Posted on 2020-05-07
BOSTON (AP) — The Museum of Fine Arts in Boston has agreed to create a $500,000 fund devoted to promoting diversity, the Massachusetts Attorney General’s office announced Tuesday.
The action comes after the world-class museum was accused of racism last year after black middle school students said they were harangued and mistreated on a class trip by other museum patrons and a staff member who allegedly told the children: “No food, no drink and no watermelon.”
The museum’s director Michael Teitelbaum has already publicly apologized, banned two visitors and launched an internal investigation. The museum also created a new position, senior director of inclusion, in an effort to become a more deliberately diverse organization.
On Tuesday, as part of the agreement with the state, the museum also agreed to create the new fund and take other steps, including providing unconscious bias training for all employees, according to Democratic Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey.
Healey said the agreement also includes what she called a reconciliation process between the museum and the class trip participants from the Helen Y. Davis Leadership Academy in Boston.
Teitelbaum said in a press release that the agreement gives the museum an “opportunity to create a new model of inclusion and diversity to serve Boston.”
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