About Us
The American Institute for Conservation and the Foundation for Advancement in Conservation work together to promote the preservation and protection of cultural heritage. Partner with us to further that mission.

Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, Accessibility

AIC was incorporated in 1972 by a group of white conservation professionals to represent a largely white field. Since then, the demographics of the association and foundation, and particularly leadership, have remained fairly homogeneous, reinforcing the existing power structures in the field of cultural heritage preservation and reflecting the pervasive inequity in the United States. We recognize that the homogeneity of organizational leadership has upheld systemic barriers in the organizations' governance and operations.

We are committed to dismantling these barriers that prevent AIC and FAIC from being just, inclusive, and welcoming organizations that meet the needs of diverse practitioners. In September 2023, the AIC Board approved a Strategic Plan for Advancing Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion in AIC Leadership. Members can expect to receive a progress update annually at the Member Business Meeting.


In recognition that past practices and guidelines do not sufficiently promote equity, the AIC Board has initiated reviews of the Bylaws, the Code of Ethics, and the AIC professional membership eligibility and application process. These reviews focus on how AIC is structured and governed, who is eligible for leadership roles, and how the organization can best serve all members. The AIC Board crafts and solicits position papers and statements expressing organizational stances on DEIA topics, with the assistance of members. These include the revised Position Statement on Contested Commemorative and Confederate Monuments. The FAIC Board is also engaged in supporting FAIC’s core value of equity and inclusion.

Equity and Inclusion Committee

AIC’s Equity and Inclusion Committee (EIC) was created in 2016 to formalize our commitment to the issues of equity and inclusion within the organization and the field of conservation at large. The committee's predecessor, the Equity and Inclusion Working Group, developed “Recommendations for Advancing Equity and Inclusion in the American Institute for Conservation” to provide an essential road map for our future progress. EIC has created valuable programming and projects, often in collaboration with other networks, committees, and members. These include an Accessibility Survey with member Sally G. Kim, Affinity Groups including the Rainbow Caucus and BIPOC Caucus, and resources collected in the Diversity, Equity, Inclusion & Accessibility section of the AIC Wiki.

Equitable Review Practices

AIC and FAIC staff and member leadership have revised the criteria for applications and reviews to make funding, publication, and abstract acceptance more inclusive and equitable. DEIA has been established as a criteria for abstract review, several funding opportunities, and in publications submissions. Anonymized review of scholarships and grants has been introduced where possible to help reduce bias. To promote open access to information, each funding opportunity has specific criteria for review which are available to both applicants and reviewers.

Professional Development

We work to create and support programs that address topics in DEIA and to improve the accessibility of all of our content. This includes:

Member Initiatives & Programming

The Member Engagement Subcommittee is focused on DEIA, including establishing Guidelines for Conduct and sustaining a diverse membership. Our Communications Committee’s Website Subcommittee is developing web accessibility guidelines and has developed the following tips for our internal groups to follow when creating official documents.


AIC and FAIC have made improvements in providing access to programming, such as closed captioning in video events, but acknowledge that there is significant work that must be done. The AIC Annual Meeting presentation guidelines were created to encourage and help presenters create more accessible presentations. Utilizing the Accessibility Survey, we will continue to address community needs to ensure our programming, website, resources, and publications are accessible.

We will continue to add to this page. If you have questions about DEIA initiatives, would like to share additional resources for this page, or suggest new initiatives, please reach out to us at

—Published May 2, 2022