Save Museum’s Multicultural Internship Program

Getty Museum by Caroline Culler

Target: Los Angeles District Attorney Jackie Lacey

Goal: Keep the Getty Museum’s Multicultural Internship Program from unraveling under a white woman’s lawsuit.

The case of Samantha Niemann vs. the Getty Foundation is a unique one, because unlike most affirmative action cases, it is against a private foundation and not the government. The Getty Museum’s Multicultural Internship Program seeks to give opportunities for underrepresented people in the art world, and frankly Samantha Niemann is not from an underrepresented culture. Make sure that the important strides the Getty has made in increasing diversity in the art world are not undone by one white woman’s entitlement.

The program is geared toward exceptional students from underrepresented minority groups that include but are not limited to African Americans, Asians, Latinos, Hispanics, Native Americans, and Pacific Islanders. Samantha believes that she was discriminated against because she is white. She thought that she was qualified for the internship, because she had a 3.7 grade point average at Southern Utah University.

Those are not bad qualifications, but they pale in comparison to the Ivy League students that are constantly accepted into the program. One of the accepted interns was even a Rhodes Scholar. Not only that, but there was at least one white student accepted into the program, who was the son of missionaries in Colombia and had an extensive international background.

A recent survey showed that 84 percent of high-level museum positions were held by white people, and 70 percent of those high-level positions were held by women. As a white woman, Niemann is not underrepresented in the fine art world. Art museums have a huge influence over the culture of an area, and if they do not reflect the diversity of the area in which they are located, they risk alienating their base.

This nonprofit foundation should not be forced to spend a lot of money trying to defend its valuable program because one white woman did not get her way. Sign this petition to help save the Getty’s Multicultural Internship Program.

PETITION LETTER:

Dear District Attorney Lacey,

The Getty’s Multicultural Internship Program is in trouble after a white woman sued it for “discriminating” against her. The fine art world is very exclusive, with 84 percent of high-level museum positions being held by white people. The Getty’s program has taken big strides in helping museums reflect the diversity that surrounds them, and its efforts should not be undercut because someone tried to apply for a program in which they did not meet the qualifications. Please protect the Getty’s Multicultural Internship Program from being undone by Samantha Niemann’s lawsuit.

Sincerely,

[Your Name Here]

Photo credit: Caroline Culler

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