Biannual Report of the MFA’s Ongoing Diversity and Inclusion Efforts

August 1, 2022

The Museum of Fine Arts, Boston (“MFA”) and Fletcher Consulting (“Consultant”) together submit this biannual report (the “Report”) to the Office of the Attorney General of Massachusetts (the “AGO”), pursuant to the Memorandum of Understanding entered into between the Commonwealth of Massachusetts and the MFA on April 29, 2020 (the “MOU”). The purpose of the Report is to update the AGO and the public on the progress of the MFA’s diversity and inclusion efforts.

In accordance with Section B of the MOU “Statement of Commitments and Collaboration,” the MFA has taken the following actions:

  1. The MFA engaged Fletcher Consulting, LLC, in July 2020 to serve as the “Consultant” as that term is defined in the MOU.
  2. Cultural Assessment
    1. The Consultant began an assessment process in August of 2020, in order to study the culture and climate at the MFA with respect to matters of diversity, inclusion, belonging, and welcoming (the “Assessment”).
    2. The MFA selected a diverse team of seven employees to serve as a Working Group to assist the Consultant with matters relating to the Assessment. The Working Group assisted with the determination of focus groups, reviewed focus group questions, reviewed survey questions, and encouraged all employees to participate in the Assessment.
    3. The Consultant conducted 12 focus groups:
      • Ability diversity (physical, mental & learning)
      • Asian/ Asian American/ Pacific Islander
      • BIPOC
      • Black/ African American/ African descent
      • Caregivers (of children/elders/others)
      • Foreign-born
      • Hispanic/ Latino/a/x
      • LGBTQIA+
      • Man identified
      • Nonbinary/ Gender nonconforming
      • Spiritual/Religious
      • Woman identified
    4. The Consultant issued a survey that was taken by 236 employees, 52% of the staff at the time.
    5. Based on this Assessment, the Consultant created a written Assessment Report (“Assessment Report”) on November 2, 2020.
    6. The Consultant delivered the Assessment Report to the following groups between November 2020 – January 2021:
      • Working Group
      • MFA’s Leadership team
      • All employees
      • Executive Committee of the Board of Trustees
      • Board of Trustees
    7. The Assessment Report included the following segments: Key Findings, General Environment & What’s Working Well, Themes of Concern, Most Pressing Issues Heard from MFA Community, and Recommendations.
  3. Strategic Plan (the “Plan”)
    1. In addition to hiring the Consultant in order to fulfill the requirements of the MOU, the MFA also hired the Consultant to develop a strategic plan to guide the MFA’s Inclusion, Diversity, Equity & Access (“IDEA”) efforts, using the results of the Assessment.
    2. In December 2020, after the Assessment Report was presented to all employees, the Working Group and the Consultant invited all interested employees to apply to join a task force that would develop the Plan (“Task Force”). Most of the members of the Working Group joined the Task Force and selected the additional members. The Task Force, which consisted of 20 employees, was diverse in many respects including, department, role, age, gender, race, sexual orientation and tenure at the MFA.
    3. The Task Force began its work in February 2021. The Task Force divided into five committees with each committee focused on a priority area. Each committee was responsible for outlining the underlying issues, creating a broad goal with discrete action steps, metrics and a responsible party.
    4. The five priority areas of the Plan are:
      • Sustainability of IDEA Initiatives
      • Diversification of staff, volunteers and Governance
      • Creation of a culture of inclusion and belonging
      • Commitment to accountability, communication and transparency
      • Embedment of IDEA into the MFA’s approach to all public-facing activities
    5. Throughout the process, the members of the Task Force checked in with, and gained input from, colleagues and leadership.
    6. A draft of the Plan was presented to the Board of Trustees IDEA Committee on September 10, 2021. The Plan was “finalized” on September 29, 2021 with a view to it being a living document that will be modified as necessary over time.
    7. As of the date of this Report, the Plan is in the implementation phase, which includes appropriating funding and embedding responsibilities across the MFA.
  4. Reconciliation with the Davis Leadership Academy (B)(5)(c)
