May 4, 2021

From the President of the Board

On behalf of The San Diego Museum of Art Board of Trustees, I want to stress that we take all allegations of sexual harassment and unsafe working conditions very seriously. As a longtime Museum volunteer—working in the galleries as a docent for the past 11 years and now serving as Board President—I know this institution holds high standards for its treatment of staff at every level. Upon hearing of accusations from a former employee regarding the safety of working conditions and the treatment of BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, and people of color) on staff, the Board has engaged experienced, independent, third-party workplace investigators to investigate these claims further, and we’ll continue to hold ourselves accountable as we put in the work to ensure the Museum is a safe and inclusive environment for all staff.

Actions have been put in place to initiate diversity and inclusion training, starting with senior management. In addition, the Museum is working with professional consultants to establish workshops with staff to ensure a culture of empathy and set a blueprint for how we can better listen to one another and increase opportunities for dialogue. We are also committed to consistently evaluating special event policies to secure a safe workplace.

Meaningful change is rarely immediately apparent. The Museum is dedicated to an open conversation with our staff and community. As we move forward, we will be posting updates on our website regarding our IDEA (Inclusion/Diversity/Equity/Accessibility) efforts so that we can share with the community our short-term steps and long-term initiatives that will continue to enhance diversity within the institution and extend its embrace to a wider audience. While action items have already been underway, there is still work to be done.

We welcome all forms of feedback and suggestions (please send to news@sdmart.org), which will be reviewed by leadership and across departments. We are thankful and appreciative of our community as we continue to learn, grow, and strengthen our connections to one another.

– Taffin Ann Ray, President of the Board at The San Diego Museum of Art

Related: Letter to the Community