From Westmont College theatre arts
The Westmont college theatre arts department recognizes the historic, ongoing impacts of structural, systemic racism, and the injustices visited on Black, Indigenous, and People of Color in North America. The department laments and apologizes for the way the discipline of theatre, and Westmont’s theatre arts department, have participated in those systems and injustices. These are imperiled times, and the cries for justice, equity, and inclusion can no longer be ignored. The department dedicates itself to the investigation and embodiment of equity and inclusion for all students, faculty, and staff. The department strives to be anti-racist in speech, actions, work in the rehearsal room, and play choice. Westmont College is animated by a vision of God’s dream for God’s people and all creation. The department affirms that all people are created in God’s image, and works to uphold and encourage that sacred reality.
The fundamental subject of the theatre is Change. Change is impossible without action. Change comes as a consequence of willed, focused, motivated intent – of the spirit moving toward some desired end. The Westmont College Theatre Arts Department recognizes that this is a momentous time in the history of the college and the country, and enacts change toward a more just, inclusive, and equitable department.
The department seeks to decentralize white power and privilege from the department’s curriculum, stage, studio, classroom, and seasons. The department has much to do. But it does so with joy and hope, and with the desire that the department will be brave and safe, where all students, faculty and audiences become free to participate in the here and now, where equity and inclusion are discussed and realized. To that end, these are the concrete, actionable steps the department will take this year to realize departmental transformation and change.
- Create anti-racism statement, to be posted on the departmental website and included in class syllabi.
- Audit all courses to ensure that the department’s materials are sufficiently diverse, inclusive, and equitable.
- Post all syllabi on the college website to ensure inclusion of works by BIPOC writers, scholars and creators.
- Participate in implicit bias training.
- Create anti-racism in the arts reading and teaching group, funded by the college, and require all full time faculty to participate.
- Engage outside facilitators to lead student workshops and conversations around race and theatre.
- Re-allocate fiscal and human resources to create a semester-long, full-time artist/scholar in residence position that will help develop equity, inclusion, and diversity.