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Flat Earth Theatre
Anti-Racism Action Items banner

Flat Earth Theatre’s
Anti-racism Action Items

As an egalitarian company, Flat Earth Theatre operates using a communal decision-making model that draws from anarchist, Quaker, and collectivist traditions to decentralize power and empower all the voices in the room. No individual has final or executive authority within the company, and all decisions are made by consensus. Creating a new program or initiating a change in policy involves long discussions, sometimes lasting months or even years, as we work through practical and ideological concerns towards full understanding and buy-in from the whole company membership.

For the people in the room, this approach gives significant agency and voice. However, for the 14 years of Flat Earth Theatre's existence, that room has almost always, almost entirely, been filled with white voices. This creates major blindspots in our decision-making processes. Furthermore, it has allowed us to avoid addressing the ways racism and other inequities apply to and are perpetuated by our company, as part of the larger arts ecosystem in which white supremacy is entrenched. The following are our first steps of many, as a company, to do better.

  • We will begin to do the work of examining and unlearning our own internalized biases as a predominantly white community of artists by bringing in expert facilitators to lead company-wide implicit bias and anti-racism trainings. Participation will be mandatory for all company members, and we will have completed an initial series of trainings by the end of 2020. Additional trainings will continue in 2021 and beyond.
  • We commit to bringing more diverse stories to our stage. Each season, we compile a shortlist of several plays to send out to our collaborating directors, from which our mainstage productions are selected. We commit to every list being at least half plays by playwrights of color.
  • We will never have an all-white production again. We recognize that this is a bare minimum commitment, so beyond that, we pledge to make our casting and hiring processes more accessible and inclusive, to further diversify all aspects of our shows from directors to designers to actors.
  • We will create a Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion committee within our egalitarian framework to ensure the centrality of these goals in all of our work. This committee will be empowered to hold the company accountable and create an annual report on our progress. We commit to this work on a permanent basis.
  • We will strengthen our Code of Conduct for our directors, designers, and actors to make clear that we expect all our spaces and work to be actively anti-racist and supportive of all collaborators. We will also update and transparently document our conflict resolution process, as well as the responsibilities of the Cast Representative and Company Liaison positions.
  • We will add land acknowledgments to all of our programming to combat Native erasure and to better understand the continuing effects of colonialism on our everyday lives.

We recognize that our company is part of a larger community, and the actions we take cannot end at the edges of our small circle. When Flat Earth Theatre asks audiences to “Challenge Your World,” we must challenge our world as well, on and off the stage. We pledge to take these commitments outward into the world as individuals, while continuing these conversations within Flat Earth Theatre. We all need to be practicing radical inclusion, calling out racist behavior, and holding ourselves accountable all the time. This pledge is not the end, it is the beginning.

Signatures of the company members of Flat Earth Theatre

Looking for somewhere to donate to commemorate Juneteenth? Try one Flat Earth’s favorite causes from the links below:

The Bail Project: https://bailproject.org/

BEAM (Black Emotional And Mental Health Collective): https://www.beam.community/

Beyoncé Goes to Emerson: https://www.gofundme.com/f/Beyonc--goes-to-emerson

Black Lives Matter Boston: https://blacklivesmatterboston.org/

Black Visions Collective: https://www.blackvisionsmn.org/

Families for Justice as Healing: https://justiceashealing.org/

The Front Porch Arts Collective: https://www.frontporcharts.org/

HTLC Minneapolis: https://htlcmpls.org/

Make the Road New York: https://maketheroadny.org/

Massachusetts Bail Fund: https://www.massbailfund.org/

MIGIZI: https://www.migizi.org/support-us

More Than Words: https://mtwyouth.org/

NAACP Legal Defense and Education Fund: https://www.naacpldf.org/

Northside Funders Group: http://northsidefunders.org/

Reclaim the Block: https://www.reclaimtheblock.org/home

Southern Poverty Law Center: https://www.splcenter.org/

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