2:30 p.m. to 3:15 p.m.

Exploring Identity and Bias

Harpreet Dhanjal, Community Engagement Specialist, University of Calgary
Dave Latos, Coordinator of Volunteer Engagement, TELUS Spark
Allison Simpson, Independent Museum and Culture Consultant


About the Session

Equip yourself to begin your journey of diversity, equity, accessibility, and inclusion (DEAI) work by reflecting on your own identity and biases, and how they frame your actions. Often, exploring these concepts on our own in order to make a difference in the world can feel challenging (because it is!), and we may feel external pressure to adopt new ways of working without understanding why. Join fellow participants for a conversation about the lenses through which each of us views the world, and how our identities affect our interactions and the experiences we create for others. This session will draw on participants' collective experiences to consider how they approach DEAI work in museums, understand what elements of their own identities frame their biases, and develop an action statement to apply to their daily work. Beginning with self-reflection and self-understanding will equip those beginning to implement themes of equity and diversity in their work or leading change in their organizations.

Please note: This session will be held as a discussion with active participation from attendees. As space is limited to 25 participants, all attendees must pre-register through the Conference Event Hub. Due to the personal nature of the material shared in this discussion, this session will not be recorded and will not be available after the Conference event.


Questions to Consider

  • How do our identities impact our lives and work?
  • What can we do to address the biases we bring with us?
  • Why are diversity, equity, accessibility, and inclusion important to museums?


About the Speakers


Harpreet Dhanjal
she / her

Harpreet Dhanjal has a background in research, education, and program development. She has experience in the development, execution, and evaluation of programming for diverse audiences through her time at Calgary's science centre the past four years. While she has moved on to focus on community engagement in another sector now, museum work remains deeply important to her. Harpreet is an advocate for diversity and inclusion and was recognized for her work by being accepted into the 2018 ASTC Diversity and Leadership Development Fellowship program and most recently as the AMA's 2020 Leadership Award recipient for Engagement.



Dave Latos
he / him

Relatively new to the museum world, Dave Latos started at TELUS Spark in 2018. Since then, he has dived headfirst into the wonderful work of Volunteer Engagement. His interest in diversity, equity, accessibility, and inclusion work began long before, and he is grateful to his colleagues at Spark for bringing these two areas of interest together and keeping the conversation on these topics going. As a perpetual learner on the DEAI journey, he looks forward to sharing stories, exploring ideas, and growing together with you.



Allison Simpson
she / her

Allison Simpson has 20 years of experience working with museums to develop new approaches for engaging audiences. Her experience extends across functional lines, including exhibitions, collections management, communications, and outreach.

Allison began her museum career developing web content, establishing data access strategies, and researching standards for presenting and preserving digital media art with the Canadian Heritage Information Network. Since, she has worked in operational capacities with natural history, human history, and art museums in Alberta and California and consulted with museums and museums associations across Canada and in the US. Most recently, Allison led the feature and permanent exhibitions programs at TELUS Spark in Calgary.





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