The murder of George Floyd, and so many before him, is beyond abhorrent, and compels our nation toward a long-overdue reckoning with racism. It also compels our organization to take our share of responsibility for what is good and bad in our own community–and our capacity to shape it. It is time to join the chorus in declaring that enough is enough.
Our hearts are breaking–for the families of lives lost, for the communities under attack, and for all who are suffering and who have suffered for far too long because of overt and deep-seated racism. Our hearts go out to our CTC family, especially those of color, who live with injustices that many of us cannot fathom.
Black lives matter. Black artists and stories matter. Theatre exists to share stories of the human experience, regardless of how comfortable or uncomfortable that may be.
The fight against racial injustice must be inherent to who we are as an organization. The essential nature of community theatre is collaborative, and we must reflect our community through work that includes not rejects, expands not constricts, informs not denies, and unites not divides.
At the Chattanooga Theatre Centre, we pledge to redouble our commitment to being an intentional, purposeful, and actively just organization, and we charge ourselves with the following:
* We acknowledge the privileges and prejudices we have been part of in our 97-year history and pledge to hold ourselves to a higher standard.
* We pledge that the stories we tell on our stage will reflect an increasingly wide range of cultures and will elevate marginalized voices and underserved communities.
* We pledge that equity, diversity, and inclusion will be even higher priorities in our programming, governance, and employment practices.
* We pledge to take a deep and strategic look at our organization and intensify our policies addressing equity, diversity, and inclusion.
* We pledge our support to those in the CTC family who are deeply affected by these tragedies, and we rededicate ourselves to being a place of unity, acceptance, and welcome.
Now, more than ever, we pledge that as we endeavor to expand the hearts and minds of our patrons and volunteers through our work on the stage, we will endeavor to expand our own hearts and minds off the stage. We are mourning. We are listening. And we commit to being part of change for the better.
Posted June 4, 2020