We, the faculty and staff of the LMU Theatre Arts Department recognize our unintended role in perpetuating systems of oppression and inequity in our department. We are in the process of reimagining what we teach and how we teach and create. We hope to make definite strides towards fixing a broken system and preventing further injustice and moving toward equitable practices.
Actions We Are Engaged In
Regular dialogues on integrating Anti-Racist and Diversity, Equity, and Inclusivity work in everything we do as part of our regular faculty meetings. The goal is to create a Department Ethos centered on Anti-Racist and inclusivity practices that will serve as a guideline as we move forward in our work as theatre artists and educators.
Re-examining our Curriculum towards decentering whiteness and providing our students with a diverse range of theatrical experiences.
We are revamping our season selection process to include more BIPOC voices. Part of this process includes creating a Season Selection Committee. The committee then created a manifesto that will hold us accountable to our Diversity, Equity and Inclusion mission for our production seasons. Henceforth, we will be extending season planning to four years. The goal is to ensure that during a student’s college experience they will engage with a diverse array of writers, artists, genres and voices.
Have planned our first listening session for BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, People of Color) LMU Theatre Arts students, alumni and allies to hear aspects of their lived experience in the department. We are committing to continue to hold these sessions in the years to come.
PRISM is the Department of Theatre Arts inaugural annual guest speaker series and a featured program within the College of Communication and Fine Arts (CFA). We hope PRISM will be a vital connection between Loyola Marymount University and the professional theatre arts community. For Spring 2021, PRISM will thematically center Black theatre artists whose work and lived experiences foreground issues of racial and social justice. In light of COVID-19 restrictions, all lectures/workshops will be delivered live on Zoom. Learn More
Celebrating Black Resilience in Los Angeles
LMU Theatre Arts hosted numerous virtual discussions in Fall 2021 called Celebrating Black Resilience in Los Angeles. These conversations were curated to address student concerns that arose due to the planned performance of Twilight: Los Angeles, 1992 by Anna Deveare Smith.
Season Selection Manifesto
You can read more about our Season Selection Manifesto here.
DEI & Anti-Racist Accountability & Resources
Department Anti-Racist Ethos
The department is currently working on developing an Anti-Racist Ethos that will be applied to our teaching philosophies and classroom practices.
DEI Committee Charge
We, the Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Committee of the Theatre Arts Department, seek to educate and inform our faculty, staff and students on Anti-Racist and DEI practices and pedagogy. We will strive to amplify the voices of our BIPOC students, staff and faculty.
As a committee, we will give recommendations to our full time faculty on DEI and Anti-Racist best practices for our syllabi, courses, curricula, classrooms, productions and theatre spaces.
For the faculty, we will engage and facilitate in Anti-Racist talks about pedagogy and best practices. We will dedicate time to identify and break down our own bias and prejudice. We will work towards harm reduction and prevention moving forward and we will develop an Anti-Racist Ethos for our department standards to follow.
Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, & Anti-Racist Pedagogy Definitions
The policy or practice of opposing racism and promoting racial tolerance.
The presence of differences. Used as a term to denote practices/policies in which predominately/historically white (cisgender masculine/heterosexual) spaces increase the numbers/percentages of populations that have been and/or remain underrepresented in the space. The term diversity in an Americo-centric context is most commonly associated with adjusting racial demographics, diversifying a space to include gender, religion, sexual orientation, ethnicity, nationality, socioeconomic status, language, (dis)ability, age, religious commitment, or political perspectives.
Treating people similarly.
Starts with the premise that individuals are not equal because of historical and contemporary marginalization. IT makes one think about how to provide individuals with the unique resources they need to be successful; and ensuring that processes and programs remove barriers so that there are equal positive outcomes for every individual.
A practice of ensuring that people feel a sense of belonging. People feel comfortable and supported as their unique selves.
Definitions provided by Prof. Jennifer Williams (LMU).
DEI & Anti-Racism Resources
- 10 Books About Race To Read Instead Of Asking A Person Of Color To Explain Things To You
- 40+ Books for AntiRacist Teachers – White Fragiles Beware! (summer 2020 update)
- An Antiracist Reading List
- Understanding and Dismantling Racism: A Booklist for White Readers
- Your Anti-racism Books Are A Means, Not An End
- Anti-Racist Links / Essays / Podcasts
- The Anti-Racist Starter Pack: 40 TV Series, Documentaries, Movies, TED Talks, and Books to Add to Your List
- Brené with Ibram X. Kendi on How to Be an Antiracist | Brené Brown
- Feminist Films for Antiracist Educators
- Ibram X. Kendi on The difference between being “not racist” and anti-racist
- Implicit Bias -- how it affects us and how we push through | Melanie Funchess | TEDxFlourCity
- Resmaa Menakem — 'Notice the Rage; Notice the Silence'
- Resources for talking with children about race and racism
Online Links and Articles
- 5 Ways to Show Up for Racial Justice Today
- Anti-Racism Resources — Rachel Ricketts
- Anti-racism requires more than passive sympathy | Joshua Virasami
- Anti-Racism Resources & Action Steps
- Asian American Racial Justice Toolkit
- Anti-racism resources for white people
- Being Antiracist
- Opinion | Allies, Don't Fail Us Again
- Opinion | Racism's Hidden Toll
- Resources for Anti-Racist Action June 2020
- Scaffolded Anti-Racist Resources
- Seeing the Water: Seven Values Targets for Anti-Racism Action
- Showing Up for Racial Justice Political Education, Toolkits, and Other Resources
- Verna Myers: How to overcome our biases? Walk boldly toward them
- What is Racism? Unpacking the Seven I’s
DEI & Anti-Racist Theatre Resources
- Woke Supremacy
- See for Yourself: Curtain Up on Racism in Theater
- Conversations with Black Acting Methods Luminaries-Sharrell D. Luckett
- Training With a Difference
- (Re)Imagine Accessible Theater (ASL interpreted & live captioned)
- Anti-Racism and the Institution
- Beyond “Decolonizing” the Syllabus
- How Liberal Arts Theatre Programs Are Failing Their Students of Color
- Playwrights of Color, White Directors, and Exposing Racist Policy
- We See You White American Theatre Demands
- We’ve Seen White American Theatre How Can We BIPOC Now See Ourselves?
- When the Students Have Notes for the Teachers
- Why ‘Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion’ Is Obsolete
- "I’m Not Interested in More Allies. I Need Advocates."
- Let’s Be Real: These Programs Won’t End Racism at Your Theatre
- OpEd: Silence of White Theaters on Anti-Black Violence is Deafening
- We Don’t Want Your Statements, American Theatre
- ASTR Field Conversation: Season Selection with an Anti-Racist Approach
- How We Grew a Student-Centered Anti-Racist Movement at Our Institution of Learning
- Not a Moment but a Movement: Toward an Anti-Racist American Theatre
- 'Red Flags' BIPOC Students Need to Look Out for with BFA Programs
- Theatre Program Checklist: Theatre Department Accountability
- Who Designs and Directs in LORT Theatres by Pronoun: 2020
List of BIPOC Plays & Creatives
Our list of BIPOC plays and creatives can be found here.