Photos Help Capture Organizational Values

By The High Desert Museum | 2022
Participant Contribution

A fun and interactive way to engage staff in identifying and mapping organizational strengths in diversity, inclusion, equity and access using photography.

Suggested by Staff at the High Desert Museum and adapted from an original PhotoVoice activity
Suggested time: 1.5-2 hours; can be divided into two one hour sections

A fun and interactive way to engage staff in identifying and mapping organizational strengths in diversity, inclusion, equity and access. 

  1. Homework. To start, ask staff to do a bit of homework ahead of time: So that we can learn more about what’s going on around the museum and in departments other than our own, please bring 3 photographs of projects, programs, services or your daily work  that illuminate your department’s or our museum’s commitment to Diversity, Equity, Accessibility and Inclusion. Be sure to print your photos and write a few words on the back about why you selected those images.
  2. Small Group Conversations. At your all staff meeting, choose a creative way to divide your group into interdepartmental small groups.  Identify facilitators ahead of time. Ask the groups to talk about the photos they brought and why they selected them. Document the assets and themes that show up in the conversations for each group.
  3. Large Group Asset Mapping. As each small group reports out and gives a few photo examples, capture the themes that are emerging. This will allow the creation of an assets list across your organization.
  4. Identify Values and Growth Areas. Invite the small groups to take another look at their lists and identify the things that are missing. Ask participants to talk about the values that they see that the organization holds around Diversity/Equity/Access and Inclusion and how those may or may not be showing up. Each group should write down 5-6 values, one value per post-it note.
  5. Map Out Organizational Values. With the full group back together, invite each group to share their ‘values post-its.’ Group similar values together to begin to map out your organization’s values.
  6. Set Organizational Direction. The list of organizational values generated by small staff groups can become a shared tool for setting direction about organizational commitments focused on diversity and inclusion. Your ‘Shared Commitments Document’ can be used to meet with different departments within the organization to help them identify areas where they feel they can make the most impact.

We are now using the Shared DEAI Commitments document to create specific departmental goals and priorities that each department will work on over the next year. Each department is also developing methods to continue to revisit these goals and ensure they remain a priority over the year. Next year, we will revisit the Shared Commitments and department goals as an organization to reflect on successes and how our work has changed. We’ve discussed repeating the PhotoVoice activity next year to help with this reflection. 

Michelle Seiler-Godfrey, The High Desert Museum


Download the Activity

Take Action