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Race and Equity

  Close followers of ArtsEmerson know the story of our commitment to fostering civic transformation through shared experience of art and dialogue. The easiest way to see that mission in action has been through the work on our stages and in the conversations we’ve both hosted and produced. For instance, take the recent world premiere of Claudia Rankine’s The White Card, which was surrounded by Citizen Read, Citizen Speak, and facilitated “Act II” conversations following…

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Earlier this year, The Boston Globe published an op-ed piece written by ArtsEmerson’s Executive Director David Howse and Artistic Director David Dower in response to the paper’s Spotlight series on race in the city. The Globe boldly titled the series, “BOSTON. RACE. IMAGE. REALITY.”, and used it to explore both the perception and the reality underlying Boston’s reputation as a racist city by investigating various sectors of civic life here.  While we were pleased to…

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  A few years ago, poet Claudia Rankine gave a reading of “Citizen: An American Lyric,’’ her 2014 award-winning collection of poems exploring racism and aggression. During the question-and-answer period, a white man stood up. “He said he had been moved by ‘Citizen” and he wanted to know what he could do for me,” Rankine recalls. “I said that I was doing very well, thank you. The real question he should have asked was ‘What…

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  “You cannot live thirty years with something in your closet, which you know is there, and pretend it is not there without something terrible happening to you. If I know that any one of you has murdered your brother or your mother, and the corpse is in this room under the table, and I know it and you know it, and you know I know it, and we cannot talk about it, it takes…

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  “You’re not going to change anybody’s mind shutting them down” – Rankine to the The Paris Review “In America, the killing of black people is an unending spectacle.” – Rankine in the New York Times  “Was there ever a moment when the persecution of nonwhite Americans wasn’t the norm?” – Was Charlottesville the Exception or the Rule? “We need to stop not calling it out….We can stop housing it. So that it stays where it…

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