On June 17 at 12 pm EDT, ArtsEmerson hosted a Town Hall with Executive Director David C. Howse and Artistic Director David Dower for a conversation centered around the most recent displays of racist acts in the U.S. and the subsequent “organizational commitment” statements to Black Lives Matters and dismantling white supremacy that we’ve seen all across the world from various institutions.
Over time, ArtsEmerson has developed a reputation for leadership in Boston’s cultural landscape with respect to diversity, equity, and inclusion. We are still on that journey, not yet where we want to be, so we look forward to discussing questions such as: What does it mean for an organization to make a commitment statement? What track record, if any, is necessary for those statements to have meaning? And what does it say when an organization chooses to say nothing at all?
As part of our values, we gather where we can to engage in these difficult discussions in order to move forward and make meaningful commitments toward equity and justice. Our mission statement directly calls us to this moment, “cultivating diversity in the art and in the audience, we ignite public conversation around our most vexing societal challenges as a catalyst for overcoming them.” It is with this belief at our core that we move forward.
Before watching the video of the Town Hall, we encourage our audience members to read the following content on our blog, as much of the conversation will be guided by these pieces:
- Organizations Have Stated Their Commitments. Now What? by David C. Howse
- Don’t Take Our Word For It by David Dower
- Resist Numbness by David C. Howse
- How A Statement Comes Together by David Dower
Thank you for growing alongside us toward the future, holding us accountable, and leading in this pivotal moment. If you feel inclined, please continue the conversation in the comment section below.