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

Engage

*Content Warning: This video contains brief yet graphic footage of the murder of George Floyd 

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.
  • Evaluate Megan Ming Francis’ statement that “education is a stepping-stone” to activism. List at least one way you will commit to using the information in this lesson to actively support the anti-racism movement.
  • How would you respond to someone who says that it’s “not your place” to educate other white people on issues of race and racism?
  • Why is “Black Lives Matter” such an important statement? Why do you think this statement is so controversial?
  • What is wrong with saying “All lives matter?”

Additional Learning

Unit Two: Whiteness

Engage

Reflect

  • What privileges do you benefit from? Why is it so important to acknowledge these privileges?
  • Your friend takes you aside and informs you that something you said was racist. Keeping in mind the concept of white fragility, what are some constructive ways you could respond to this feedback?
  • What is white supremacy? What are some of the ways we experience white supremacy in our everyday lives?

Additional Learning

Unit Three: Implicit Bias & Microaggressions

Engage

Reflect

  • What are implicit biases? How do they differ from explicit biases?
  • Your friend tells you that they are “not racist” because they would never intentionally treat somebody differently because of their race. Knowing about the concept of implicit bias, how might you respond to that?
  • What are some examples of explicit and implicit biases described in “Starbucks and Racial Bias?”
  • What are microaggressions? How are they a form of racism?
  • What effect do microaggressions have on BIPOC as they navigate their everyday lives?
  •  In some instances, microaggressions can be more difficult to directly address than instances of overt racism. Why is this? What are some specific strategies you can employ if someone you know commits a microaggression? 

Additional Learning

Unit Four: Anti-Racism in the Theatre Industry

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)
  • Picture1.png





 

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?

 Additional Learning

Unit Five: Bystander Intervention Training

Engage

Reflect

  • What is a bystander? What does bystander action look like? 
  • Why is it so important to intervene when racist incidents occur?
  • What are some common obstacles to bystander action? How can we overcome these obstacles in order to act?
  • How would you engage the 4 D’s of Bystander Intervention in a social situation, such as a coworker telling a racist joke? How would you use this same strategy in a more high-stakes situation, such as witnessing racial harassment?
  • What is one “ism interrupter” that you can make your go-to response for shutting down racist comments?

Additional Learning

Unit Six: Tools for Conflict De-Escalation

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?

Additional Learning

Unit Seven: Intersectionality

Engage

Reflect

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

Additional Learning

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 and you may be required to complete this orientation again.

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 Associate Managing Director Jasmine Jiang at jjiang@RoundHouseTheatre.org or the Round House EDIA Staff Workgroup at EDIA@RoundHouseTheatre.org.

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