The Metropolitan Opera in New York has appointed Marcia Lynn Sells as their first Chief Diversity Officer.
Sells will work to implement a Diversity, Equity and Inclusion plan, driving the work of identifying systemic and structural inequities within the company. She will also work with the marketing and development departments to expand the the Met’s audience and donors.
“I am thrilled to be joining the Met’s very talented team, which is clearly committed to dismantling racial inequalities within the institution,” Sells said in a statement. “I look forward to expanding the work that the Met has embarked on to create a more inclusive workplace that values the diversity of its staff and the audiences it serves. As someone who started out as a dancer, it feels like a wonderful homecoming to return to a performing arts organisation, especially one that is determined to elevate all voices and identities.”
Prior to this role, Sells was a dancer in the Dance Theatre of Harlem and went on to become a lawyer. Her most recent role was as the Dean of Students at Harvard Law School, where she created and implemented various diversity programs.
The new position builds on the Metropolitan Opera’s efforts to address issues of diversity. Other initiatives they have put in place include an ongoing partnership with Peoplmovr, a creative agency with a focus in anti-racism and equity, and collaborations with the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture.
Sells takes up her post with the Metropolitan Opera on 15 February.
Words by Ellen Leslie.
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