PETITION TO THE DIA’S LEADERSHIP AND THE BOARD OF DIRECTORS FOR IMMEDIATE ACTION

PETITION TO THE DIA’S LEADERSHIP AND THE BOARD OF DIRECTORS FOR IMMEDIATE ACTION

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DIA Staff Action started this petition to Detroit Institute of Arts

We, DIA Staff Action, have created this petition to the Detroit Institute of Arts’ leadership, the Board of Directors, and the Arts Authorities of Oakland, Wayne, and Macomb counties. This petition has been revised to incorporate events that have transpired since our original call to action, published on July 29th, 2020.

After years of unsuccessful attempts internally reporting what we recognize to be unethical, abusive, and narcissistic workplace behaviors at the institution, we are now relying on public support as our last resort. It saddens us that we have reached this point, however, far too many people have suffered and continue to work in fear. With the heightened increase of staff and Board Members’ resignations, intervention is urgent before the institution continues to self-destruct.

DIA Staff Action is protected under Sections 7 and 8(a)(1) of the National Labor Relations Act.

REQUEST FOR URGENT ACTION

  1. We ask for the immediate removal or voluntary resignation of Eugene Gargaro, Jr. from the position of Chairman of the Board of Directors and from any other involvement at the Detroit Institute of Arts.
  2. We ask for the immediate removal or voluntary resignation of Salvador Salort-Pons from the position of Director, President & Chief Executive Officer, and from any other involvement at the Detroit Institute of Arts.
  3. We ask that a comprehensive report of the workplace culture investigation led by Crowel & Moring be distributed to all staff, following practices to protect the anonymity of investigation participants.
  4. We ask that a comprehensive report of the independent investigation into the Whistleblower Aid’s ethics complaints involving Salort-Pons and Eugene Gargaro, Jr. is distributed to all staff following practices to protect the anonymity of investigation participants.
  5. We ask that DIA leadership and Board of Directors release a thorough apology to all staff and communities it serves, acknowledging the severity of the current crisis, the retaliatory work environment, and how extremely low staff satisfaction has been, and continues to be, under the leadership of Salort-Pons and Gargaro, and that it urgently addresses these complaints in constructive and sustainable ways.
  6. We ask that DIA leadership and the Board of Directors recognize and honor DIASA’s efforts by agreeing and committing to the actions requested in this petition.

 

WHAT’S HAPPENING AT DIA?
Since the publication of last year’s reports on the toxic and retaliatory workplace culture from staff and former staff, and Whistleblower Aid’s Ethics Complaints, the museum’s leadership continues to prove that they are unable, unfit, and unwilling to offer effective solutions through their usual means.  Instead of holding perpetrators of abuse accountable, or revising the power dynamics that enable a retaliatory environment, they continue to hire expensive consultants, devise baseless new projects, all while expecting staff to come up with solutions to problems their leadership has created. Despite the abundance of evidence, including the damning audio leaked by a Board member,  the leadership thus far has only responded by painting a picture of contrition without providing clear, considered, constructive next steps to address this institutional crisis. Little has been done to acknowledge and take responsibility for the severity of the situation, as there are no safe internal systems in which to hold leadership accountable for serious failures in managing and serving the institution, staff, and local communities.

Read more about DIA's crisis
Read the original petition

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