BLACK LIVES MATTER
Theatre is a space of shared imagination. A space where stories allow us to relive and reexamine our past, and envision bold new futures. Theatre allows us the opportunity to step outside the boundaries of our own lived experience to gain greater understanding of our shared humanity -- to build compassion, empathy, and solidarity.
We cannot stay silent as black lives are endangered by police violence, and as the virus of white supremacy continues to infect this country. We honor the lives and memory of those who have most recently fallen and speak the names of Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor, and George Floyd.
As cultural institutions, theatres hold great power in whose stories are told, how they are told, by whom and for whom. We’re committed to telling relevant stories that speak to our whole community in the present moment, and the story of this moment includes white supremacy and its threat to black lives. Even as our stages are dark, it is core to Aurora’s mission and our commitment to the principles of equity, diversity, and inclusion to elevate black stories, empower black artists, and ensure that our black audience members are safe and welcome in our spaces. We have a responsibility to say unequivocally that black lives matter, and to keep doing the work of building a more just world.
With this responsibility in mind, we invite our community to educate themselves on white supremacy, racial violence, and systemic racism, and to support organizations locally and nationally that support black communities and causes.
April 20, 2021
We at Aurora Theatre Company state once again that Black lives matter, and that police violence against Black and brown bodies cannot be allowed to continue.
Even with a guilty verdict, the trial of Derek Chauvin for the murder of George Floyd is the latest reminder that we live in a culture that remains mired in white supremacy and structural racism.
We support efforts to increase law enforcement accountability, such as HR 1280, the George Floyd Justice in Policing Act of 2021, as well as efforts to defund the police in favor of unarmed civil servants, as with Berkeley’s reduction of the police budget to create a Department of Transportation to handle routine traffic violations.
But reforming and defunding the police are not enough. As a nation, we have to reckon with the ongoing legacy of white supremacy and structural racism, recognizing that it affects every aspect of our society and actively committing to positive change. This is a project both individual and collective, both internal (recognizing our own implicit biases) and external (changing our practices and policies). Aurora Theatre Company is committed to doing our part, to addressing the ways in which we have contributed to white supremacy culture, and we invite our community to join us in standing in solidarity with the fight for a more just world.
Visit auroratheatre.org/advocacy to learn more about those commitments.
ORGANIZATIONS TO SUPPORT
- BIPOC Demands for White American Theatre | We See You WAT (2020)
“America’s Racial Contract Is Killing Us” by Adam Serwer | Atlantic (May 8, 2020)
- “The Intersectionality Wars” by Jane Coaston | Vox (May 28, 2019)
- Tips for Creating Effective White Caucus Groups developed by Craig Elliott PhD
- ”White Privilege: Unpacking the Invisible Knapsack” by Peggy McIntosh
- “Who Gets to Be Afraid in America?” by Dr. Ibram X. Kendi | Atlantic (May 12, 2020)
- So You Want to Talk About Race by Ijeoma Oluo (Seal Press, 2019)
- Stamped from the Beginning: The Definitive History of Racist Ideas in America by Ibram X Kendi (Bold Type Books, 2017)
- The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness by Michelle Alexander (New Press, 2010)
- When They Call You a Terrorist: A Black Lives Matter Memoir by Patrisse Khan-Cullors Asha Bandele (St. Martin’s Press, 2018)
- Why Are All the Black Kids Sitting Together in the Cafeteria?: And Other Conversations about Race by Beverly Daniel Tatum (Basic Books, 2017)
TO WATCH AND LISTEN
- 1619 (New York Times)
- About Race
- Intersectionality Matters! hosted by Kimberlé Crenshaw
- Momentum: A Race Forward Podcast
- Pod For The Cause (from The Leadership Conference on Civil & Human Rights)
- Pod Save the People (Crooked Media)
- The Combahee River Collective Statement
Movies and TV:
- 13th (Ava DuVernay) — Netflix
- Dear White People (Justin Simien) — Netflix
- Fruitvale Station (Ryan Coogler) — Available to rent
- I Am Not Your Negro (James Baldwin doc) — Available to rent or on Kanopy
- If Beale Street Could Talk (Barry Jenkins) — Hulu
- Just Mercy (Destin Daniel Cretton) — Available to rent
- See You Yesterday (Stefon Bristol) — Netflix
- Selma (Ava DuVernay) — Available to rent
- The Black Panthers: Vanguard of the Revolution — Available to rent
- When They See Us (Ava DuVernay) — Netflix