Black Lives Matter.
As our nation wakes up to the ongoing, systematic, institutional racism that is woven into the fabric of American life, Santa Cruz Shakespeare is actively reexamining the role that it and other theatre companies have played in perpetuating racist systems. We acknowledge and are grateful for the work done by Black, Indigenous, and other People of Color (BIPOC) both nationally and locally to document their experiences of oppression in the theatre. We are indebted to We See You White American Theatre, the BIPOC Equity Action Plan, and the Bay Area Living Document. These testaments have provided a road map for the critical work that must be done to ensure that our theatre spaces and communities become truly equitable and inclusive. We commit ourselves to this work.
Our mission at Santa Cruz Shakespeare is to build and strengthen community. We can only effectively pursue this mission by taking a hard look at the policies, practices, and programming that may make SCS unwelcoming and unsafe for BIPOC artists and community members. To that end, as a first step, the Board and Staff of SCS is devoting its annual fall retreat in 2020 to engage with the BIPOC Equity Action Plan, examine anti-racist best practices in the theatre, create a committee for accountability, and establish a timeline for deliverable actions. This webpage will be updated with a summary of results from that retreat and will be updated regularly to keep the goals of the organization transparent, and to hold us accountable for continued positive change and growth.
Update: SCS is grateful to announce that we have entered into a contract with the California Conference for Equality and Justice (CCEJ) to undertake anti-racist training with our staff and board of directors. In addition to the training provided, CCEJ will also work with the SCS board to develop an anti-racist plan of action, a five year strategic plan for Inclusivity, Diversity, Equity, and Accessibility, and a review of company policies and procedures.
We stand in solidarity with all who would make our community not just diverse and inclusive, but truly equitable. We believe that this is neither a performative act, nor a simple one, but an on-going and intentional process of critical self-examination, accountability, and action.
Rick Wright, Board President
Mike Ryan, Artistic Director
Larry Mabrey, Managing Director