November 20, 2020
Progress Report in pursuits for Anti-Racism, Equity, and Inclusion at Theater at Emory
Prepared by the Anti-Racism in Theater @ Emory Working Group
In August 2020, Theater at Emory (Theater Studies program and Theater Emory) released our first anti-racism “progress report” to publicly recognize the depth of internal work that is necessary in order to create a meaningful and lasting path toward change in Theater at Emory. At the time of that progress report, we were addressing those internal needs by meeting weekly as faculty and staff.
We remain committed to this work, and to being transparent with the larger Theater at Emory community about our progress and our future. The following are our ongoing and past actions, followed by current goals and next steps.
By meeting weekly, with both institutional and personal focuses, we aim for our anti-racist work to be holistic, community-supported, and rigorous.
- Weekly ART@E (Anti-Racism in Theater @ Emory) meetings, attended by an average of 11 faculty and staff members (July 2020-ongoing)
- Curricular (i.e. equitable classroom practices and auditing syllabi in order to decentralize whiteness and the western aesthetic)
- Equitable research and production practices
- Gather and create shared resources
- Preparing and organizing events and training
- Monthly personal accountability meetings, created in response to the need for ART@E to be supplemented with deep, personal work; attended by an average of 6 faculty and staff members (September 2020-ongoing)
- We follow a Learn, Reflect, Act model, in which we all engage with the same outside resources and examine our own personal journeys in anti-racist work
With multiple outlets for internal and external resource-sharing, we seek to learn from experts, each other, and our community.
- Created an Anonymous Suggestion Box (ongoing)
- Anti-Racism One Drive for all faculty and staff, which includes anti-racism readings and a Research and Training spreadsheet (ongoing)
- Drafted a Recommendations Document for Theater @ Emory, adapted from our various resources and primarily referencing the demands of We See You White American Theater (in-process/review)
EVENTS ATTENDED AND HOSTED
Engaging with our communities in order to provide opportunities for listening, discussion, and feedback.
- Attended and participated in the initial IDEA ATL/CREAT town hall (6/29-7/1/20) attended by about 10 faculty and staff
- Participated in and discerned from the Reimagining Theater at Emory Town Hall Discussion with Students and Alumni (10/5/2020) attended by over 50 faculty, staff, students, and alumni
- Attended and participated in the IDEA ATL/CREAT – Town Hall 1.5: A Path to Reconciliation (10/12/2020) attended by 3 invited representatives
- Organized and hosted an Equitable Dinner on Voting Equity (10/19/20) which was mutually funded by the Theater Studies Program and Theater Emory; all faculty and staff were in attendance along with an additional 30 students, alum, and community members
GOALS AND NEXT STEPS
Making our ongoing work accessible AND actionable.
- Continue our ongoing ART@E and Personal Accountability meetings
- Create a weekly one-sheet for the Faculty Newsletter so that all have access to the ongoing work and shared resources
- Moderated Discussions throughout spring 2021 with required attendance from faculty and staff in order to have productive, complex conversations and reach consensus on action items
- Continue to engage with students and seek more ways to not only involve them but also learn from them in this work
- Implement the approved recommendations
Lisa Paulsen, Dept. Chair
Mary Lynn Owen
Nick Fesette, Oxford College