The Missouri Chapter of the American Research Center in Egypt (ARCE-MO) strives to foster a climate of purposeful inclusion in which we embrace the diversity of humanity, including but not limited to: race, color, ethnicity, national origin, sex, gender identity or expression, sexual or affectional orientation, cultural background, religious affiliation or beliefs, marital status, family structure or parental status, age, socioeconomic status, or differing mental and physical abilities. Education, outreach, and access are core values of ARCE-MO and are present in our foundational document, our Mission Statement.
As ARCE-MO aims to create a welcoming and inclusive environment for our educational and social programming, it must be clearly stated that discrimination has no place at any ARCE-MO event, program, or meeting. ARCE-MO prohibits any conduct for our Board, membership, or community members attending our events or participating in our programming which targets for harassment an individual or group due to their belonging to or being perceived as belonging to any protected class.
ARCE-MO also acknowledges the historic misdeeds of the field of Egyptology including: its contributions which helped codify notions of imperialism, colonialism, classism, and racism; faulty pseudo-scientific studies on physiology that were used to further notions of racial hierarchies and racial supremacy; the exclusion and oppression of Egyptians who were segregated from educational opportunities and professional careers in Egyptology for generations; the unethical acquisition of artifacts including deception, theft, smuggling, and the sale and/or trafficking of unprovenanced items; the desecration of mummified human remains for monetary gain, i.e. Victorian-era “unwrapping” parties; the misuse of DNA analysis in attempting to racialize ancient Egyptians; the artificial whitening of the skin tones of ancient Egyptians in artistic and forensic reconstructions; the purposeful removal of ancient Egypt from its African context, and the continued exclusion of scholars studying ancient Egypt from an African perspective. We condemn these failings.
We also acknowledge that ARCE-MO services a region of the United States that is the ancestral home of Indigenous peoples and tribes who are the original caretakers and stewards of this land before westward expansion of European (then American) settlement pushed them from their homelands, brought disease and warfare to them, and forced them to deny their languages, spiritual beliefs, and cultural heritage which, in turn, created a system of inequality and poverty that Indigenous Americans are still struggling to overcome today. Many indigenous people and communities lived in and around the Missouri region, including the Chickasaw, Illini, Ioway, Kickapoo, Otoe, Osage, Missouri, Quapaw, and Sioux tribes.
Despite the weight of this history, ARCE-MO is hopeful in the positive changes currently being made and those that will continue to be made in Egyptology. With our commitment to making Egyptology more accessible, providing educational resources for teachers and students, and creating a fun and inclusive environment for people of all backgrounds to learn about ancient Egypt, ARCE-MO is proud to contribute to this essential work for the benefit of our Missouri community, the field of Egyptology, and beyond.