Diversity, Equity, Accessibility, and Inclusion Philosophy

The Franklin Institute believes that science is for everyone and should reflect everyone. Science has the power to connect people, build empathy through its shared impact on our lives, and develop solutions for the common good. Science thrives when people’s identities and perspectives come together to contribute to and advance discovery. However, not all communities have had the same access to participation. Today, we live in a world where the interconnections between science and society have never been clearer. Situated in our beautifully diverse Philadelphia region, our organization is committed to doing more to mirror, engage, and uplift the multiplicity of people we serve.

We are committed to advancing Diversity, Equity, Accessibility, and Inclusion (DEAI) in all aspects of our organization and operations. In addition to maintaining current efforts—including free and discounted admission, community-based science programs, heritage celebrations, and our longstanding, impactful youth programs—we will focus on and invest in the following priorities:

Talent & Board Resources

  • Continue to recruit diverse Board members and engage them in best DEAI practices.
  • Continue to cultivate a culture that fosters, values, and includes diverse opinions, perspectives, and experiences.
  • Provide ongoing training that helps staff to better understand the harmful effects of unconscious bias.
  • Create a shared language around DEAI issues and concepts.
  • Continue to recruit and retain staff that is reflective of the rich diversity of our community.

Audience Diversity

  • Engage communities to be a part of the development of exhibitions and programs to ensure diverse perspectives are represented.
  • Through exhibits and programs, focus on telling stories that demonstrate diversity in the fields of science and technology today.
  • Identify opportunities and strive to authentically welcome and provide equitable service to everyone.
  • Create opportunities to gather feedback and recalibrate visitor experiences as needed.

Business Relationships & Partnerships

  • Prioritize business relationships and partnerships that demonstrate a commitment to advancing DEAI.
  • Continue to seek to work with minority-owned businesses, especially those based in the greater Philadelphia region, throughout the organization.

Community Engagement

  • Engage in open and honest dialogue with partners around existing and new programs to ensure they are meeting the needs of the community.
  • Broaden efforts to reach diverse communities with relevant, meaningful, and appropriate science communication.

DIVERSITY

The characteristics that make one individual or group different from another, such as race, ethnicity, gender, gender identity or expression, sexual orientation, nationality, religion, socioeconomic status, educational status, marital status, language, age, and mental or physical ability. Also, the interactions among individuals that shape ideas, perspectives, and values, and making sure that they are represented in the organization both internally and externally.

We acknowledge that these categories and communities are not permanently fixed and affirm individual rights to self-identification.

EQUITY

The fair and just treatment of all people. It is the outcome of continuous assessment of policies and actions that create a more diverse and inclusive institution that reflects its community.

ACCESSIBILITY

Refers to the design of equitable programs, products, devices, services, or environments that meet the needs of all visitors to ensure full participation.

INCLUSION

Inclusion refers to the intentional, ongoing effort to ensure that diverse individuals fully participate in all aspects of organizational work, including decision-making processes. It also refers to the way that diverse participants are valued as respected members of an organization and/or community.