Walker Art Center sued by woman told she couldn’t breastfeed in gallery

Walker Art Center, Minneapolis. Photo: McGhiever. Courtesy Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 4.0

A woman has sued the Walker Art Center after a member of staff told her she could not breastfeed in the gallery, claiming the directive violated her civil rights.

Mzenga and her family were visiting the museum last March when the incident occurred. ‘We were actually in a gallery with two large couches,’ she told KARE11. ‘I decided to sit down on a couch and started nursing her. At that point, a male staff member approached me and said, “You can’t do this here. I’ll call an escort to take you to a place where you can do this.”’ As Mzenga was leaving the Walker, she asked another employee about the museum’s breastfeeding policy who was uncertain whether they had any and who handed her a feedback form.

‘In that moment, I had some dignity taken away from me. As a mom, as a woman, as a nursing mother, I don’t want that to happen to any other mother. Babies need to be fed. You can do that freely.’ The Walker’s website now reads, ‘Parents are free to nurse children wherever feels most comfortable.’

Megan Mzenga’s lawyer told the local TV station KARE11: ‘Women have the right to feed their children in public, and when they can’t, they are being discriminated against in violation of Minnesota law.’

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