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Friday, June 5, 2020

Last week we shared a message with our community in response to the trauma our country and individuals are experiencing with the continued horrific and unnecessary deaths of Black people.

A.C.T. has undergone tremendous change as an institution. We have owned and learned from our history, including significant input from a departing Black MFA faculty member in 2018, and recognize ongoing systemic challenges. We continue to evolve our organizational culture and work toward making meaningful changes that reflect our values of equity, diversity, and inclusion (EDI).

In our efforts to be an anti-racist organization, American Conservatory Theater is taking or committing to take the following actions:

  • Serving as community advocates by ensuring our programming reflects and represents the diversity of the San Francisco Bay Area community
  • Ensuring the diversity of creative teams (including playwrights, directors, dramaturgs, and designers) to better tell stories and making certain that actors do not carry the sole burden of representation
  • Committing to build a body of work on our stages and beyond that becomes the new American canon, putting Black artists and artists of color at the center
  • Training and ongoing consultation so that our staff, faculty, students and board understand systemic issues, as well as unconscious bias, microaggressions, intent vs. impact, cultural competency, and more
  • Engaging our leadership team in Intercultural Development assessment and training
  • Developing staff EDI Committee and Affinity Groups to ensure they offer a safe space for sharing, learning and/or processing anti-racist competency
  • Work with experts in the field such as the Racial Equity Institute, ArtEquity through Theatres Advancing Social Change, Cochran Hadden Royston and Associates, Pillsbury House Theatre, and Theatre Communications Group
  • Increasing transparency across the organization through frequent company meetings, visibility into decision-making processes, and accountability for information sharing
  • Clear, ample and safe reporting paths to bring concerns forward
  • Investing in infrastructure that will allow for expanded, intentional recruitment and retention efforts to help increase diversity of staff and leadership and become a more inclusive organization
  • Hiring a Manager of EDI to support our Director of HR and EDI in these efforts
  • Ensuring faculty are representative of the Master of Fine Arts student body
  • Continuing to provide anti-racism resources to internal and external stakeholders to do individual work
  • Sharing resources on how the community can take action and help make a difference 

We acknowledge the work to achieve EDI—and more specifically, disrupting and dismantling anti-Blackness—is ongoing, and we are committed to being responsive and making positive changes to the organizational health of A.C.T. and the local and national stage through direct action and rigorous intentional care. We promise to listen, reflect, adapt and participate in the change.

Thank you for holding us accountable.