Our Commitment and Resources to Anti-Racism



Last week we shared a message with our community in response to the trauma our country and individuals are experiencing with the continued horrific and unnecessary deaths of Black people.

Over the past two years, A.C.T. has undergone tremendous change as an institution. We have owned and learned from our history, including significant input from a departing Black MFA faculty member in 2018, and recognize ongoing systemic challenges. We continue to evolve our organizational culture and work toward making meaningful changes that reflect our values of equity, diversity, and inclusion (EDI).

In our efforts to be an anti-racist organization, American Conservatory Theater is taking or committing to take the following actions:
  • Serving as community advocates by ensuring our programming reflects and represents the diversity of the San Francisco Bay Area community
  • Ensuring the diversity of creative teams (including playwrights, directors, dramaturgs, and designers) to better tell stories and making certain that actors do not carry the sole burden of representation
  • Committing to build a body of work on our stages and beyond that becomes the new American cannon, putting Black artists and artists of color at the center
  • Training and ongoing consultation so that our staff, faculty, students, and board understand systemic issues, as well as unconscious bias, microaggressions, intent vs. impact, cultural competency, and more
  • Engaging our leadership team in Intercultural Development assessment and training
  • Developing staff EDI Committee and Affinity Groups to ensure they offer a safe space for sharing, learning, and/or processing anti-racist competency
  • Work with experts in the field such as the Racial Equity Institute, ArtEquity through Theatres Advancing Social Change, Cochran Hadden Royston and Associates, Pillsbury House Theatre, and Theatre Communications Group
  • Increasing transparency across the organization through frequent company meetings, visibility into decision-making processes, and accountability for information sharing
  • Clear, ample, and safe reporting paths to bring concerns forward
  • Investing in infrastructure that will allow for expanded, intentional recruitment and retention efforts to help increase diversity of staff and leadership and become a more inclusive organization
  • Hiring a Manager of EDI to support our Director of HR and EDI in these efforts
  • Ensuring faculty are representative of the Master of Fine Arts student body
  • Continuing to provide anti-racism resources to internal and external stakeholders to do individual work
  • Sharing resources on how the community can take action and help make a difference
We acknowledge the work to achieve EDI—and more specifically, disrupting and dismantling anti-Blackness—is ongoing, and we are committed to being responsive and making positive changes to the organizational health of A.C.T. and the local and national stage through direct action and rigorous intentional care. We promise to listen, reflect, adapt, and participate in the change.

Thank you for holding us accountable.

#OpenYourLobby
We will open the lobby of the Strand Theater (1127 Market St.) on Tuesday June 9 from 10 a.m.–1 p.m. to offer a safe space for protesters participating in Kneeling 4 Justice Part 2—Memorial & Celebration of the Life of George Floyd at SF City Hall. Water, snacks, electricity, wifi, and restrooms will be available and our staff volunteers will be on site to help with social distancing protocol. Donations are welcome.

Resources

WHERE TO DONATE:
Black Lives Matter
Minnesota Freedom Fund
NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund
National Bailout Fund

TAKE ACTION:
Color of Change
Change.org (Black Lives Matter petitions)

SF BAY AREA RESOURCES:
5 Ways to Show Up for Racial Justice Today KQED
Bay Area Black-Owned Restaurants and Pop-Ups
Ella Baker Center for Human Rights
Showing Up For Racial Justice Bay Area

EDUCATING CHILDREN:
10 Diverse Children's Books to Add to Your Library
Sesame Street "I Love My Hair"
English
Spanish
Your Kids Aren't Too Young to Talk about Race

MENTAL HEALTH RESOURCES:
7 Virtual Mental Health Resources Supporting Black People Right Now

ADDITIONAL RESOURCES:
Anti-Racism Resources for White People
National Ally Resource Guide
Resources for Anti-Racist Action
Scaffolded Anti-Racism Resources
Unicorn Riot






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