We acknowledge that achieving inclusion for every member of our community is a journey, and that we must take active steps to move forward on this journey to be a good community member and fulfill our institutional mission and vision.

DE&I Statement

The Museum of Flight is dedicated to providing a welcoming experience for all visitors, staff, volunteers, learners and community members. We respect, celebrate and honor all people and the unique perspective they bring to our institution. All voices are valued and heard and all people are seen and respected. Diversity, inclusion, equity and cultural responsiveness are part of everything we do and we are committed to building an inclusive environment with equitable treatment for all.

The Museum of Flight has a bold vision.

In our pursuit “to be the foremost educational air and space museum in the world,” we see the need to expand our knowledge and celebration of all people and the unique experiences and perspectives they bring. We are dedicated to building an institution that truly reflects our diverse community.

Our dedication is not only for the community in which we live and work, but also for the communities we serve. We are proud of our roots and our strong ties to the aviation and space communities of the Puget Sound region. This region has an aerospace history that goes back over 100 years. As much as we honor our heritage, we cannot be limited by it. As we continue to inspire people from around the globe, we are committed to providing exceptional visitor experiences, education, and opportunities for all - regardless of race and ethnicity; citizenship status, languages spoken, political beliefs, age and generation; gender and gender identity; sexual orientation; religious and spiritual beliefs; disability and ability; and socioeconomic status and background. In everything we do, from the artifacts we curate to the people we employ, from the programs we teach to the exhibits we display, The Museum of Flight values the diversity of our world.

Our commitment to diversity, inclusion, equity, and cultural responsiveness is unwavering. Our progress will be a journey. One that we are proud to have begun and will continue to pursue with you – our employees, volunteers, board members, visitors, guests, learners, partners and community members.

We ask you to hold us accountable and to continuously challenge our thinking, programs, and strategies so every person feels a sense of belonging at The Museum of Flight.

Our wonderful Collections team has looked at the composition of our Collection and acknowledges that while we get many donations, they often do not reflect the lives of people involved in aviation from marginalized communities.

We are therefore asking for donations that specifically relate to people from these communities who have been involved in the aerospace industry. If you have an object you’d like to donate to the Collection, please fill out the submission form on our Donate An Artifact page.

In the past, both in aviation and in our museum, the contributions made by women, people of color, people with disabilities, and other marginalized groups were not given their due. Today, many people from marginalized communities struggle to become pilots, engineers or play other roles in the aerospace industry because of structural and perceptual barriers. We must use our collection, exhibits and programming to tell the rich, diverse and sometimes uncomfortable history of aviation and space exploration as a window into the past as well as the future.

The Museum of Flight hopes to do its part to inspire and support all people, especially those who might find it difficult to find inspiration and support elsewhere. Change is a slow process, and we intend to work toward being more inclusive in our exhibits, programming and practices for many years to come. Though we have a long way to go, we already have some programs in place to help inspire and support those who are underrepresented in the aerospace industry. We also have programs to facilitate enjoyment of the Museum experience for those who might have difficulty accessing it. Programs with fees have financial assistance available.

Diversity: Diversity includes all the differences that make each individual unique. This includes our individual backgrounds and experiences and the distinctive perspectives that we each have. Beyond race and ethnicity, national origin and religion, gender identity and expression or sexual orientation; diversity includes our age, socio-economic status, language differences, physical or mental abilities, educational experiences, political beliefs, cultural identity and family upbringing. Each and every experience we have had makes us different from one another.

Inclusion: Inclusion is the deliberate act of including all and others in activities. It is the thoughtful and careful planning that creates an environment to which people can bring their authentic self and be their best. Diversity IS… Inclusion must be created.

Equity: Equity is a deliberate approach toward ensure that everyone has access to the same opportunities. Our differences may sometimes create barriers and can result in uneven starting places. Equity is a process that seeks to level the playing field and provide all people with the same opportunity to contribute and prosper.

Cultural Responsiveness: Cultural Responsiveness is the act of recognizing, understanding, learning, and gaining insight into issues faced by different cultures. It is the act of self-reflection of our own cultural norms and how they can shape and influence our attitudes and actions towards others.

Our Commitment is ongoing and the work continues through:

  • Diversity and Inclusion training for all staff and volunteers,

  • Revitalizing our exhibit spaces to be more inclusive of diverse stories,

  • Improving Accessibility at the Museum and online,

  • Educational programming that highlights BIPOC and historically marginalized communities. These programs include:

    • Amelia’s Aero Club (AAC) inspires middle school girls (6th–8th grade) to become the next generation of STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics) professionals.

