About Us


To engage and support self-defined emerging museum professionals in building vibrant, equitable, and inclusive communities of networking, collaborative practice, and exchange


The National EMP Network envisions building communities and establishing a strong national network in which museum professionals collectively make meaningful connections within and across backgrounds, disciplines, and institutions by:

  • providing leadership
  • responding to changing needs of our members
  • connecting EMPs on a local and national level
  • enriching experiences that realize and strengthen community
  • amplifying the insight and expertise of all our community members 
  • finding solutions that center our broad spectrum of voices
  • sharing resources and creating a platform for public dialogue
  • advocating for museum professionals, for inclusive access and advancement within the museum field
  • building awareness around the barriers facing EMPs
  • enacting radical change in the museum field and valuing restorative justice

We recognize our own shortcomings and limitations and strive to act upon these values in order to build a network and community of practice that represents and embraces the fullness of the human experience in the museum profession. We also recognize that we are building upon a great foundation of past and present EMPs whose tenacious efforts enable us to move forward together in imagining a more just future. 

Core Values

The National EMP Network brings together museum professionals to achieve our mission and vision with the following core values guiding our way:

Integrity and Trust
  • Keep each other accountable to our community at large through transparency and trust and truth as necessary qualities 
  • Call folks in when values are breachedDebate and critique policies and ideas without name-calling, slurs, accusations, inappropriate language, and basic unprofessional comments
  • Give each other the benefit of the doubt and acknowledge that growth happens at the pace of trust
  • Treat others how they would like to be treated 
  • Listen to our community and we value all the experiences of our community
  • Value community led decision making and bringing community together
  • Learning in public, being comfortable being uncomfortable 
Diversity, Equity, Accessibility, and Inclusion (DEAI)
  • Uphold our values of diversity, equity, accessibility, and inclusion by engaging in respectful dialogue
  • Encourage solution-finding by sharing differences of opinions, perspectives, and unfamiliar ideas with openness and sincerity
  • Center EMP voices that are historically and continually ignored – listen deeply and be open to learning
  • Actively listen, share, and incorporate inclusive knowledge into our work to dismantle structural inequity
  • Understand inherent bias, discrimination, bigotry, and oppression policies
  • Championing the accessibility of our work across all barriers, visible and invisible, making it a forethought not an afterthought
  • Work to each others strengths and abilities and recognize each others dignity and self-determination
  • Act on the notion that true equity is interdependent, intersectional, and relative to all
Advocacy, Engagement, and Leadership
  • As an organization we will utilize an inclusive leadership model and one that strives to distribute power among the membership
  • Bolster EMP visibility in our field – nothing about us without us
  • We are people centered and act collaboratively to champion EMPs labor, access, and inclusion in the museum profession 
  • Museums are not neutral, and neither are museum professionals
  • Counteract the silence/taboo around discussing difficult topics in museums as we seek to challenge our field and push it forward
  • Galvanize EMPs collective potential in shaping a more just world
  • Take responsibility to share community and personal development opportunities that challenge our preconceptions and encourage lifelong curiosity 
  • Mutually support EMP growth as individuals and promote the idea that we all have the potential to be leaders
  • Champion employment practices that welcome and seek to retain employees who identify as non-majority
  • Workers, especially those who are historically and presently unpaid or underpaid, are entitled to equitable wages
  • Advocate for salary transparency and finding resources to enable institutions to pay interns
  • Willingness to relinquish responsibility and make space for others to become leaders 
Humility and Compassion
  • Acknowledge that we all must (un)learn with grace to champion inclusivity
  • Own our mistakes; acknowledge and apologize for mistakes
  • Embody active listening and genuinity
  • Know there is strength in the ability to (un)learn
  • Grant radical compassion to yourself and others 
  • Approach compassion with the ability to affirm and honor difference of experience
  • Recognize individual and collective trauma, the impact of trauma on our community, and that healing is both interdependent and different for all
  • Cultivate a community of hope that centers mental wellness, restorative justice, and group possibility
  • Encourage, commiserate, joke, and have fun within this community, while ensuring that respect is at the forefront of our discussion

We invite you to download a copy of our Mission, Vision, and Core Values here.