Vizcaya’s Commitment to

Diversity, Equity, Accessibility
and Inclusion (DEAI)

Although Vizcaya was built as the home of one very wealthy individual over a century ago, it has been owned by and open to the public for most of its history.

Miami-Dade County has, likewise, evolved in the past 100 years and today our community is defined by the exceptional diversity of its residents and visitors.

While Vizcaya’s historic, artistic and environmental resources have long been seen as its core strengths, the organization’s future depends on its open embrace of people of all backgrounds, experiences and perspectives.

To better represent and serve our visitors and our community, Vizcaya is actively working to advance Diversity, Equity, Accessibility and Inclusion (DEAI) in all facets of our culture.

Learn more about our DEAI work in specific areas:

Vizcaya has long embraced DEAI as a central part of its organizational identity, with its Board-approved Core Values prioritizing an inclusive, welcoming and respectful environment for visitors, volunteers and employees of diverse backgrounds since 2005. In recent years, Vizcaya has strengthened its commitment to DEAI in numerous ways:

  • Vision Statement: Our vision statement defines Vizcaya as an inclusive place that inspires people to embrace the cultural vitality of the world around us—by this we mean the diverse community in which we reside.
  • Core Values: As of October 2022, equity and inclusion are part of the museum’s core values.
  • Strategic Plan: Our 2019-2022 strategic plan set goals for increasing diversity among Vizcaya’s staff, volunteers and Board members and we also set our sights on meeting at least 85% of the criteria for being a “proactive” organization in accordance with the Centre for Global Inclusion’s “Global Diversity & Inclusion Benchmarks.” We have ongoing work relative to both of these initiatives.
  • DEAI Council: In 2019, Vizcaya established an internal DEAI committee, now called a council, consisting of staff from across the organization. Meeting approximately once each month, this council focuses on strategic priorities and creates policies and practices to advance DEAI internally and in our work with the public.
  • Cordeiro Volunteer and Internship Manager: Vizcaya secured a major grant from a family foundation to establish a full-time staff position dedicated to expanding Vizcaya’s relevance, deepening and building new relationships, and developing new volunteer and internship opportunities throughout our local community.
  • Consultation Services: In 2021, Vizcaya worked with The Norfus Firm to review and enhance the inclusiveness of our recruitment policies and practices. Simultaniously, Vizcaya began working with Seattle-based Executive Diversity Services to conduct an internal climate assessment, establish future DEAI priorities and implement DEAI training for its staff and Board.

Vizcaya facilitates an array of partnerships and public programs to attract, welcome and deepen relationships within our rich community. Vizcaya has been a public museum far longer than it was a private home, and being increasingly inclusive is core to our work.

Reducing Admission Barriers: Vizcaya is proud to offer free or significantly reduced admission through many different programs and partnerships. These include:

  • Visitors with Disabilities: Free admission to visitors identifying as disabled and an accompanying caregiver.
  • Museums for All: Free admission for people receiving food assistance (SNAP benefits) and up to 3 other individuals.
  • Miami-Dade County Programs: Free admission to Seniors Mondays and Wednesdays (Golden Ticket); $5 admission for guests aged 13-22 and companion (Culture Shock), and free admission for groups of four (Museum Pass Program).
  • Miami-Dade County Public Schools: Title I schools may apply for a visit to Vizcaya that includes free admission and free bus transportation for up to 35 students.
  • Summer Camps: Vizcaya offers free admission and free bus transportation to several community-based organizations that manage summer camps, such as Citizens for a Better South Florida, Miami-Dade Police Department’s Gang Alternative, The Barnyard, Little Haiti Cultural Complex, Lotus House and Chapman Partnership.
  • Veterans and Active Military: Free admission to U.S. veterans and active-duty military year-round; free admission for up to 5 family members of active-duty military from Armed Forces Day through Labor Day.

Community: Vizcaya engages in partnerships and programming with the goal of meeting community needs, deepening relationships, enhancing the relevance of our content and broadening audiences, including the following:

  • Public Programming: Accessible and immersive programs are offered at a low price point to reduce barriers and increasingly demonstrate a commitment to feature artists and other content providers of diverse perspectives and backgrounds.
  • Beyond Vizcaya: Gathers stories from and about our community on topics relevant to past, present and future, such as migration, labor, culture and identity.
  • Coconut Grove Partnership: Since 2018, Vizcaya has co-partnered with Black legacy residents of Coconut Grove to co-create programs and to document our shared connections to Bahamian heritage through video and podcasts.
  • FIU/Wolfsonian Public Humanities Lab Partnership: Vizcaya is participating with this program to research and develop a land acknowledgment statement.
  • Of By For All: For several years, Vizcaya has participated in Of By For All, a global network of cultural organizations focused on becoming more inclusive of and meaningful to their communities.

Accommodations for Visitors with Disabilities: Vizcaya captions videos for its social media and website; includes its audio tour free with admission and offers a virtual tour online and on site to provide access to the second floor of the Main House; provides complimentary wheelchairs and ASL sign language interpreters; uses the International Symbol of Access for its signage—depicting individuals with disabilities as active and engaged; completes an accessibility assessment every two years and has provided staff with annual disability awareness and sensitivity training since 2017.

Vizcaya values its employees and recognizes that diversity, equity, inclusion and accessibility must be embedded in our workplace culture if we are to serve our community well. Following are some of the steps Vizcaya has taken to create a fair workplace:

  • Minimum Wage for Employees & Interns: In October 2017, Vizcaya established a minimum wage for all employees of $15/hour; this was increased to $18/hour in October 2022 and it applies equally to all interns that are engaged directly by Vizcaya.
  • Strong Benefits: Vizcaya provides paid time off, sick leave and employer retirement contributions for all employees, and paid family leave and robust medical insurance to full-time employees to help ensure that health issues do not become a financial burden.
  • Inclusive Hiring Practices: Vizcaya promotes employment opportunities broadly to attract a diverse pool of candidates, including at Historically Black Colleges and Universities and through Museum Hue; job descriptions that are used for recruitment avoid exclusionary qualifications and transparently include compensation information; interviews are performed by panels of diverse employees and with consistent questions among applicants.
  • Vendor Expectations: Vizcaya requires that vendors who have a regular on-site presence commit to non-discriminatory hiring practices and, when possible, to a minimum wage of at least $15/hour for their employees.
  • Inclusive Restrooms & Pronouns: Vizcaya has established gender-neutral restrooms and encouraged, but not required, its employees to include pronouns in their e-signatures.
  • Personal Appearance: Vizcaya’s employees are generally welcome to express themselves through the hairstyles and hair color of their choice, visible tattoos and piercings, as well as clothing choices (including uniform style choices) that do not reflect traditional gender norms.
  • Bilingual Materials: Vizcaya is increasingly offering development and training opportunities and employee benefits information in Spanish as well as English.
  • Flexible Work Options: When possible, employees are allowed to work remotely part of the time and to select their hours within a flexible daily schedule.

Vizcaya uses the following definitions from the American Alliance of Museums’ “Facing Change” report from 2017:

  • DIVERSITY is all the ways that people are different and the same at the individual and group levels. Even when people appear the same, they are different.
  • EQUITY is the fair and just treatment of all members of a community.
  • ACCESSIBILITY is giving equitable access to everyone along the continuum of human ability and experience.
  • INCLUSION refers to the intentional, ongoing effort to ensure that diverse individuals fully participate in all aspects of organizational work, including decision-making processes. It also refers to the ways that diverse participants are valued as respected members of an organization and/or community. While a truly inclusive group is necessarily diverse, a diverse group may or may not be inclusive.