Facilitating equity, diversity and anti-racist practices within my teaching and curricular development:

 

I am always working to improve my approach to creating a space that is anti-racist, inclusive and encouraging of all voices. I do this by:

  • choosing course materials (plays, poems, monologues, resource texts) from BIPOC writers, playwrights and scholars.

  • educating myself in anti-racist resolution processes

  • inviting dialogue about systems of colonialism, white supremacy, patriarchy, and ableism and how these systems of oppression are at work in our stories and structures in the theatre and institutions

  • modelling anti-racism in my teaching

  • recognizing, when possible, the roots of the traditions, practices and activities I offer my students which have mostly all been appropriated by white Eurocentric practitioners, scholars and theatre makers (such as the afro roots of coming together in a circle to share stories, for example)

  • being very specific about how students are invited to offer peer-to-peer feedback (which I keep to a minimum)

  • seeing who is in the room and modifying content as the course moves forward to invite more opportunities for my students to see themselves in the course offerings

  • In a field where students are expected to be open, generous and vulnerable with themselves in front of witnesses, I teach them to discover, understand and respect their own boundaries. I teach them to identify, moment to moment, how they are feeling, and then how to have privacy and choose what to share with an audience or with their peers. The result can be bold, playful and powerful because the performer is present, can share in their presence, and also have choice and take ownership of their work. I also teach students to identify what they are working on in any given project or assignment so that they can be specific in their own self-analysis afterward. I believe it crucial for students to master self-assessment so that their self-esteem as an artist isn’t tied to the adoration or rejection of professors, peers, critics or funding bodies but to their own desires for growth and actualization as an artist.