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.
  • 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?”

 

Unit Two: Whiteness

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

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?

Unit Three: Implicit Bias & Microaggressions

GOAL: To bring more awareness to our biases and eliminate 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? 

Unit Four: Anti-Racism in the Theatre Industry

GOAL: To give you an overview of past and current systems of 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)
  • Picture1.png
  •  
  •  
  •  

  •  
  • Picture2.png
  • 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 (Document, ~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?

Unit Five: Bystander Intervention Training

GOAL: To introduce you to some tools that can be used to help activate your voice and support BIPOC in racist or uncomfortable situations

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?

Unit Six: 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 Seven: Intersectionality

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

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?

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.

Back to top