The Getty Board of Trustees gratefully acknowledges receipt of the open letter from many Getty employees, former employees, and others, expressing concern over the racial and ethnic constitution of Getty’s senior staff, its role in the perpetuation of overt and systemic racism, and the ways this inhibits Getty from fulfilling its mission.
We acknowledge the historic gravity of the moment following the brutal killings of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, and Ahmaud Arbery, among other Black Americans, and the overwhelming response of millions of Americans in peaceful protest against systemic racism. Racism has stained all of our institutions, including museums and Getty, and must be confronted and eliminated.
Getty Board of Trustees and senior leadership stand united behind the declaration: Black Lives Matter.
With the Trust’s senior leadership, we affirm that diversity, equity, and inclusion are essential to Getty’s excellence. We are committed to taking all necessary steps to recruit, hire, mentor, promote, and retain BIPOC staff. We are assured that senior leadership will continue to work with Getty’s DEI Council, Task Forces, and Ideas & Actions Team to advance Getty as a dynamic and responsible workplace community. We have directed senior leadership to ensure that these groups have the appropriate support and resources to fulfill their charge. We will be given a DEI report at every Board meeting, and will tie progress against goals to the annual performance evaluation of senior staff.
Ideas and recommendations submitted by Getty staff are being heard and considered seriously by senior leadership and the DEI Council. In turn, senior staff has committed to us that DEI work comprises strategic imperatives necessary to the fulfillment of Getty’s mission, and that detailed DEI work plans with goals, strategies, timelines, and resources will be shared with Getty staff on an ongoing basis, starting with the Board’s September meeting. We recognize that this opportunity for change requires both immediate action and long-term effort, and we are profoundly committed to it.
While we are proud of the recent work Getty has done to promote diversity—through the Getty Marrow Undergraduate Internships supporting more than 3,200 internships encouraging greater diversity in the professions related to museums and the visual arts; establishing the African American Art History Initiative; acquiring the Betye Saar archive, the Paul R. Williams archive, and with four other institutions the Johnson Publishing Company archive; and creating the LA Arts COVID-19 Relief Fund—we acknowledge that Getty has much work still to do.
Once again, we acknowledge the sincerity of the letter and the importance of its content. And we thank you.
—Getty Board of Trustees