Diversity, Equity, Inclusion & Anti-Racism: NWCT Action Items & Updates

NWCT has heard the request for organizations to provide specifics on how they are responding to the current crisis. Below is a reverse-chronological list of updates, statements, and actions we’ve taken since June 1, 2020:

  • Organized Black Lives Matter Sign Waving Events for the NWCT Community (Thursdays 4-6pm, sign up to join us here!)
  • Released our DEI and anti-racist short-term plan
  • Scheduled mandatory anti-bias training for staff (occurring August 2020).
  • Sharing staff social justice actions on social media in an effort to encourage our community to get involved.
  • Statement from Artistic Director Sarah Jane Hardy about producing Seussical, following discussions with the cast, creative team, and staff.
  • The cast and creative team involved in Seussical Online engaged in a dialogue about Dr. Seuss’ racist political cartoons and research that discovered racist undertones in his children books. They were given the chance to provide direct input in how and if we move forward with the show.
  • Opened up our free parking lot to anyone participating in the protest for drop-off, pick-up or parking.
  • Gathered supplies — bottled water, snacks, basic medical supplies, and masks — to donate to Shaking The Tree Theatre (who have opened their doors to protesters to use the restroom, charge their phone, and refuel) and Don’t Shoot Portland. If you would like to contribute, supplies can be dropped off at the theater on Tuesdays and Fridays from 10am – 2pm. Please use the NW 19th Ave. door.
  • Held an open staff meeting to share individual responses, ask questions, and brainstorm immediate and long-term actions we can take as an organization. Items discussed include:
    • Acknowledgment of the power that we hold as a theater in the Portland community.
    • Consideration of how we can better use our hiring practices and financial resources to uplift Black artists, technicians, administrators, and stories.
    • Started exploring how to make NWCT programming, especially Theater School, more accessible to the Black community. NWCT has never turned a child away for lack of funds, but acknowledges that there are structural barriers beyond finances that may prevent families from accessing our programs.
    • Considered ways in which we can better include communities of color as audience members, and further welcome members of our Black community into the NWCT family.
    • Invitation for staff to privately make suggestions and statements to leadership.
    • Commitment to holding regular group discussions.
  • Dedicated our social media platforms to amplifying voices and businesses in the Black community, specifically resources that support children and families. 
  • Statement from Northwest Children’s Theater

 

Thank You NWCT Sponsors