BOSTON

Boston's Museum of Fine Arts to Invest $500K in Diversity Initiatives After 2019 Incident

The agreement comes a year after the principal of the Helen Y. Davis Leadership Academy in Dorchester said museum security followed his students while leaving white students alone

The Museum of Fine Arts in Boston will invest $500,000 in a fund for diversity and inclusion after an investigation by Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey into an alleged racist incident last year, her office announced Tuesday.

The Healey's office has been investigating reports that minority middle school students were subjected to racism by staff and patrons during a field trip to the museum on May 16, 2019.

During a visit to the museum, the principal of the Helen Y. Davis Leadership Academy in Dorchester said museum security followed his students while leaving white students alone.

Complaints of racism at Boston’s Museum of Fine Arts has sparked a change in policy, but city leaders want to make sure something like this does not happen again.

Two patrons were also banned by the museum for alleged disparaging remarks during the visit.

Healey announced that her office and the museum have reached an agreement on the fund and new policies, including biannual reports on diversity efforts, retaining an external consultant and collaborating with field trip participants on an action plan to be more welcoming to everyone in the community.

"Our cultural institutions play an important role in fostering and providing an inclusive environment for communities and people of all backgrounds," Healey said in a statement. "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."

The Museum of Fine Arts in Boston was at the center of controversy after middle schoolers said they were harrassed because of their race. Now students of color are taking charge of the MFA's Black History Month exhibit.
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