May 25, 2021 marks the one-year anniversary of the horrific murder of George Floyd, a day of tragedy in the singular cruelty in the way he died. His death and the aftermath highlighted the grotesque commonness of BIPOC people dying at the hands of law enforcement in America and forced people to reevaluate their responsibility to help right this wrong.
All of us at The Shubert Organization have taken this past year, in the midst of the global pandemic that shut us down, to think, connect, and begin to act. And we questioned: as a century-old pillar of the American theatre, what can we do to help achieve greater equity, diversity, and inclusion for BIPOC people in our company and in our industry?
We moved as quickly as possible to enact real change within the organization. In this past year we have:
- Engaged with an EDI consultant to identify areas of deficiency within the company and develop solutions.
- Put in place a companywide plan to:
- Create a diverse organization.
- Build a culture of trust and collaboration.
- Provide a skilled learning environment.
- Formed the Artistic Circle, an initiative to provide assistance to BIPOC commercial theatre producers who are in the early-to-mid stage of their careers and have a project currently in development.
- Created the Shubert Advocacy Series, a new video project that aims to give a platform to individuals and organizations who are working to affect positive movement on Broadway and the American theatre.
- Instituted new purchasing standards to assure a greater percentage of the goods and services we buy are sourced from minority- and women-owned businesses.
This may be just the beginning of our work, but it signifies real movement towards a more equitable Shubert Organization. The work has been neither superficial nor simple to do. Our true goals are not short-term. We are changing the company culture, and we hope our change can help bring positive transformation to the theatre community at large.
We will share both our progress and our challenges in the months and years to come. We wish you all a safe, thriving, equitable summer of renewal, justice, and peace.