June 2020 Statement on Racial Justice

June 17, 2020

Statement on Racial Justice

The murders of Ahmaud Arbery, Manuel Ellis, Breonna Taylor, George Floyd, Tony McDade, and Rayshard Brooks mark only the most recent and glaring manifestations of centuries of white supremacy. Outrage at their deaths, coupled with horror at the devastating impact of COVID-19 on BIPOC communities, has sparked this moment of reckoning and revolution. 

We in the Department of Theater salute the 2020 revolution. We recognize that it builds upon and intensifies the fierce activism of Black Lives Matter over the past decade. We also recognize the brilliance and labor of all Black artistic and activist communities who have worked so hard to make this moment happen. 

We acknowledge the pernicious legacies of white supremacy and genocide upon which this country is founded. We acknowledge our complicity in systemic, cultural, and institutional racism.  We acknowledge that in this we have too often failed our students. We are determined to confront the racism that is pervasive in our department and our community. 

 This moment demands concrete action and accountability. We believe that antiracist action plans call for sustained reflection in order to be equal to the task of dismantling systemic oppression. To that end, we will devote the summer to formulating a specific plan of action. The first phase will be announced at the beginning of the fall term.

 We are determined to create a more equitable, just world for our students. We are determined to use the power of theater to revitalize the political power of collaboration, imagination, solidarity, and care. We invite and welcome your involvement during the development and crafting of our plan. Please contact Department Chair Dan Kotlowitz with your thoughts and ideas, or use this form to share your thoughts anonymously.