Elsewhere online
May 11, 2016

Opinion: Getty Lawsuit Could Affect Foundation Diversity

A Los Angeles Times column looks at the potential impact on charitable organizations of a white woman’s court challenge to a Getty Foundation program aimed at boosting diversity at area arts groups.

Samantha Niemann’s suit in Los Angeles Superior Court alleges discrimination because she was not accepted by Getty’s Multicultural Undergraduate Internship program. While the case has fueled online jabs and jokes, it “is no laughing matter” and could set a precedent that affects “the ways that private foundations approach issues of diversity,” Carolina A. Miranda writes.

Erwin Chemerinsky, dean of the University of California at Irvine’s law school, tells the columnist that most such suits involve race-based admissions at public universities. “This is an unusual situation,” he said, “because it's a private foundation using its money to promote diversity through internships.” He said the Getty program’s focus on groups that are underrepresented at arts organizations, rather than on race per se, and its past acceptance of at least one white student could make it difficult for Ms. Niemann to prevail in court.