Equity, Equality, and Solidarity
Racial Equity Commitment and Conversation
January 26, 2021 – Dancers’ Group affirms and recommits to striving for racial equity, both internally in our work environment, work processes, and hiring decisions as well as externally through our programming and our work with the Bay Area Dance community.
- We commit to interrogating our organizational and personal assumptions and beliefs and how those contribute to enforcing or fighting white supremacy.
- We acknowledge that as a white-led organization we have a responsibility and obligation to address the ways in which our work upholds and maintains systems of white supremacy. We commit to providing space for ALAANA+/BIPOC artists and organizations.
- We commit to continuing to recruit, retain, and support board members and staff that represent the diversity of the communities we serve (ethnicity, class, practice, ability, gender, LGBTQ+, geographic location, age, religious practice).
- We commit to continuing to prioritize collaborating with artists and organizations rooted in ALAANA+/BIPOC communities, as we have done with the Rotunda Dance Series, ONSITE, CA$H Dance, and In Dance in order to center opportunities for visibility in those communities.
- We commit to continuing to use our commissioning programs to give opportunities to artists with different viewpoints and backgrounds in order to support them in creating and presenting their work.
- We commit to continuing to use regranting programs to inclusively invest in the Bay Area Dance community, specifically with the CA$H Dance program, as well as other future regranting programs.
- We commit to listening to our communities and developing and providing timely resources, programs, and activities that reflect the needs of the Bay Area Dance community.
- In our ongoing considerations of programmatic work, we commit to centering our work in the consideration of who is invited to participate, who is included and has a seat at the table, and how we might design and adapt programs to better serve ALAANA+/BIPOC folks in the Bay Area Dance community.
Racial equity has been a part of our work, and we acknowledge that our organization has fallen short of achieving these goals many times in our history. We recommit to acknowledging when we fall short and make mistakes, and adjusting/adapting/improving programs and services to continue to strive toward a vision of racial equity in the resources and opportunities available in the Bay Area Dance community.
Dancers’ Group also commits to revisiting this statement as part of our work, knowing this is work that must happen consistently and constantly in order to achieve the goals detailed here.
- We prioritize racial equity and also acknowledge the need for equity across identities, including but not limited to race, ethnicity, class, style of dance practice, ability, gender, LGBTQ+, geographic location, age, religious practice, and years of artistic experience.
- Dancers’ Group defines equity as distributing resources and opportunities based on the needs of the recipients.
- We have used African, Latinx, Asian, Arab, Native American – represented using the acronym ALAANA+ – because we know that many believe the term, “people of color,” conflates together entire groups of people and as a contrast to white. This results in a continued centering of whiteness as the norm and the standard from which other identities deviate. (Reference for this definition)
- We prioritize geographic location knowing that San Francisco-based organizations have privilege relative to other locations in the Bay Area in their access to opportunities, funding, and venues to create work.
Solidarity in support of Black Lives
June 3, 2020 – Pain of witnessing violence can’t compare to the pain of experiencing violence. Dancers’ Group works to (and will continue to work to) bringing an equity-focused approach to our work and we celebrate the broad diversity of the Bay Area Dance community and stand with Black people, today and always.
Our thanks to Zaccho Dance Theatre and Joanna Haigood for their wisdom and resources (shared here with permission):
There is much to be done. We must also:
- Vote for change
- Stay educated on our history and the complexity of its impact
- Unpack our own privileges and acknowledge how we might benefit or participate in the system of white supremacy
- Remember that all Black, Indigenous, and peoples of color in this country are targets
- Keep talking about ending racism
- Create new strategies
- And finally, pray to whatever spirit elevates us to practice loving kindness
“I pray for the families of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery, Tony McDade, Mario Woods, Matthew “Peanut” Johnson, and for all the grieving families of Black and Indigenous people, peoples of color, and LGBTQ+ people who have been the victims to these crimes, that they will finally receive justice and peace. I also celebrate Black resilience, wisdom, and creative genius and will continue to practice and share the healing power of art.” —Joanna Haigood, artistic director, ZACCHO Dance Theatre