After Racism Claims, Boston Museum Creates Diversity Fund

The Museum of Fine Arts in Boston stated Tuesday that it could set up a $500,000 fund dedicated to variety initiatives, a transfer that comes a yr after a bunch of black center college college students stated they’d been subjected to racist feedback whereas on a discipline journey there.

The museum additionally stated that as a part of an settlement with the state, it could do extra to have interaction with and help native communities, artists and younger individuals of coloration, in keeping with Maura Healey, the Massachusetts lawyer normal.

“Our cultural institutions play an important role in fostering and providing an inclusive environment for communities and people of all backgrounds,” Ms. Healey stated. “Today’s agreement affirms the experiences of students and teachers from the Helen Y. Davis Leadership Academy and lifts up their voices and the voices of local communities of color to help shape change and greater understanding.”

During the sphere journey, one museum worker was accused of telling college students from the Davis Academy, “No food, no drink and no watermelon.” After an investigation, the museum stated it couldn’t confirm the allegations. It stated an worker recalled telling the scholars that “no food, no drink and no water bottles” had been allowed within the galleries.

Before leaving, students and chaperones from the school filed a complaint with the museum’s visitor services office about the racism and verbal abuse they said they had experienced, according to the museum.

Matthew Teitelbaum, the museum director, said that the museum had learned a lot over the past year and through the agreement with the attorney general. After the episode last May, he apologized for the “unacceptable experiences” that the students encountered during their visit.

“There’s nothing more important to us than making sure everyone feels welcome at the M.F.A.,” Mr. Teitelbaum said in a statement on Tuesday. “Whether you walk through the doors of the museum every day, every week, once a year, or just once, everyone is welcome at the M.F.A.”

The Museum of Fine Arts conducts training for employees and volunteers on unconscious bias and, in response to the episode, has created a new position of senior director of belonging and inclusion. The museum will also implement an anti-discrimination and anti-harassment policy, according to Ms. Healey’s statement.

Iván Espinoza-Madrigal, executive director of Lawyers for Civil Rights, a Boston-based group Boston that fights discrimination through legal action and advocacy, said the group was grateful to the attorney general for championing civil rights issues.

“This agreement creates a unique blueprint for community engagement and dialogue about the importance of diversity, inclusion, and cultural competency in all cultural and public institutions so that they better reflect and respect the diverse populations they serve,” he said in a statement.

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