We are Dayton’s professional regional theatre company, exploring the human experience and promoting enlightenment, inclusion and understanding while startling us all into a renewed awareness of ourselves. This so called “startling” can sometimes bring discomfort to the surface. The Human Race Theatre Company remains committed to wrestling with that discomfort, on and off the stage, and we invite our audience to join us in this learning process. Our goal is to collaboratively create safety for our community by identifying and halting instances of racism and all forms of oppression when we witness them, through specific actions rooted in the principles of equity, diversity and inclusion. (EDI)
As an arts organization, we may produce work that depicts racism or oppression; we endeavor to do so responsibly, and always invite conversation about that work.
The Human Race recognizes that racism and oppression exist in the world, and at times in our own community. We seek to create a space where racism and all forms of oppression do not gain traction.
Acts of racism and oppression can take many forms, including but not limited to:
We actively encourage consensual conversations about race, privilege, power, and oppression, and believe that centering EDI in our work and our space will lead to a deeper understanding of ourselves, of our community, and of the theatre.
The Human Race is committed to acknowledging and dismantling systems of oppression. We strive to interrupt and prevent acts of racism and oppression in our community to the best of our ability.
By entering The Human Race facilities — as an employee, board member, patron, artistic collaborator, client, vendor, donor, volunteer, or other visitor — or by participating in an off-site company event or meeting, you become a member of our community. As a community member, we ask that you uphold these values, that you actively and intentionally avoid participating in behaviors that harm equity-seeking groups, and that you be open to dialogue and learning should an issue arise.
We acknowledge that this work to eliminate racism and oppression is an ongoing process. We are committed to reviewing and revising our approach, which may include seeking guidance from outside facilitators. We commit to transparency in decision-making while protecting confidentiality as needed.
Theatre sometimes pushes us out of our comfort zones. It startles us into a renewed awareness of ourselves, and can be used to start big conversations and affect big changes. Our work as human beings and community members in the fight for equity, diversity and inclusion is just as important, and can be just as powerful, as the art we make and support. The Human Race will continue to explore the human experience; to promote enlightenment, inclusion and understanding; and yes, to startle us. We ask you to join us.
Approved by The Human Race Board of Trustees | February 22, 2021
May 31, 2020
We are The Human Race Theatre Company. Our name was chosen for a reason – we tell the stories that show our humanity. Our very first logo was two profiles, one white and one black, merging into one. Our mission for 35 years has been to share stories that enlighten us, move us, and yes, startle us into new thoughts and maybe change. But the drama on our streets today is even more powerful. It’s the tragic story of human beings being killed for being Black. It’s an age-old story that never seems to enlighten us, move us, or startle us into change. Not all of us. But this time – it must! If the arts have taught us anything it is to be accepting and empathetic. Change is hard, but inevitable. All lives can’t matter until Black Lives Matter. We at The Human Race Theatre Company stand with those who seek justice and Equality.
March 19, 2021
In May of 2020, The Human Race Theatre Company responded to the tragic dramas taking place on our streets and stood in support of Black Lives Matter. Today, Asians and Asian-Americans are being targeted through misinformation and disinformation. Random acts of violence are happening across our country. Today, we mourn with the families of the shooting victims in Atlanta and we denounce the racism that fosters this kind of hate. Today, we stand in solidarity with Asian-Americans and we condemn the hate crimes against them.
The Human Race is indebted to those who created the “We See You, White American Theater” document for crafting a clear call to action for our theatre and our industry. We acknowledge that these demands stem from the harm caused to BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, People of Color) artists and theatre professionals over generations of racist policies.
This pandemic has caused a stillness in the arts, leaving us time to look inward and really see who we are. The Human Race has always been a company that tells the stories that reflect our humanity, and by doing so, startle us all into a renewed awareness of ourselves. We have added our voice to the Black Lives Matter movement: All lives can’t matter until Black Lives Matter. We at The Human Race Theatre Company stand with those who seek justice and equality. But we must do more, and we commit today to a living, breathing process to hold ourselves accountable and to attain a more just, equitable, and anti-racist theatre.
