IU Theatre, Drama, and Contemporary Dance stands with our Black colleagues, students, staff and alumni; we know that you are exhausted and grieving. We condemn the murders of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery, Dreasjon Reed, and all those whose lives have been taken by anti-Black violence. We stand in solidarity against these relentless and horrific acts of murder and violence. Black Lives Matter.
We are listening and learning. Inevitably we will sometimes fail, but we know we cannot be complacent. We will continue to listen, learn and take action to initiate the real change that we know is necessary.
Our department stands accountable for historically not representing the stories and experiences of BIPOC (Black, Indigenous and People of Color) on our stages. This is a long-entrenched history that is particularly evident in our programming, but also in our curriculum, casting procedures, and hiring and recruitment practices. We acknowledge that change is necessary for IU Theatre & Dance to be a truly equitable and inclusive community. Although some practices have been put in place these past two years to ensure equitable programming, curriculum and opportunities, we recognize that much remains to be done. Dismantling decades of systemic racism is an ongoing, often imperfect process, but this work is long overdue, and we must take action.
To that end, we will take the following action steps in the 20/21 academic year:
- Anti-bias, anti-racist training for all faculty and staff.
- Transparency regarding programming with continued, increased student representation elected via the SAB (Student Advisory Board).
- A commitment that 50% of productions on our 21/22 season will be written by women and/or artists of color.
- A review of curriculum by the Climate Committee to ensure that we are including voices of BIPOC artists and scholars and integrating methodologies in courses, rather than isolating them as ‘different’ or ‘alternative’.
- Our Climate Statement states what we seek to change, not that we are there now. In 20/21 we commit to making the statement real by pursuing these actions steps. We recognize that this is not a one-time fix, but an ongoing process of anti-racist interventions that must be central to all that we do.
We thank you and take this opportunity to come together as students, faculty and staff in addressing these issues, having these difficult conversations and working in support of the health and well-being of our community.
Professor Linda Pisano, Chair
IU Department of Theatre, Drama, and Contemporary Dance