OUR DIVERSITY, EQUITY, INCLUSION COMMITMENT
OUR DEI IN-PROGRESS REPORT
In fulfillment of our pledge of solidarity, Second Stage has embarked on a path to become a diverse, equitable, inclusive and anti-racist organization. We are grateful to the Black Artist Coalition, Black Theater United, Broadway for Racial Justice, Asian American Performers Action Coalition, We See You White American Theater and others for raising awareness of inequities and racism throughout the theatre industry. Second Stage acknowledges our failures to uphold and practice anti-racist principles, behaviors and policies which have caused harm. We publicly express our commitment to this work and to being held accountable. This effort is an organization-wide commitment to learning, open dialogue and collaboration.
Our process is in early phases. We have commissioned outside experts to shepherd this work in partnership with staff across the organization. We have completed an organizational cultural assessment. The Board of Trustees has formed a Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Committee; there is also a staff anti-racism working group. The next phase in this process will include additional assessments from outside and inside the organization.
Using the results of the organizational culture assessment as our foundation, Second Stage leadership, administrative and artistic staff are entering a sustained period of learning, training and dialogue about equity, inclusion and anti-racism. This will drive our work to develop a comprehensive 5-year plan of measurable strategies to integrate inclusive, anti-racist principles throughout the organization. We will share updates as more concrete steps are put in place.
President & Artistic Director
BLACK LIVES MATTER
A MESSAGE OF SOLIDARITY
Second Stage Theater is devastated by the murders of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery, Tony McDade, Dreasjon Reed, and so many others. We stand in solidarity with the Black community, and with the Black artists and theater-makers in the Second Stage family.
Black stories, Black experiences, Black pain, and Black lives matter. Black lives matter to Second Stage, to the American theater, to our culture - our humanity and our society depend on naming, rejecting, and calling out racism in every artistic and human context.
To make our stance, our position, our institutional standard explicit:
We are not neutral. We reject white supremacy.
We recognize our privilege and responsibility, and we recognize that words are only as valuable as their accompanying actions.
For decades Second Stage has staged plays that address racism and social justice. We pledge to continue to do so. We do this out of a belief in equity and inclusion. We hope that these stories have a positive impact on the people who hear and see them.
Our stages are dark, and the future is uncertain, but as a community, a family, and cultural standard-bearer we pledge to embrace and insist on a future that is equitable, inclusive, and just. We pledge to center anti-racism in our internal and external practices including unconscious bias training. We pledge to hold space for the experiences and pain of our Black community members.
We recognize that cultural spaces and institutions need to change to become more welcoming, safe, and inclusive to Black people. We pledge to encourage the open discussion of racial inequality, and to foster safe spaces for community members of color and brave spaces for dialogue.
Our call to action is accountability. Our call to action is visibility. This letter will shape our solidarity statement, will be starred and saved in our emails, re-read in staff and production meetings, and on the first day of rehearsals until racism is eradicated. This is an open channel, and we are listening.
We know we can, and must, do more—and do better—to fight injustice and oppression. And we must be held accountable.
There can be no recovery without justice, and no future without equity.
RECLAIM THE BLOCK — Minneapolis organization reallocating city money away from the police department and toward “community-led safety initiatives".
BLACK VISIONS COLLECTIVE - a Black, trans, and queer-led social justice organization and legal fund based in Minneapolis-St. Paul.
GAS MASK FUND for Black youth activists in Minneapolis is raising money to buy gas masks for demonstrators who’ve faced tear gas during protests.
FREE THEM ALL FOR PUBLIC HEALTH - which aims to free incarcerated people amid the coronavirus pandemic.
BLACK LIVES MATTER - whose mission is to eradicate white supremacy and build local power to intervene in violence inflicted on Black communities.