ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

Chicago Museum “Relieves” 82 White Female Upper-Middle Class Volunteers Citing “Diversity” Concerns

The volunteers were relieved of duties via an email sent on September 3 by the executive director of learning and engagement due to the fact that they were made up of middle-aged, White, financially well-off women. The Art Institute rewarded the departing docents with a two-year free pass to the museum as a show of gratitude.
The volunteers were relieved of duties via an email sent on September 3 by the executive director of learning and engagement due to the fact that they were made up of middle-aged, White, financially well-off women. The Art Institute rewarded the departing docents with a two-year free pass to the museum as a show of “gratitude.” File photo: Steve Cukrov, Shutter Stock, licensed.

CHICAGO, IL – Citing a need to “diversify” their staff, the Art Institute of Chicago fired all 82 of their active docents last month, which were mostly made up of older, White, upper-middle class women who were trained volunteers for the museum.

The fired women, according to docent council president Gigi Vaffis, were “surprised” and “disappointed” by the out-of-the-blue development.

We were surprised, we were disappointed,” she said. “There is an army of very highly skilled docents that are willing and ready and able to continue with arts education.”

The docents were relieved of duties via an email sent on September 3 by Veronica Stein, the executive director of learning and engagement, due to the fact that the docents were made up of middle-aged, White, financially well-off women. Stein noted in the email that the Art Institute needed to diversify their staff “in a way that allows community members of all income levels to participate, responds to issues of class and income equity, and does not require financial flexibility.”


FREE DIGITAL SUBSCRIPTION: GET ONLY 'FEATURED' STORIES BY EMAIL

Big Tech is using a content filtering system for online censorship. Watch our short video about NewsGuard to learn how they control the narrative for the Lamestream Media and help keep you in the dark. NewsGuard works with Big-Tech to make it harder for you to find certain content they feel is 'missing context' or stories their editors deem "not in your best interest" - regardless of whether they are true and/or factually accurate. They also work with payment processors and ad-networks to cut off revenue streams to publications they rate poorly by their same bias standards. This should be criminal in America. You can bypass this third-world nonsense by signing up for featured stories by email and get the good stuff delivered right to your inbox.
 

Docents are highly-trained volunteers who lead museum tours, with the 82 fired women averaging 15 years of unpaid service each; according to a letter sent on September 13 by the fired docents, an exceptional amount of training and dedication was required to earn the position.

“Staff engaged in eighteen months of twice-a-week training to qualify as a docent, five years of continual research and writing to meet the criteria of 13 museum content areas, and monthly and bi-weekly trainings to further educate ourselves with the materials, processes and cultural context of the museum’s pieces,” the letter said.

The Art Institute rewarded the departed docents with a two-year free pass to the museum as a show of “gratitude.”

Chicago Tribune’s Editorial Board denounced the firings in a September 27 opinion piece, calling Stein’s move “weaselly.”

“Why not invest some time in recruiting new, diverse docents? Why not grow the corps in such a way that it’s refreshed? Why not help docents who need help with expenses or child care? Why not have a hybrid model, at least until the current docents exit?” the board said. “Instead of trashing volunteerism as inherently elitist, why not avow and attest to its ongoing value as a vital part of necessary diversification and cultural change?”

The Wall Street Journal noted that the Art Institute may have shot itself in the foot – in a financial sense – with their firings of the same well-off women that they will likely soon be asking to donate money to the museum.

“Still, the Art Institute hasn’t explained why they had to be jettisoned en masse and not diversified over time,” the WSJ said. “The museum appears to be in the grips of a self-defeating overcorrection. It has adopted the language of diversity, inclusion and equity so completely that it was willing to fire the same upper-middle class volunteers it relies on for charitable donations.”

The Art Institute told Fox News in a comment on Sunday that accusations of “reverse racism” against the museum are “unfounded” and “have not fired anyone,” and are simply “pausing a volunteer educator program.”


Comment via Facebook

Corrections: If you are aware of an inaccuracy or would like to report a correction, we would like to know about it. Please consider sending an email to corrections@publishedreporter.com and cite any sources if available. Thank you. (Policy)