I was deeply disappointed to learn this morning from a press release that I was terminated from my contract by the MOCAD Board of Directors after an investigation I disagree with, and was not interviewed for. Transparency is important, and the investigation should be disclosed to the public. Over the past 8 years I have always worked hard for MOCAD, and I am extremely proud of my accomplishments. The institution was in serious debt when I started. Now there is an operating surplus. Annual attendance is up from 12,000 to 70,000. I have only received positive performance reviews and was given a raise just weeks ago. I have tried to conduct myself as a manager and leader so that my work is in line with my values, including acting on my deep commitment to diversity and inclusion through outreach, programming and engagement with artists of colors, often without support. In a city that is 80% people of color, only 6 of 35 Board members are people of color. We have to do better. I take the workplace allegations that have been made to heart, and am profoundly sorry for any harm I caused. I am sincerely committed to the dignity of racial justice, to healing, and accountability.
The Board’s vote to remove our Executive Director is a painful but first step of a course correct for MOCAD. We have tried to deliver on diversity, equity and inclusion since our inception. However, it is clear we need to do more, better and faster. MOCAD’s plan of action going forward will affect our hiring and employment practices, artist relationships, internal communications and the Board’s by-laws, which define how we operate. We want to return to being a platform for everyone in the community and a venue to exhibit sometimes controversial art that might otherwise not be seen but inspires conversations. MOCAD’s board is excited about this new course and is eager to be an agent for change in Detroit and in the art world. I am confident that as we move past this, MOCAD will become stronger and serve our community better than ever. That is our mission.
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