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Department of Theatre & Dance College of Arts & Letters

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Statement & Action Plan on Antiracism

This is a living document.

Last updated: December 3, 2020

The Department of Theatre and Dance is articulating and upholding a new departmental mission and vision that commits to daily Antiracist action and ongoing critical reflection. The following previously made statement outlines our commitment to Antiracist work:

Statement

To our BIPOC Alumni, Students, Collaborators, and Community,

We hear you, and we see you. The Department of Theatre and Dance at Sacramento State recognizes your trauma and pain. We are contributors to your suffering through white supremacy, departmental and systemic racism, and silence. We deeply apologize. We recognize and acknowledge that the extended silence and inaction are acts of violence. We stand in solidarity with Black Lives Matter until humanity is available for all. We condemn police brutality and the ongoing trauma enacted on Black people. We condemn the state sanctioned violence and inaction around the lives of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery, Elijah McClain, Michael Brown, Tamir Rice, Sandra Bland, Trayvon Martin, Stephon Clarke, Tony McDade, and most recently Jacob Blake and the many names missing from this list. We are committed to lifelong learning and growth. We take seriously your concerns and suggestions and ask that you hold us accountable for real progress and action. We are actively transforming our department to reflect this statement. The Department of Theatre and Dance will take ongoing actions including, but not limited to:

  1. Creating a webpage with an itemized list of Antiracist measures for our department.

  2. Providing updates to our community regarding diversifying our curricula and

    performance opportunities.

  3. Working with our BIPOC faculty, staff, students and alumni for input and feedback.

  4. Engaging in Antiracism trainings/workshops and webinars.

We recognize that it is not enough to acknowledge racism. It is not enough to condemn racism. We must make a conscious and continuous choice to be Antiracist. We have much work to do.

The action plan below serves as a starting point and foundation for ongoing work with commitment to moving our critical reflections on equity, inclusion and support into daily practice for students, colleagues and our community. Some of these items have been implemented, some are in process and some are long term goals that will take time.

Inclusive Classroom Environments

How we teach as well as how we learn are integral aspects to classroom atmosphere.We will work to cultivate learning environments that highlight and center BIPOC students in the following areas, including but not limited to:

  • Inclusive pedagogy – We acknowledge that students learn in a variety of ways and we commit to diversifying our teaching methods and assessment tools.

  • Ongoing Cultural Competency– We will continue to implement trainings for faculty and staff with the intention of developing the ability to understand, communicate with, and effectively interact with people across cultures.

  • Address Implicit Bias – Implicit bias is all-pervasive. We pledge to be more conscious of our implicit biases and implement ongoing training to erode them.

  • Equity in Virtual Spaces – We will continue to foster and advocate for equity in our classrooms, meetings, and rehearsal and performance spaces as they occur online.

Inclusive Curriculum

We are committed to decolonizing our course offerings through implementing an intentionally Antiracist Arts Education that is inclusive of BIPOC scholarship and contributions as integral to our fields, by:

  • Decentering White voices and elevating contributions of BIPOC scholars/educators/practitioners

  • Addressing the problematic history of racism/misogyny/homophobia of our “canonized” voices

  • Diversifying required courses in each BA program

  • Developing formal internships with diverse and BIPOC community partners

Departmental Climate

We dedicate ourselves to Antiracism as a fundamental department value by committing to Transparency, Cultural Competency, Communication and Accountability, in addition to:

  • Ongoing Antiracism work and trainings for the department’s growth, including the Communities of Color Collective and the Antiracism Action Plan Work Group

  • Integrating Touchstones (The Little Book of Racial Healing by Tom DeWolf) within all Departmental affairs.

  • Ongoing support of Student Antiracism Advisory Group as a platform for students to have a voice on departmental affairs.

  • Creation of Departmental Website Resource Page BIPOC, LGBTQIA+

  • Creation of ongoing meetings and spaces for dialogue regarding systemic racism in higher education theatre and dance programs and the professional fields that are inclusive of faculty, staff, students, alumni and community members

Recruitment, Retention, and Hiring of a Diverse Faculty and Staff

Central to our academic mission is a diverse faculty and staff, which is essential for robust and equitable decision making reflective of our student population. We are dedicated to:

  • Amplifying and clarifying the recruitment and hiring process to increase access and equity

  • Developing departmental incentives for BIPOC applying for faculty and staff positions.

  • Strongly advocating with university and college leadership for much needed tenure track hires in support of BIPOC faculty.

  • Supporting our BIPOC faculty through to promotion, considering the biases associated with BIPOC faculty student evaluations.

  • Highlighting scholarship, service and creative research of BIPOC faculty on a visible public platform

  • Providing outside dramaturgical support and mentorship for non-BIPOC faculty when a project or production delves into BIPOC/POC/LGBTQ+ experiences, etc. in order to ensure broader representation of student populations within the cast, and deeper understanding of the experiences behind the storytelling.

  • Advocating with the university and college to provide release time or compensation for BIPOC faculty contributing beyond normal position expectations as an advisor or resource for non-BIPOC faculty.

Student Development

Arts education has the ability to develop our humanity and our interaction with the world at large. As stewards of arts education, we articulate our commitment to students in Theatre and Dance by cultivating and maintaining a supportive environment for BIPOC students to thrive.

  • We must prioritize proactive BIPOC student mentoring and recruitment/retention for both undergraduate BA programs.

  • We are in the process of updating our mission and vision statements to reflect our commitment to Antiracism.

  • We offer BIPOC Spaces to provide opportunities for ongoing self-care, healing, empowerment, networking, and constructive dialoguing.

  • We have created the opportunity for the formation of a Theatre and Dance Student Antiracism Advisory Group. We will continue to support this diverse group when they offer input on departmental endeavors including Season Planning, Curriculum, Guest Artist Selection, etc.

We are committed...

...to developing diverse forms of knowledge, new approaches, and scholarship, while strengthening relationships with diverse communities on and off campus. We invite you to provide your valuable anonymous feedback by clicking this link:

Submit anonymous feedback

Additionally, the following content areas will be addressed in future iterations of our Antiracist Action Plan: Co-Curriculum/Season Planning/Casting, etc., Equitable Intersections between Community and Campus, and Land Acknowledgement.