The Human Race Theatre Company wishes to acknowledge the ancestral native lands that our offices, production spaces and Loft Theatre occupy today. First settled by the Osage Nation, between 200-700 AD the tribes migrated west along the Ohio River to the Mississippi and settled in Missouri and eventually Oklahoma. Between 1000-1750 AD, Fort Ancient Indians made the Miami Valley their home – visible in the SunWatch Indian Village/Archaeological Park. The Fort Ancient Indians introduced maize agriculture to Ohio. While other tribes spent time in our five rivers area, starting in the 1600’s the area was predominantly settled by the Shawnee tribe until 1831, when they were forced to sign a removal treaty by the government and were relocated to Oklahoma. As a company who tells stories, we gratefully acknowledge their stories both told and untold. We acknowledge their culture, the knowledge they shared, and the needless blood spilled protecting their lands on which we continue to tell stories.
We commit to creating a clear and enforceable Anti-Racism Policy.
We will incorporate our Ancestral Lands Acknowledgement, Anti-Racism Statement and EDI Statement into our organization’s Bylaws and publish them on our website. They will be distributed to all cast and crew members prior to the first rehearsal of each show. They will be reviewed, discussed and updated as necessary at the first Board meeting and staff meeting of each new season. They will also be included in the “welcome packets” for guest artists.
We are committed to building and deepening relationships with local BIPOC artists, and to expanding the opportunities for BIPOC Writers, Directors, Designers and Production Staff members.
We commit to hiring therapists or counselors trained in Anti-Racism for shows that deal with racialized experiences.
We commit to hiring BIPOC dramaturgs on shows by BIPOC writers and/or about BIPOC people or communities.
We commit to hiring fight directors, intimacy directors, wardrobe employees with training or experience working with BIPOC artists.
We commit to hiring culturally competent talkback facilitators for BIPOC shows.
We are committed to eliminating the 10-out-of-12 rehearsal day.
We already compensate artists for promotional performances. We commit to compensate artists for appearances at any Board or Donor event.
We commit to compensating artists for participation in post-show talkbacks.
We commit to identifying and implementing Board recruitment practices that will lead to more BIPOC Board membership and improve the experience of BIPOC Board members.
We commit to publishing online all of our Board members and their primary professional affiliation.
We commit to establishing an annual EDI/Anti-Racism training session for our Board. Additional sessions may be scheduled as requested.
We have eliminated a minimum giving level for Board members.
We commit to forming working groups within our staff to examine all aspects of our organization to uncover where racism is built into our systems and to find new ways to move forward as a more inclusive organization.
We commit to Anti-Racism, EDI and Bystander training for all of our regular staff, seasonal staff and interns.
We commit to transparency early in the process of building a cast and creative team so that BIPOC artists know who will be in the room with them.
We commit to work only with executive search firms that have BIPOC consultants on staff.
We commit to remove “years of experience” and “education requirements” from our job postings and will include clear salary ranges.
We commit to making every effort to interview an equal number of BIPOC candidates as non-BIPOC candidates for any staff position.
We commit to creating a conspicuous and permanent ancestral lands acknowledgement in our theatre lobby space.
We commit to increasing our marketing budget for BIPOC shows to reach their intended audience. We will aggressively pursue hiring a BIPOC marketing consultant.
We commit to applying stewardship principles to building and maintaining relationships with BIPOC audience members.
These are first steps to actively identify and interrupt racist policies in our organization. We know we will make mistakes as we strive to become an anti-racist theatre company, but The Human Race is determined to eliminate racism in our organization. This is a living, breathing document. It will be reviewed annually and as we progress, it will be updated. We will convene a small group of representatives from the Board, staff, our artists and the community to establish a realistic timeline for implementation. We will continue to listen to the needs of our BIPOC community as we work toward these goals.
Approved by The Human Race Board of Trustees | March 15, 2021