EQUITY, DIVERSITY, & INCLUSION

Members of the Worcester Arts Community:

 

Studio Theatre Worcester firmly stands in solidarity with the Black Lives Matter movement and with the protestors demonstrating over the killings of George Floyd in Minneapolis, as well as Breonna Taylor in Louisville, Ahmaud Arbery and Rayshard Brooks in Georgia, and countless others.  We join the millions all over the world in outrage over these unacceptable and heinous shows of unabashed racism and violence.  There has been change in our society as a result of these protests, but the fight isn't over.  We believe that the systemic racism that plagues our country must be stopped.  It is not a time to stay silent.

 

Studio Theatre Worcester was founded on the belief of fostering equity and diversity within the arts community.  We will continue to support Black artists, collaborators, patrons, and the community to provide a safe harbor, not only for artists to tell their stories, but also to support change and create empathy.  We call on you to do the same.

WHAT CAN YOU DO?

  1. Keep Listening.  Keep Learning.

Simply, we must utilize our platforms to educate ourselves and fight this evil.  It takes more than hashtags and social media posts to institute real change.  Evil persists when good people do nothing.

It is important to seek out anti-racist learning opportunities that do not place a burden on your Black friends and colleagues to educate you.  Read books, articles, and essays on racism and white privilege. Watch a documentary (like 13th streaming on Netflix).  Attend lectures.  Find a speaker series.  Subscribe to a podcast.  Utilize the resources freely available on the internet, including:

 - Learn about Implicit Bias.  Take a test to see your own biases via Harvard's Project Implicit.

 - Review this Anti-Racist Resource Guide created by Anti-Racist researcher, Victoria Alexander, which identifies things to read, watch, listen to, and more; 

 - Accept the 21 Day Racial Equity Habit Building Challenge and track your progress using the chart provided through the link.

   2. Decide if you are an ally or an advocate

What's the difference?  Allies 'stand' with people in a marginalized community. They offer support and learn/reflect on the issues. Advocates provide assistance in dismantling the structures that oppress a group of people. They are action-oriented and actively challenge the existing establishments and systems designed to hold people back. 

   3. Donate and make your voice heard

Identify a non-profit organization that provides financial assistance to the Black population.  Do your research to ensure that a significant portion of your donation goes to the program itself, rather than administrative costs or C-level salaries.  For example, over 74% of money donated to the NAACP Legal Defense Fund goes toward the program to empower real change.

 

Sign online petitions.  There are hundreds of petitions available to make your voice heard.  They only take a minute to support the cause, and can easily show an immense groundswell of support. 

WHAT CAN STUDIO THEATRE WORCESTER DO?

We know that actions speak louder than words.  Studio Theatre Worcester has taken this opportunity to look within ourselves as an organization.  While we are relatively young, we realize we can do more in this fight.  STW CAN and WILL do better.  Studio Theatre Worcester plans to join these efforts as an advocate and pledges the following:

  1. Studio Theatre Worcester will immediately create the new position of Director of Diversity and Inclusion to serve on the STW Board of Directors and will begin the search to fill this position immediately.  This position will help establish policies and programs that continues to drive diversity and inclusivity throughout all levels of the organization.

  2. Studio Theatre Worcester will begin the planning process to further expand our Board of Directors and ensure there is fair representation from the Black community and other PoC.

  3. Studio Theatre Worcester, in conjunction with local advocacy organizations, will give a voice to Black artists by featuring more stories and writers from the Black community

  4. Studio Theatre Worcester will include anti-racism and anti-oppression trainings in our monthly Board of Directors meetings. Additionally, we will find ways to make these learnings readily available to everyone.

  5. Studio Theatre Worcester will establish regular check-ins with the Black community and other PoC in the community and actively seek feedback on programming, community engagement, and artistic/administrative/educational opportunities.

  6. Studio Theatre Worcester will review every policy currently in place with an anti-racism viewpoint and revise as necessary. Additionally, we will ensure further governing documents are written with perspective in mind.

  7. Studio Theatre Worcester will continue to stand by, and make more prominent, our zero tolerance policies on discrimination and harassment.

  8. Studio Theatre Worcester will accelerate its investment in innovation to drive down costs with the end of goal of ensuring arts and arts education programs remain affordable to ALL.

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