The Public Theater of SA continues to support the LGBTQIA community through various financial and non-financial commitments as well as partnerships in our region. The upcoming EDIA Plan will ensure representation for the LGBTQIA community is inclusive.
While the Public theater of SA is in compliance with all ADA regulations, it continues to enhance its facility, technology, and programming to improve accessibility for all humans.
In FY19, The Public Theater of SA created an EDIA Committee. The committee was tasked with evaluating our practices and operations in order to make recommendations for strategic plan creation in FY20. Recommendations and discussion from FY19 were presented and discussed at the FY20 Strategic Meeting.
In FY20 (April), The Public Theater of SA board adopted a Strategic Plan that included EDIA (Equity, Diversity, Inclusion, and Accessibility) language. The EDIA team is in the process of developing an EDIA plan and it meets regularly each Thursday. The task of the Committee is to present a plan that includes, language, definitions, as well as measurable objectives/outlines that will fulfill the Strategic Plan adopted by the board. The goal is to have this plan approved by the board no later than the beginning of FY 21 (Sept 20).
The prior-approved Strategic Plan that governs FY 21 - FY 23 is under review for potential financial alterations due to COVID-19.
In solidarity with Black Lives Matter, the Public Theater of SA has encouraged its committee and leadership to increase its EDIA efforts. We recognize that this effort from staff, leadership, board, and partners has not been at the level required. We understand that we have to act now while at the same time allowing the time and thought required to create an inclusive and democratic EDIA effort. We are committed to balancing action today with a plan for tomorrow in order to create meaningful change in our organizational culture.
After putting out an initial statement of support for the Black Lives Matter movement, The Public Theater of SA released the following statement on June 7th, 2020. This statement was created by the EDI & Access Committee and was unanimously approved by its leadership and board. This statement will serve as a foundational element of the forthcoming EDIA plan.
At The Public Theater of San Antonio, we believe Black Lives Matter. We recognize that white supremacy is embedded in our systems of power. We recognize that structural racism leads to violence against Black American men and women every day. We mourn the loss of George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor, and the many lives lost before them. We are committed to being part of the change.
We understand that, as a white-led organization, we must be committed to using our platform, our privilege, and our power to act today and every day to dismantle the current system of oppression. Otherwise, our inaction makes us complicit in that very system. Therefore, we commit to a swift and sustained effort that invites People of Color to be an active part of our leadership, decision-making processes, and operations.
This action list is focused on the ways that we will engage with Black community members as a crucial part of a broader diversity, equity, and inclusion plan to which we will be held accountable, both internally and externally.
- Economic support
- Seek out vendors owned and operated by People of Color.
- Make consistent contributions to organizations that support People of Color. We encourage our community members to do the same. This includes but is not limited to NAACP-SA, San Antonio for Growth on the Eastside, The Carver Community Cultural Center, and Black Lives Matter.
- Make consistent contributions to local school districts. We encourage our community members to do the same.
- Ensure our board and staff are inclusive of People of Color so that equitable representation is built into all decision-making processes.
- Engage our board/staff in anti-racism and anti-oppression education and training.
- Partner with training and consulting firms owned and operated by People of Color to develop an Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion plan that regularly reviews our governance, finance, and operational policies through an anti-racism lens.
- Implement diversity, equity, and inclusion initiatives as part of a strategic plan to hold ourselves accountable.
- Publish transparency reports that include policies, plans, and measurable progress toward diversity, equity, and inclusion. Invite and respond to community feedback.
- Advocacy and Representation
- Demographics of the board and staff will mirror the demographics of our city.
- Create and support programming that positively and accurately represents and showcases the Black experience, including the ordinary and celebratory, not just the traumatic.
- Find more ways to center Black stories and Black artists in our work.
- Reevaluate casting practices to ensure that People of Color are represented in the decision-making process.
- Ensure equitable and inclusive employment opportunities for Artists of Color.
- Challenge our colleagues and community to join us in honoring and supporting People of Color. Here is a place to start.
- Create spaces for our Black artists to be heard.
- Deepen our connection and relationship with Black artists, organizations, patrons, staff, volunteers, advisors, and board members.
- Develop programming and commit financial resources that empower resident theater organizations of color to produce work that represents their diverse experiences.
Adrianna Puente - Chair