We are currently taking the time to pause, listen, and reflect. We are grateful to those who have boldly spoken out against racism and injustice, to those who have spent their time and emotional labour creating these resources, and to the activists who continue to fight for justice. We welcome you to connect with us to discuss these resources, share your ideas, or ask any questions you may have.

 

Introduction to racism and structural oppression

If you are just beginning your journey of learning and unlearning, welcome. Now is a great time. This work will be uncomfortable – necessarily so, as it challenges us to confront our own internal biases, privilege, and complicity in the systems that harm others. If you find yourself overwhelmed, defensive, or guilty, sit with those feelings for a moment and allow yourself to feel them. Then ask yourself – what is this feeling teaching me? What new truths have I discovered? How might it feel to live in a body in which I cannot escape or ignore these truths?

This essay is offers the perspective of a white woman who has come to recognize the unearned privileges she was born with, and the ways in which they are systematically made to be invisible and unconscious:

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White Privilege: Unpacking The Invisible Knapsack by Peggy McIntosh

This is a 30-minute interactive eCourse that offers a foundation for learning about race, racial discrimination and human rights protections under Ontario's Human Rights Code. The course offers a historical overview of racism and racial discrimination, explains what “race,” “racism” and “racial discrimination” mean, and provides approaches to preventing and addressing racial discrimination:

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Call It Out: Racism, Racial Discrimination, and Human Rights

"Intersectionality is a framework for conceptualizing a person, group of people, or social problem as affected by a number of discriminations and disadvantages. It takes into account people’s overlapping identities and experiences in order to understand the complexity of prejudices they face." Read more:

What Is Intersectionality, and What Does It Have To Do With Me?

We are all  every one of us  complicit in racism and oppressive power structures. This is a great read if you have never considered the ways in which you are a part of it all:

10 Habits Of Someone Who Doesn't Know They're Anti-Black

Racism is not just an American issue. Canada was built on a foundation of settler colonialism and racism, and these systems of oppression are still in place and continue to cause harm. Learn more about racism close to home:

Nova Scotia Still Faces a Disturbing Problem With Racism

 

Further reading on racism and structural oppression

Learn more about the history of Africville, the vibrant Black community that was neglected, refused essential services such as sewage and access to clean water, and eventually demolished by the City of Halifax in the 1960's:

Canadian Museum for Human Rights: The Story of Africville

 

 

If you like to listen to podcasts:

NPR Code Sw!tch

 

Intersectionality Matters with Kimberlé Crenshaw

 

For further learning, here are some collections of even more resources on racism, oppression, and power:

Justice In June

Scaffold Anti-Racist Resources

More Anti-Racism Resources

 
 
 
 

How can I be a better ally?

Allyship is a verb. It is an action to be practiced; not something that we can ever arrive at. In a nutshell, allyship is the practice of de-centering yourself, and re-centering the voices, needs, and efforts of those who you are wanting to be an ally to. To do so, you must put your own privilege on the line, and it will be uncomfortable. Humans are imperfect and we will inevitably fail – an ally is someone who owns up to their mistakes, acknowledges the harm done, and takes meaningful actions to do better. 

 

Being A Good Ally Is An Ongoing Process

Indigenous Ally ToolKit

Bystander Intervention Do's and Don'ts

10 Common Things Well-Intentioned Allies Do That Are Actually Counterproductive

100 Ways to Support – Not Appropriate From – Native People

100 Things White People Can Do For Racial Justice

Black Lives Matter: Ways You Can Help

Say Their Names: How To Help

 

What does this have to do with theatre?

Theatre is not immune to racism. It may look like micro or macro aggressions in the rehearsal room or backstage. It shows up in casting, programming, and power hierarchies, as well as a in myriad of other ways. Taking a critical eye to how racism manifests in our institutions and organizations is a first step. We then must find active ways to reduce this harm and rebuild trust.

Next, we must look critically at the work we are creating. As artists, we have a unique opportunity to engage with the public both intellectually and empathetically. Because of it's liveness and immediacy, theatre will always be a conversation between performers and audience members. As theatre makers, producers, and administrators, we have a hand in deciding whose voices are present and centralized in this conversation.

Here are some resources describing the way racism is and has been present in the theatre industry:

Four Black Artists on How Racism Corrodes the Theatre World

We Have Suffered Enough: The Cost of Performing Trauma for Women of Color

High Tide Of Heartbreak: Has theatre wounded me as much or more than it's healed me?

