A Commitment to Positive Change:
BPP’s Anti-Racism Policy and Path Forward
At BPP we strive to be open, inclusive, and diverse in regards to race, gender, sexual
orientation, abilities, and the intersection of those and other identities. We acknowledge that we
can do better, that our work is an ongoing process. Without diminishing our other responsibilities
towards inclusion and diversity, this document focuses on the need to raise our ambitions from
being non-discriminatory in regards to race to playing our part in an anit-rascist effort to
deconstruct centuries of systemic racism towards Black, Indigenous and People of Color
We are committed to having BIPOC stories on our stage and BIPOC people represented in our
artists, staff, and board. Specific steps we are taking to follow this path:
- We commit to establishing consistent, meaningful, long-term conversations and
relationships with BIPOC artists and groups in our community. Through these
relationships we will ensure a diverse pool of candidates for casting, open staff positions,
and our board.
- We commit to having the majority of roles in our 2020-21 and future seasons such that
they are open to actors of all races and ethnicities, allowing for diversity in our casting. In
plays where race is not dictated by the needs of the script, artists of all race and ethnicity
will continue to be considered for all roles. For plays where race is dictated by the script,
we will continue to be conscious of casting correctly.
- We commit to having at least one BIPOC playwright and at least one BIPOC director in
our 2020-21 and future seasons in order to elevate the stories of BIPOC communities,
attract BIPOC actors and other artists.
- We commit to establishing and publishing an anti-racism policy by the end of 2020 to
help ensure that BIPOC people entering our space feel welcome. Full policies will be
made available to all board, staff, and independent contractors.
- We commit to continuing our education on how we as a organization can advance being
anti-racist. This education includes the conversations and other activities described in
this policy, as well as dedicated time each year as a Board and senior staff.
- We commit that all executive leadership hires and structural leadership changes will
occur through an equitable and transparent process to ensure that BIPOC people
choosing to work with us find a rewarding career path.
- We commit to improving the diversity of our Board. We acknowledge that the racial
diversity on our board is not representative of our local community and we understand
that our board diversity needs to be more than tokenism. Through our ongoing work to
diversify our staff, artists, and art we hope that our audience and stakeholders will also
become more diverse, and that we will be able to authentically diversify our board
leadership. To remove potential barriers to this end, we commit to abstaining from any
mandatory financial minimum gifts for board membership.
- Our Anti-racism Advisory Committee has already helped us greatly by providing a means
for us to hear the voices of BIPOC people. We commit to maintain this committee as a
valuable means of hearing the voices of BIPOC people who are not part of our Board,
staff, or cast.
- We thank the members of the BPP Anti-racism Advisory Committee for their generous
guidance: Gladys DeVane, John McCluskey, and Val Haughton.
- The Open Book Theater Company’s “ A Commitment to Change: OBTC’s Anti-Racist
Policy ” was used as a model for this document.
Click HERE to download the policy.