The unfolding events of the past week have led us to a place of deep reflection and resolve. We grieve for the family and friends of George Floyd, and for the countless other people of color who have suffered from and live in fear of police and other forms of racially-motivated violence every day. We embrace the fact that to live in this country and enact change, we must face our ugly truths. We must invite the uncomfortable. We must acknowledge our privilege and do better for our fellow humans.
Commonwealth Shakespeare Company stands with Black Lives Matter and the protest movement toward systemic change. We continue to look within to confront our weaknesses and blindspots with the objective of broadening and fostering inclusion, equity, and especially, access – which has been one of the pillars of our company since its inception. The work we have done and continue to do is vital, but we also acknowledge we must focus our efforts beyond access toward anti-racism: not just to provide a route around the barriers of inaccessibility, but to support the deconstruction of the barriers themselves. Meaningful and authentic change needs thought and time, and even as we acknowledge that the moment is long past due, we want you to know we are engaged, and we will act with urgency.
But what can we do now, today? In an amazing forum yesterday, led by the Theatre Communications Group, we learned about how to be better Anti-Racist allies. We invite you to join us as we explore these excellent resources and suggestions:
1. Listen to and check in with your Black friends and other friends of color.
2. Read about Anti-Racism from Black authors.
3. Read about the Movement.
4. Donate to Bail Funds for protesters.
4. Discover and support, with time or money, other non-profits working on behalf of BIPOC.
6. Engage with or become a member of Stagesource, a terrific Black and Queer led organization that’s at the forefront of advocacy for theater artists in New England. (Stagesource’s list of anti-racism resources will soon be amplified here)
We commit to amplifying these resources now, as we send these out to you. We ask you, our friends, to take even the simplest action, and pass them along to others, too.
With love and solidarity,
Commonwealth Shakespeare Company