    • Connections – FREE educational membership for students age 5-18

    • Michael P. Anderson Memorial Aerospace Program – To inspire curiosity and build community among middle school students of the BIPOC community.

    • Playing the Past Girl Scout Junior Badge Workshop - Journey back in time to the world of the Women Airforce Service Pilots (WASPs) – brave women who served the United States during World War II by supporting the military in getting airplanes to the places they needed to be!

    • Women Fly - Middle and high school girls get a chance to meet and learn from professional women working in a variety of aerospace-related careers.

  • Tours and Experiences here at the Museum that offer access to the Museum and highlight diversity. These include:

    • Touch the Sky Sensory Tours – Tactile tours for the blind or sight-impaired. (Set to resume in 2023)

    • Diversity in the Skies Premium Experience - We will show you the collection as it pertains to the racial, sexual and cultural diversity of people throughout the history of aviation and spaceflight.

    • FREE First Thursday - On the first Thursday of each month, the Museum stays open late – and admission is FREE 5:00 PM - 9:00 PM.

    • Community Access - four ways to enjoy the Museum for those in our community who may be faced with financial barriers.

    • Free admission for Caretakers of Persons with Disabilities

    • Sensory Days - Sensory Days are for families of children, teenagers and young adults with disabilities including intellectual disabilities, autism, sensory processing disorders and other cognitive disabilities.

    • Audio Guides - Audio guides are available in the following languages: English, Spanish, Mandarin, Japanese, Russian, French and German.

  • Foster open conversation with diverse stories and increase access in our virtual spaces.

Land Acknowledgement

We acknowledge that The Museum of Flight is on the traditional land of the Duwamish— past, present, and future. We honor with gratitude the land itself, the Coast Salish people, and their place in the ongoing story of aerospace.

Acknowledging the land is a way for the Museum to show gratitude to the land and the original stewards of the land, who have called it home for time immemorial. Guided by the Museum's Mission statement, recognizing the Museum's place in this history is a service to the Museum itself, our visitors to this land and the contributions of Native communities who have, are, and will continue to work in aviation industries.

The Museum of Flight's main campus is located in the Duwamish valley along the Duwamish waterway and is on the traditional lands of the Duwamish People. The valley, and the people who live here, have helped make the area the birthplace of aviation in the region.

The name Duwamish is an Anglo-Europeanized derivative of dxʷdəwʔabš, the Lushootseed word which means "people of the inside”, a name that is synonymous with the Duwamish People and the internal water system which once connected Elliott Bay to Lake Washington and the hinterlands leading to Mt. Rainier. The name itself has been associated with early flight in the Pacific Northwest and is part of the Museum's heritage.

In addition to the Duwamish (dxʷdəwʔabš), we also want to acknowledge ALL Coast Salish communities that have called this land home. The Coast Salish people represent the first nations spanning from Oregon through British Columbia. 

In June of 2018, The Museum of Flight received a Cultural Resources Assessment in fulfillment of permit requirement from the Department of Archaeology and Historic Preservation for the construction of the Museum's Vietnam Veterans Memorial Park. The assessment provides documented historical and archeological information regarding the Museum's Seattle campus in relation to the Duwamish traditional territories. A specific reference to the location is found in an excerpt from the Cultural Context section of the assessment:

“In the 1920s, ethnographer T. T. Waterman recorded a Duwamish place name located in the vicinity of the Project area (Figure 5). The place is Xo’bxoti, meaning “canoe paddles” because ash trees used to make paddles could be found there (Waterman 1922:194).

To note, the ash trees that grew in the vicinity are similar to the wood used in early aircraft building; ash could be used in fuselage designs, as it is a strong wood relative to its weight and retains its strength when bent.

The Museum's largest artifact and foundational building, the Boeing Red Barn®, was originally located along the west banks of the Duwamish River in what would be known as Boeing Plant 1, but often referred to as Boeing's Duwamish Plant, a name, location and history which continues to be referenced in the identity of the Museum itself.

Inclusion is a learning process. We can be knowledgeable and socially aware, but we don’t know everything. Please help us learn more by sharing how you think the Museum can demonstrate inclusion and accessibility by emailing us at Equity@museumofflight.org.