Commitment to Anti-Racism

Round House Theatre is committed to the work of anti-racism, and we pledge to our community an ongoing and transparent commitment to this work across all areas of our organization. We understand that it is vitally important that our efforts to support anti-racism go beyond a specific moment in time or a few public statements.
 
We acknowledge that, as an organization founded predominantly by white artists and board members, Round House has not always been sensitive to the systemic harms endemic to the theatre community that have created racist and inequitable environments. While we have taken steps in recent years to address these inequities, we must continue to confront our own unconscious biases and to unlearn practices and undo policies that contribute to this inequity. We must move beyond tokenism and complacency to become a truly inclusive organization. We have learned that being neutral or “not racist” ​is, by default, a way to uphold racism. In order to fully realize our mission to be a “Theatre for Everyone,” we must be actively anti-racist. This work is never done, and we are in it for the long haul.

Where we are
  • Round House Theatre is committed to breaking down racial barriers through our promotion of dialogue and understanding, building bridges within our communities, and engendering empathy in our audiences. Our statement of organizational values, which was created with the full-time staff and board, reaffirms that we are an anti-racist and anti-sexist organization committed to working toward equity, diversity, inclusion, and accessibility across all aspects of our organization.
  • In January of 2020, our full-time staff and board participated in three days of racial equity training with artEquity, an organization that provides resources and training to support the intersection of art and activism.
  • We formed Staff and Board EDIA Workgroups to guide our efforts to transform our organizational culture into one that is fully inclusive and equitable. The Workgroups are in the process of reviewing Round House practices, policies, and procedures to identify and address the systems that need to change.
  • Round House is invested in diversifying the voices that are amplified through live theatre. Launched in 2017, our Equal Play commissioning program is commissioning and developing 30 new plays written exclusively by women playwrights and BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, and people of color) playwrights to create a new body of work that will help reshape the face of American theatre.    
  • Beginning with the 2019-2020 Season, we committed to staffing our shows with at least 50% BIPOC artists (actors, stage managers, designers, directors, and crew) in an effort to address inequities in our field, to enrich our storytelling by better reflecting the diversity within our community and our country, and to hold ourselves accountable.
  • Round House has used its position to collect donations from its community in support of local organizations or in moments of crisis. This summer, Round House leadership have pledged to match donations of our staff to charities that support Black causes and anti-racism efforts.   
Where we’re going
  • We will amplify the voices of BIPOC artists and share anti-racism resources with our audiences and community. 
  • We will ensure that all staff and board receive racial equity training, both as part of onboarding and on an ongoing basis.
  • While our policies prohibit racism and harassment in any form, we will reexamine and strengthen our procedures, policies, and reporting mechanisms. As a theatre, we recognize that many of the people we work with are part-time staff, guest artists, and teaching artists, and we will ensure that policies protect and empower all Round House guests and employees.
  • In all future job postings, we will diversify our staff recruitment channels, publish salary ranges, and cultivate an inclusive organizational culture in an effort to hire more BIPOC staff and apprentices.
  • We will ensure the board's culture is consistent with the theatre's commitment to equity, diversity, inclusion, and accessibility. We will, through proactive and intentional recruitment,  continue to seek out BIPOC board members to more accurately reflect the diversity of Montgomery County and the DC metropolitan area.
  • We will apply an anti-racism lens to all major organizational decisions and all current policies and procedures, recognizing that if a policy is not anti-racist, it is inherently racist. 
  • We will review our vendor relationships, giving preference to companies who actively and publicly work toward EDIA objectives. 
We will share these commitments on our website and will review our progress on—at minimum—an annual basis, publishing our progress each year in our Annual Report.

Support

During summer 2020, Round House Theatre leadership are matching staff donations to the following organizations. We encourage our community to join us in supporting these or other organizations supporting anti-racism efforts and the Black community.
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