Mission & Vision

“When I dare to be powerful, to use my strength in the service of my vision, then it becomes less and less important whether I am afraid.”

~ Audre Lorde

At the heart of the African American experience in the Northwest is the story of our journey to this region, the establishment of our vibrant community, and the ways in which we have survived. To tell this ever-unfolding story, the Museum’s exhibitions and programs feature the visual arts, music, crafts, literature and history of African Americans in the Northwest. Cognizant of the black community’s continuous evolution, NAAM focuses on African Americans whose route to the new world was through slavery as well as recent immigrants arriving from places such as Somalia, Sudan and Ethiopia.

Our Mission

NAAM’s mission is to spread knowledge, understanding, and enjoyment of the histories, arts and cultures of people of African descent for the enrichment of all. We accomplish our mission by working with others to:

  • Present and preserve the connections between the Pacific Northwest and people of African descent; and to
  • Investigate and celebrate Black experiences in America through exhibitions, programs and events.
Our Vision

NAAM envisions a Pacific Northwest region where the important histories, arts, and cultures of people of African descent are embraced as an essential part of our shared heritage and future.

Our Values
  • We value mutual respect in all of our interactions.
  • We value creating a safe place for bold and meaningful exploration of diverse viewpoints with—and within communities of African descent.
  • We value education and learning as powerful lifelong tools for engagement, growth and vitality, and we seek to infuse learning opportunities in all museum activities.
  • We value working in partnership with others to foster exchange with the community.
  • We value the highest professional museum practices and standards of excellence.
  • We value multigenerational and multicultural inclusion and are dedicated to providing an accessible experience.