WAYNE COUNTY, Michigan - Wayne County Executive Warren C. Evans today issued the following regarding the resignations of several members of the Detroit Institute of Arts Board of Directors:
"I commend the members of the Detroit Institute of Arts Board of Directors who resigned today, for taking a principled stand against workplace harassment and insular management styles. These board members sent a strong message that grievances aired by women employees of the DIA must be taken seriously by the museum's executive leadership and its governing board. I am proud that these board members have stood behind the women who have brought forward credible allegations of retaliation, sexism, cultural insensitivity, and a leadership culture that is misaligned with the mission and goals of the DIA.
"These board resignations raise serious questions of confidence in the current executive leadership.
"I have long said that the DIA and its leadership must do more to be connected to and representative of the region it serves and the city it calls home; especially through increased and direct outreach to African Americans and other communities of color. The museum's disregard of this call for openness and inclusion, along with similar calls from many other leaders in our community, points to an insular culture that is more focused on protecting individual turfs and maintaining privilege. This needs to end.
"The residents of Detroit and Wayne County voted to support the DIA millage, in part, because the museum's leadership and board members made assurances it would work harder and more diligently to address issues of equity and inclusion. To be clear: those assurances remain unmet. Perhaps today's resignation of these key board members will send the strong message that time is up for promises and that direct and decisive action is needed."