Dear Wellesley Repertory Theatre family:
Wellesley Rep stands with America’s black community in this very difficult time. We condemn the persecution of our country’s black citizens, and recognize that the killing of George Floyd was a horrific – but not an isolated – incident. Racism has fueled the targeted harm, exclusion and death of our black women, men, non-binary and trans neighbors for longer than we have existed as a country, when they deserve nothing but justice and equity. We acknowledge the fear, frustration and justified rage experienced regularly by our black community members, student interns, staff and artists. Our country has a reckoning, and we all need to be a part of it.
Wellesley Repertory Theatre recognizes that silence makes us complicit. We stand with change, and therefore must acknowledge that as a predominantly white cultural institution, we have benefited and continue to benefit from the structures created by white privilege – a term introduced to our collective consciousness by Wellesley Center for Women’s activist/scholar Peggy McIntosh (“White Privilege: Unpacking the Invisible Knapsack“). We commit to the important work of educating ourselves, and keeping an open dialogue about systemic racism in theatre and beyond – both in our work and in our workplace. Wellesley Rep was founded upon the generous intention of providing a bridge for the College’s students of theatre into their professional lives through the exploration of complex stories, and we continue to be dedicated to equity, diversity and inclusion as we strive to remove obstacles that may prevent people of color from engaging with us. We will continue to find ways to say, support, live, work towards, vote for, and fight for what we believe: that black lives matter.
Today, I as Artistic Director will begin by making a personal donation to #NationalBailOut , an organization dedicated to bailing out pre-trial black mothers and caregivers from jail, and providing them with essential PPE, shelter and medical care in safety and freedom, reunited with their families and support systems. The COVID-19 crisis has increased the urgency to free our vulnerable communities from detention, and to protect their fight for justice. www.facebook.com/NationalBailOut/
I will also make a donation in Wellesley Rep’s name to The Greater Boston Food Bank, for we know that food security for all in these times of strife is of paramount importance – it is both actual and figurative fuel to keep up the strength of our communities, especially now.
There are many ways to take action today. If you are able, we encourage you explore these opportunities and more. Click here for some excellent resources.
Theatre creates the opportunity to gather and confront in communion the deep challenges of our societies through shared stories. It can give us courage, and connection – and we need to call upon that intention. We all have the opportunity right now, even while theatres are closed, to keep our communities safe, and to open our eyes and hearts and throats and amplify the cries of a wounded nation. The health of our country is under siege in every conceivable way. We are committed to moving together with you towards a discovery of what we could become.
With all best wishes for your safety and health,