The Metropolitan Museum of Art has named Lavita McMath Turner as the institution’s first chief diversity officer on November 27. The appointment came after the critiques of the museum leadership in regards to a letter drawing attention to “the expression of a deeply rooted logic of white supremacy and culture of systemic racism at our institution.”
After working in the City University of New York for 15 years, McMath Turner has managed issues regarding equity, inclusion, and diversity on college campuses. She currently works as the Assistant Dean for Equity, Inclusion, and Experiential Learning at Stella & Charles Guttman Community College and was the first Director of Government Relations at Kingsborough Community College.
“I have dedicated my career to creating equity, inclusion, and community within a range of arts and culture and higher education institutions, so it is with great excitement that I accept this new position at The Met,” McMath Turner said. “The Met is committed to ensuring that both its staff and visitors feel valued and are able to experience the Museum as a more diverse, equitable, inclusive, and accessible cultural institution, goals I look forward to helping The Met achieve.”
In her new role, Mcmath Turner will work with other departments to manage the museum’s goal for diversity. She also closely handle the Diversity, Inclusion, and Equal Access plan and the Commitments to Anti-Racism, Diversity, and a Stronger Community plan, which targets “meaningful change through systemic improvement.”
“Lavita McMath Turner has an exceptional record of success promoting equity throughout her career in cultural and higher education institutions, and she will be a key partner in helping The Met evolve into a more inclusive place to work, visit, and learn,” Weiss commented. “I am greatly looking forward to working together—with the full support of our Board and so many across the institution—to achieve these goals.”
McMath Turner will begin her new role as chief diversity officer effective through January 2021.