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Theatre Department Anti-Racism Plan

This is a living document that will be regularly updated in accordance with the best practices of the performing arts and academic fields.

TimelineOur CommitmentOur PlanAction StepsAssessment
To be met immediately We will immediately adopt anti-racism as a core value of our program. We will immediately update our mission statement to reflect our commitment to anti-racism. - Finalize new language
- Submit for dean's approval
- Submit for marcom's approval
At the end of the fall semester, all the locations of our mission statement will be updated.
To be met immediately  We commit to the health and well-being of BIPOC bodies in our spaces.  We will research, create and implement regular student well-being assessments with particular consideration for our BIPOC students. - Research best practices for well-being assessments
- Review university systems and resources
- Create assessments
- Strategize their implementation
By the beginning of Fall Term we will have a well-being assessment system. 
To be met immediately  We commit to formalizing reporting and feedback protocols. We will heighten awareness of university reporting systems and strengthen department feedback channels.  - Feature university reporting systems on the call board
- Run a department survey each semester
- Create an open feedback channel that will be reviewed at each meeting
- Survey students involved in production and invite them to pospartum meetings
At the end of the academic year, we will survey our perceived accessibility
To be met immediately  We commit to ethnocultural competence in all productions. We will develop an ethnocultural competency policy for all productions.  - Develop a process for identifying and meeting ethnocultural needs of all productions
- Ban all racist stereotypes and tropes
- Ban black face, brown face, yellow face, red face, and crip face casting
- BIPOC actors will not be cast in roles that perpetuate cultural stereotypes
- Commit to culturally appropriate casting in all productions
- Open all racially non-specific roles to BIPOC
- BIPOC students will not be responsible for extradepartmental recruitment
-BIPOC should use their instruments, cultures and histories to the ends they desire.
- Production staff must be adequately trained to work with BIPOC bodies.
- Ban racial slurs that are not necessary to the performer's work. 
- Before the 2021-2022 season is selected, we will have an ethnocultural competency policy.
To be met immediately  We commit to an open season selection process.  We will review and revise our season selection process. - Student engagement
- Ethnocultural competency
- Accurate reflection of the spectrum of professional work
- Allow students to advocate for roles they feel will contribute to their growth
Before the 2021-22 season is selected, we will have an open season selection process.
To be met in Fall Term  We commit to decentralizing whiteness and the white/Western aesthetic as the default. We will review all standards and practices for white bias. - Create criteria to define "student success" without erasure of ethnocultural expression
- Check that assimilation to whiteness is not a hidden learning outcome
- BIPOC culture, language, perspective, and aesthetic will not be erased or discouraged
- Design students will learn design for BIPOC bodies
- We will expand representation of BIPOC experience beyond trauma
- We will provide proper ethnocultural context
By the beginning of Spring Term, all instructors will decentralize whiteness.
To be met within 5 years We commit to the equitable inclusion and representation of BIPOC artists. We will audit our pedagogy to ensure the inclusion of BIPOC artists. - Review syllabi
- Include BIPOC sources in 50% of all course material
- Provide proper ethnocultural context
By the beginning of Spring Term, 50 percent of all course material will be from BIPOC sources.
To be met by the end of the academic year We commit to providing BIPOC mentors for students Until we have full-time BIPOC faculty, we will work to provide BIPOC students with relevant advisors and mentors. - Begin funding conversations
- Explore contract logistics for outside mentors
- Begin conversations with administration
- Define the role of these positions
By the end of the academic year, we will have BIPOC mentors established for BIPOC students.
To be met within five years We commit to prioritizing and hiring BIPOC artists and faculty. We will make a sincere, good faith effort, to make space in our courses and production for BIPOC artists and faculty. - Strategize how we can hire BIPOC directors, designers, playwrights, etc.
- Begin funding conversations to meet these goals
- Cede space to BIPOC whenever possible
- BIPOC will not be limited to BIPOC plays/courses 
Within five years __ percent of our creative collaborators will be BIPOC.
To be met within five years We commit to increasing our major/minor BIPOC representation. We will actively work to have our incoming cohorts be at least 50 percent BIPOC. - Work with admissions/financial aid (Greg, Quincy and Jeannie)
- Work with ISC (Lulu Gonzalez, Act Six, Bucs Bridge)
- Assign Community Engagement McDonald Scholar to this work this year
- Begin tracking data of BIPOC recruitment and retention
- Apply student worker hours to this goal
- Within five years, all incoming cohorts will be at least 50% BIPOC.

Actions to Be Discussed

  • Creation of safe and exclusive affinity spaces for students and faculty
  • Adoption of Theatrical Intimacy and Instructional Touch Best Practices
  • Commitment to building long-term relationships with BIPOC audiences and artists.
  • Investing in gap training for BIPOC artists in our region.
  • Advocate for a BIPOC student rep McDonald scholarship position.
  • Adopt a land acknowledgment/exclusion recognition policy for all syllabi, official meetings, first rehearsals, and pre-show announcements.
  • Commit to equitable access to BIPOC audiences.
  • Offer free tickets to members of the American Indian tribal community on whose traditional homelands your theatre sits.
  • Create a land acknowledgment display in the lobby.
  • Commit to establishing an anti-racist audience environment (front of house anti-racism training, audience etiquette policing, etc.)
  • Commit to meeting access needs for all audience members.