Introduction

Dear Anti-racist Abolitionist,  

This packet is designed to be an orientation and onboarding to key topics around the subject of anti-racism. Institutional racism is a 400+ year old system and structure and impossible to fully comprehend with just the 2 hours of material provided. Thusly, this packet is to help you gain a general understanding of the principles of anti-racism.  This is NOT a comprehensive learning, only a sampling. It is also important to note that much of this learning is centered on anti-blackness. The history of racism in this country (which affects all racially oppressed and targeted groups) stems from this country’s history of anti-blackness. To start to understand how to become anti-racist, one must have an understanding of anti-blackness, as much of the system of racism is built on anti-blackness ideology. 

We hope this packet will inspire you to dive deeper into unpacking and relearning, so that you can support Round House in their endeavor to become more and more anti-racist.     

Learning starts where knowledge ends. 

We hope this information will lead you to anti-racist ideas and action.  

The journey of this work for Round House will only move as fast the slowest absorber of this information moves. We hope that your learning will move at a pace that supports this organization and the people it desires to include.  

Anti-racism is an ACT OF LOVE.  We are showing love to people who have never been loved by this country.    

We welcome you to do the work and be a part of the anti-racist community and initiatives. 

--Michael J. Bobbitt 

Unit One: Introduction to Anti-Racism

GOAL: To have a brief understanding of the antiracism/antiracist and its concepts.

Engage

Reflect

  • What does it mean to be an anti-racist? How is this different from being “not racist?”
  • Is it possible to be anti-racist in one moment and racist in the next? Explain the importance of recognizing this concept.

Unit Two: Understanding Racial Trauma & Radical Healing

GOAL: To introduce and start to understand the healing work BIPOCs need to undertake in the Antiracist movement.

Engage

Reflect

  • What is Racial Trauma?
  • How has it shown up in your life? Physically? Mentally? Spiritually?
  • How can you mitigate the trauma?
  • What are some things you can do to heal from the trauma?

Unit Three: Self-Care for BIPOC

GOAL: To introduce and start to understand the healing work BIPOCs need to undertake in the Antiracist movement.

Engage
Reflect
  • How has your self-care changed over time?
  • How do you feel when you take care of yourself?
  • What have you learned about yourself from your self-care journey so far?
  • Is there anything that your self-care practice has helped you overcome?
  • What does it look like—and how does it feel—when you feel cared for by yourself or your community?

Unit Four: Unpacking Internalized Racism

GOAL: To introduce and start to understand the work BIPOC need to undertake in the Antiracist movement.

Engage
Reflect
  • How do you relate to these notions of internalized racial inferiority and superiority? Is either one familiar to you? If so, how do they show up in your life?
  • How do they show up in your workplace, school, place of worship, or community?
  • How do they interact with feelings associated with other aspects of your identity like gender, age, ethnicity, class status, etc.? Explore your answer by drawing, singing, or dancing your reactions.

Unit Five: Intersectionality

GOAL: To introduce the concept of intersectionality and consider how your various identities intersect.

Engage Reflect
  • How do you identify? Race? Gender? Sexuality? Other?
  • In what ways might your identities intersect?
  • What moments in your life when experiencing discrimination did intersectionality come into play?

Unit Six: Racial Joy and Pride

GOAL: To introduce and start to understand the healing work BIPOCs need to undertake in the Antiracist movement.

Engage
For this section, please choose 2-3 videos or articles to engage with, creating a mix of content that relates to your own racial identity and content about cultures outside your identity.

Reflect

  • Describe 10 things about your culture that brings you joy.
  • Name three things you can do this week to celebrate your joy.
  • What new thing can you try from your culture that you haven’t ever tried.
  • How can you celebrate other cultures?
  • Name 5 things you admire about other cultures.

Unit Seven: Tools for Conflict De-Escalation

GOAL: To introduce you to some tools that can be used to assist unpredictable situations. 

Engage Reflect
  • What are some common signs of conflict escalation/agitation in an individual?
  • Why is your voice such an important tool for conflict de-escalation? Give specific examples.
  • What is the role of active listening in the conflict de-escalation process?
  • What are some things that you should NOT do when interacting with someone in crisis?

Unit Eight: Being an Anti-Racist Active Bystander

GOAL: To introduce you to some tools that can be used to help activate your voice in uncomfortable situations

Engage Reflect
  • What can you do to create a safe space for someone experiencing racist harassment?
  • How can you avoid further agitating an aggressor?
  • What does it mean to take cues from an individual being harassed? Give specific examples.
  • Why is it extremely important to avoid calling the police in situations involving BIPOC

Unit Nine: Anti-Racism in the Theatre Industry (Optional)

GOAL: To give you an overview of past and current racism in the Theatre industry which may assist in dismantling them.

Engage
  • View the two charts below from Actors Equity Association on 1. AEA’S National Racial/Ethnic Distribution and 2. Average Contractual Salaries for AEA members by Racial/Ethnic Group (~1 min)
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  • Watch Dear Amy Cooper by Griffin Matthews, a testimonial about his experiences at ART (7:15 min)
  • Read the official Statement from We See You,White American Theatre (~2 min)

Reflect

  • Considering the statistics from Actors Equity Association, why is it essential that theatre companies create standards for minimum BIPOC representation?
  • Does hiring BIPOC artists automatically mean that a theatre company is anti-racist? What can happen when companies use diversity as a means of getting good publicity?
  • If you wanted to promote an anti-racist rehearsal environment, what are some of the issues that you would consider? Use Griffin Matthews’s respective rehearsal experiences to create your list.
  • What can happen when white artists are given creative control over the presentation of Black stories? How might the experiences of BIPOC artists in productions such as Witness Uganda be different with Black leadership?
  • Based on the professional consequences incurred by Griffin Matthews, why do you think that so many racist incidents in the theatre industry go unreported and/or unpunished?
  • In what ways will the dismantling of white supremacy in the theatre industry require sacrifice from white leaders?

Optional Unit: Whiteness

GOAL: To have an overview of concepts associated with “whiteness” and some knowledge about the emotions connected.

Wrap-Up

Once you have viewed or read all the above, please be sure to complete the form at the link here (via Google Forms) to certify your completion of the orientation. 

Please do not forget this step, or we will not have a record of your participation.

As Round House implements this orientation, your feedback would be a valuable addition to our process. The above form includes a few questions on how you felt about this process, but you can also provide feedback directly to the Round House EDIA Staff Workgroup at EDIA@RoundHouseTheatre.org.

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