SMITHSONIAN INSTITUTION National Museum of African American History and Culture - office of STrategic PArtnerships presents: 

2023 Ethical Interpretation Workshop 

4/17/2023: The application period for the 2023 Ethical Interpretation workshop has closed. Please check back in early 2024 for details about the next offering. 

Meet the 2023 Ethical Interpretation Workshop Cohort

2023 Workshop Dates

Virtual Days:

MAY 15-18, 2023


10am to 2:30pm daily
In-Person Days:

MAY 22-25, 2023


9am to 5pm daily

The workshop will be held over a two-week period, beginning with the virtual sessions and culminating with the in-person experience in Washington, DC.

Program Overview

The Museum's Office of Strategic Partnerships is pleased to announce a call for applications for its signature Ethical Interpretation Workshop. This annual workshop provides technical training for museum professionals on interpretive theory and ethical practice. The program addresses histories of oppressed people whose experiences have been historically ignored and misrepresented and does so by recognizing their individuality, achievements, and challenges. Ethical Interpretation centers the critical importance of collaboration with the communities whose histories are being interpreted, and connects past, present, and future conditions for learners. Participants are equipped with tools and techniques to develop culturally responsive interpretation, and how to prepare themselves to engage in challenging discussions in a safe and sustainable way. Appropriate use of language and cultural frameworks, awareness of identity and self, and addressing audience responses are just some of the topics covered.

Over the course of the workshop, participants will engage in 40 hours of virtual learning sessions, peer-to-peer coaching, and community-building activities delivered through the Smithsonian edX and Zoom platforms. In addition to the virtual learning environment, participants will also engage in site visits to analyze the interpretation of African American history and culture utilized at a variety of cultural and historical sites in Washington, DC and Alexandria, VA including Woodlawn Plantation, the National Portrait Gallery, and the National Museum of African American History and Culture, among others. 

SEMC is a proud partner of this program and provides a scholarship for an SEMC member to attend!

Congratulations to the following recipients of the

2023 SEMC Registration/Travel Scholarships:

  • Amanda Roper, Manager of Interpretation, Woodlawn & Pope-Leighey House Alexandria, VA
  • Autumn Smith, Program Coordinator, The National Center for Civil and Human Rights, Atlanta, GA

Please visit the National Museum of African American History and Culture Museum Opportunities page to learn more and apply for the 2023 Ethical Interpretation

Watch the informational video below to learn more about the evaluation, planning and relaunch of the 2022 Ethical Intepretation Workshop