Central Works Racial Justice Plan


Central Works Racial Justice Statement

Central Works recognizes the demands made by We See You White American Theatre and the BIPOC Living Doc Equity Action Plan. We are aware of, and are grateful for, the extensive amount of labor that went into these documents. We are meeting this effort with labor of our own. Our Artistic Leadership, our Board, our Policy Committee, and our Planning Committee are meeting often to evaluate where we stand on the demands before us, and to initiate transparent, speedy action, with timelines.

The expressions of pain, grief, and rage from BIPOC artists about racism in our theater community has moved us to a place of deep self-examination, commitment, and action. Central Works acknowledges that we, like so many other white U.S. theaters, have profited from systemic racism. Put simply, our desire and commitment is to heal the hurt we have caused and demonstrate anti-racism, equity, justice, and humanity: in our art, in the structure of our theater, and in the all the ways we work.

Our company is currently engaged in deep and meaningful dialogue to examine the personal, interpersonal, institutional, and structural levels at which racism – including but not limited to anti-Black racism – occurs in our organization. We are asking ourselves: What attitudes and actions must we practice to enact and uphold anti-racism? What barriers exist to fully realizing this intention, and how will we remove them?

We are proceeding with urgency balanced with care in order to make thoughtful, deliberate, meaningful, and enduring changes. The following are our commitments, so far, in response to the We See You White American Theatre and the BIPOC Living Doc Equity Action Plan demands for dismantling systems of racism and oppression in the theater.

OUR COMMITMENTS:

  • We commit to self-reflect, listen, learn, plan, and act in ways that are uplifting, joyful, and welcoming to all.
  • We commit to defend racial and social justice, to practice active anti-racism, and to confront and dismantle oppression (including, but not limited to racism, sexism, ableism, homophobia, transphobia, ageism, xenophobia, and religious intolerance) in everything we do.
  • We commit to upholding a culture of respect toward all artists who work in our theater. Through education and training, we will improve and expand our points of view and cultural competency.
  • We will sustain our existing efforts and implement new ones to include, gainfully employ, and actively support artists from heretofore under-represented groups, ranging from content creation to consulting to designing to performing.
  • We will continue our efforts to recruit more BIPOC Board members, and to recruit and hire more BIPOC artists and team members.
  • Our Mission, Vision and Values statements and our strategic planning process reflect our explicitly anti-racist stance. We recognize that the Central Works performance space at the Berkeley City Club is positioned on Huchuin territory, land stolen from the Chochenyo-speaking Lisjan Ohlone people. We donate annually to the Shuumi land tax supporting the work of the Sogorea Te’ Land Trust.
  • Our company policy handbook is being revised from an anti-racist and social justice perspective.
  • In order to promote the participation and engagement of historically marginalized communities, we will continue to offer complimentary tickets, pay-what-you-can performances and sliding scale admission at the door to our performances.

This list is incomplete. We commit to be thorough. Our process is ongoing and will not end. We will move forward with thoughtfulness, spirit, deep listening, and heart, to ensure everyone’s voice is heard, valued, and respected.

A more complete list of our commitments and actions are posted here and will continue to be revised and updated regularly.

 

last updated 6.15.21