Playwrights of Color, White Directors, and Exposing Racist Policy

Woke Supremacy: A Critical Perspective on the American Theatre

Whitewashing in Theatre Will Always be a Method of Racial Exclusion

We Don't Want Your Statements, American Theatre: Or, The Solidarity We Actually Needed

 

Here are some resources outlining steps that can be taken to mitigate this harm:

Building Trust After Inclusivity Failed: Lessons for the Theatre

Decolonizing Theatre: An Introduction

An Open Letter to Theatre Companies: How to Hold Yourselves Accountable and Put Solidarity into Practice

Parents of Color and The Need for Anti-Racist Theatre Practices

Decolonizing Shakespeare? Toward an Antiracist, Culturally Sustaining Practice

Race & Theatre: Creation, Casting, and Consent

Color-Conscious Casting: Three Questions to Ask

Phrases We Should Work to Eliminate in the Rehearsal Room

What's Left of You? Performance, Decolonization, and Self-Determination  TED Talk by Jules Orcullo

Here are a few theatre makers who are setting an excellent example of how allyshp and anti-racism can be practiced in the theatre:

The Gift: The Importance of Difficult Conversations Between Collaborators

Meet the Collective of Theatre Makers Working to Undo Racism in the American Theatre

How To Make Anti-Racist Theatre – An Interview with Nicole Brewer

 

I want to listen to lived experiences

We are grateful to these individuals who have shared their personal experiences, and recognize the mental, emotional, and physical toll it takes to do so. We invite you to witness without distractions, and listen with an open heart.

Black Like Me, past, present, and future: Behind The Stratford Festival Curtain

Ndo-Mshkawgaabwimi  We all are standing strong

White Creatives, Do I Have Your Attention?

A Conversation With Black Women on Race

 

I want to watch a past workshop

Many workshops and webinars are recorded and posted online. This is great because you can watch them in your own time, pause, take notes, and re-watch segments. Here are a few that we have found helpful and interesting:

Anti Oppression in the Performing Arts LAB with Lavie Williams

Green New Theatre Part 2: Decolonizing Leadership Practices hosted by Groundwater Arts

Green New Theatre Part 1: Y'all There's No Going Back hosted by Groundwater Arts

 

I want to learn about upcoming workshops

Although we are currently unable to gather and learn along side each other in real space, many educators across the globe are making their workshops accessible online. We have found many through searching key terms like racism, anti-racism, and theatre on Eventbrite. There is an abundance of workshops available for free, at low cost, or at a pay what you can rate, however we encourage you to always compensate educators for their time and labour whenever you are able. Here is a list of upcoming workshops that we are interested in - you might be too!

A Candid Conversation About Systemic Racism by Sanfran Consulting

Multiple dates throughout August - December 2020

Racism Must Fall by brap

September 10, 2020

Anti-Racist Theatre: A Foundational Course by Nicole Brewer

September 12 & 19, 2020

October 3 &4, 2020

Decolonizing Theatre Basics by Groundwater Arts

September 12, 2020

September 17, 2020

THE ACCOMPLICE: Deconstructing the Role of the White Ally by Seeds of Change Consulting

September 12, 2020

How To Deepen Your Anti-Racism Journey by Lindsey T. H. Jackson

Multiple Dates: September 11, 18, & 25, 2020

How To Be Anti-Racist by Brittany Oliver

September 20, 2020

Virtual Shalon | Commitment to Anti-Racism by Annette from Shalon

September 25, 2020

Breaking the Silence: Having Difficult Conversations About Race by Tinner Hill Heritage Foundation

September 26, 2020

Understanding Racism and Anti-Racist Practice by The Centre for Youth Violence and Conflict

October 8, 2020

Racism and Accountability by Episcopal Diocese of Pennsylvania Anti-Racism Commission

October 17, 2020

Unpacking Racism: What Do I Need to Do to Be an Anti-Racist? by Julie Kratz

November 10, 2020

Sitting With Discomfort: Taking Action by Moriam Grillo

November 12, 2020

 

I want to donate my time or money

Below are two resource lists of where you can give money to support black-led organizations in Nova Scotia and beyond. If you would like to help but are not in a position to give financially, we suggest you contact these organizations and ask how you can donate your time, resources, or skills.

The Coast: Where you can give money to support Black organizations and lives right now

Virgin Radio Halifax: How To Support The Black Community In Nova Scotia & Around The World 

 

I need help right now

This is a list of free services and help lines if you are currently in a crisis or need someone to talk to:

Nova Scotia Crisis Lines

This is a document compiled by our friends at the Khyber Centre for the Arts:

Crowdsourcing Mental Health Resources for IBPOC People in the HRM