Older, Wealthy, White Women Fired from Their Volunteer Jobs


The Art Institute of Chicago fired almost 100 docents on September 3rd, The Wall Street Journal reports. You will care about this story, I promise you.

A docent is a trained volunteer who greets visitors and guides them through the collection, filling in details of the artists’ lives, speaking to the visual elements of the work on display, and adding art-history context.

After an average of 15 years of service each, working for nothing, the museum offered them two years of free admission to the museum.

The apparent reason they were fired is they were older (ageism), white (racism) women (sexism).

Veronica Stein, an executive director of learning and engagement explained, “The institute needs to go to a more professional model in a way that allows community members of all income levels to participate, responds to issues of class and income equity, and does not require financial flexibility.”

A lawsuit probably wouldn’t work because the laws don’t cover volunteers but there are human rights commissions these ladies can file complaints with and they should.

The United States is going back to a time when people were judged by superficial characteristics.

Stein was hired in March, started in April.

Veronica Stein

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