‘Clear work to do:’ Lawyer named new head of embattled human rights museum

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“Khan’s demonstrated commitment and dedication to human rights make her highly qualified for the position of director of the Canadian Museum for Human Rights — the first museum solely dedicated to the evolution, celebration and future of human rights,” Guilbeault said in news release.

Pauline Rafferty, the museum’s board chair and interim CEO, said Khan’s appointment is a crucial step towards rebuilding trust. Rafferty said in the news release that Khan has the experience to lead the institution “through the difficult process of self-reflection and positive change that has already begun.”

Rafferty apologized last week after an independent report found employees experienced systemic racism and other mistreatment at the museum. The report included 44 recommendations.

After the museum posted images of a Justice for Black Lives rally in June, stories from employees were posted online by a group called CMHR Stop Lying. Current and former employees said it was hypocritical of the museum to bring up the rally because of racism staff faced at work.

Some employees alleged they had to censor displays about LGBTQ history at the request of some school groups that visited the museum.

The stories led to the resignation of CEO John Young, who had already planned to step down when his term finished at the end August.

“Clearly with things that have gone on recently and the recent report, I have some clear work to do and have been tasked with that as a priority,” Khan said. “I’m just really eager to get started.”