    1. On January 14, 2021, the AGO and MFA agreed to retain Susan Maze- Rothstein at The Center for Restorative Justice at Suffolk University as Reconciliation Facilitator.
    2. The initial meeting of the Reconciliation Facilitator and MFA Leadership occurred on March 31, 2021.
    3. Representatives of the MFA and the DLA mutually agreed, with the approval of the AGO, to postpone the effective date of the MOU until both parties were sufficiently prepared by the facilitator to meet. All parties mutually consented that the first joint meeting between parties would serve as the effective date of the DLA Action Plan process.
    4. The following MFA participants agreed to participate in the Reconciliation process:
      • Ann and Graham Gund Director of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston; • Chief of Learning and Community Engagement;
      • Senior Director of Diversity and Inclusion;
      • Director of Protective Services;
      • Director of Special Projects; and
      • Assistant Director of Member and Visitor Services
    5. The following DLA participants agreed to participate in the Reconciliation process:
      • Executive Director of Davis Leadership Academy;
      • The three educators that organized and attended the MFA on the day of the incidents; and
      • One current educator employed by the Davis Leadership Academy.
    6. The initial 8 hour reconciliation training circle was held with MFA participants on July 26, 2021.
    7. Each participant participated in individual sessions with the facilitator between the months of August and December of 2021.
    8. The Facilitator completed initial preparatory conversations with the adult participants of the Davis Leadership Academy in January of 2022.
    9. Preparatory conversations with the DLA representatives that are minors were completed by the facilitator as of March 31, 2022.
    10. The formal reconciliation between representatives from the Davis Leadership Academy and the Museum of Fine arts was held in two, eight hour sessions on April 29, 2022 and May 2, 2022, respectively.
    11. As the date of this Report, representatives of the DLA and the MFA are continuing to develop the process of future engagement at the direction of the facilitator.
  5. Community Engagement Action Plan
    1. The MFA’s search for a new Chief of Learning and Community Engagement commenced in September of 2021 and concluded on May 16 the start of the new Chief, Mariel Novas.
    2. The MFA will endeavor, in good faith and if possible, to finalize the DLA Action Plan prior to finalizing the Community Engagement Action Plan, as is suggested within the MOU.
  6. Refinement of Policies and Procedures
    1. In 2020, the MFA created an “Inclusion” page on the website, and published the MFA Code of Visitor Conduct. The Inclusion page continues to be updated, from time to time.
    2. The MFA finalized the anti-discrimination and harassment policy that applies to the treatment of members of the public by all parties internal and external, which can be found on the MFA website, at the building entrance as well as in the format of staff signature lines.
    3. The MFA finalized its visitor complaint policy, which was approved by the AGO in July of 2022.
    4. The MFA has finalized its Internal investigation policy was approved by the AGO in May of 2022.
  7. Trainings
    1. The MFA has provided a number of Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Accessibility trainings, including the following:
      1. Navigating Unconscious Bias – mandatory for all employees and volunteers in 2019; offered each year to new employees
      2. Promoting Inclusion – mandatory for employees and volunteers in 2021 and 2022
      3. Promoting Inclusion (half day program) – offered to employees in the Community Engagement & Learning Department
      4. Mitigating Bias in Interviewing – offered to managers in 2020
      5. Mentoring – offered to all mentees of interns in January 2022
      6. E-learning version of IDEA training is currently being developed for frontline staff to take as part of onboarding
      7. Additional programs on challenging interactions are in development
      8. Staff Training on the complaint policy is ongoing, with initial training sessions beginning in August of 2022
      9. Training for front line staff who work with youth beginning in September of 2022
      10. Staff Training on the internal investigations policy is ongoing, with initial training sessions which began in August of 2022

This report has been prepared by Marguerite Fletcher, President of Fletcher Consulting, in collaboration with the Senior Director of Government & Legal Affairs at the MFA.