Legacies of Enslavement and Race: Assessment Rubric


Researching and interpreting a comprehensive and conscientious story of enslavement is a life-long journey. Our personal and professional learning never ends. A park’s story is constantly evolving based on new research findings, creative interpretive methodologies, and stakeholder involvement. This rubric is intended to help park and regional office leadership assess the current state of the interpretation of enslavement, as well as the ongoing needs for unconscious bias and cultural sensitivity training. Individually and collectively, we must acknowledge the truths about where we stand with creating an empathetic and inclusive work environment so that we can support each other in our professional endeavors. The burden of this work does not rest solely on the shoulders of the people of color in your work group or the interpretation division. This work must be done by all staff and volunteers. 

What You Will AssessThe four touchstones overlap like a giant Venn diagram.

  • Organizational InvestmentThis touchstone covers:
    • Strategic Leadership 
    • Consistent Internal and External Messaging 
    • Park Planning 
    • National Capital Area Office Support 
    • Recruitment and On-Boarding 
    • Training 
    • Assessment and Accountability for Frontline Interpretation Staff and Volunteers 
    • On-going Personal/Professional Growth, Support, and Mentoring 
    • Research 
    • Written Interpretive Materials 
    • Program Development and Implementation 
    • Identifying and Reaching Out to Stakeholders 
    • Building and Maintaining a Collaboration 

Each of the sub-topics contains multiple goals, and under each goal there are action items for implementing the goal. You can assess your progress for each action item on a point scale: 

  • In-place (2): You are currently addressing the action item. 
  • In-process (1): Steps are being taken towards putting this in place. 
  • Not started (0): Do not have a plan for implementing this action item. 

This excel spreadsheet Legacies of Enslavement and Race Rubric (v. 4.0 3-28-21) is the document to use for assessing your park or program and scoring. The Legacies Workgroup also mocked up a sample rubric to show what it would look like when it is completed: SAMPLE Completed Legacies of Enslavement and Race Rubric (v. 4.0 3-28-21).

To aid you in preparing for the assessment it is also available in a Word and PDF format: Legacies of Enslavement and Race Rubric (3-12-2021).

The Legacies Workgroup also created a job aid for facilitators. You should review it prior to conducting an assessment: Assessment Rubric Facilitator Job Aid (3-12-2021).

Keep in mind that the work is always on-going, so even if you’ve scored yourself as “in-place” for an action item, the work will continue. 

The rubric is meant to be a diagnostic tool. These are the “test results” that will give you an overall view of where you are as a park.  The process of implementing the rubric is supposed to be a quick snapshot, with more in-depth conversations to follow. The implementation process has three phases:

  1. Diagnosticthe rubrics’ scores;
  2. Analysis – reviewing the scores and assessing what needs to be addressed in priority order; and
  3. Developing a treatment plan – deciding how you will implement the action items and who will lead each one.

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