum values of exclusivity and elitism are promoted as the only way forwards. The aim of SJAM is to recruit museums, related bodies and individuals to sign up to a charter for social justice and to campaign for and promote best practice. It is a good time for everyone who believes in the concept of social justice to find a voice, collectively. The hope is that SJAM will find ways to work together in the pursuit of social justice and to support each other’s efforts.
So far we have members in Denmark, the Dominican Republic, Germany, Mexico, the Netherlands and New Zealand, as well as from all over the UK, and we have barely begun recruiting yet. We will launch SJAM at the MA Annual Conference in Liverpool on 11/12 November this year.