OUR DEMANDS

  • Establishment of a faculty-to-faculty accountability system along with a department-wide disciplinary policy for perpetuating gossip, segregation between fields of study, defamation of character of students, and personal retaliatory action taken by faculty against students.

  • An immediate official investigation and respective response to accumulated statements from students regarding experiences of sexual harassment, misconduct, and assault on behalf of faculty/staff; as well as, the immediate removal of any and all faculty/staff who have been previously or are henceforth reprimanded for such actions.

  • Any and all racially charged encounters (micro/macroaggressions) amongst students or between students and faculty/staff must be addressed by an unbiased party and met respectively with restorative justice measures or disciplinary action.

  • Extensive and reoccurring diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) training for faculty/staff. This training and discussion of DEI practices must also be extended to the student body and applied as a standard of the department culture with disciplinary consequences if not upheld. 

  • Facilitation of department-wide temperature checks with the student body to address, discuss and begin steps to rectify racial, social, and cultural issues or challenges experienced by students at least twice a semester in a town hall format. 

  • Establishment of a department-wide protocol for addressing and providing support/resources for students exhibiting signs of or expressing issues with maintaining their mental health and overall well-being. 

  • Restructuring of classroom curriculums to include educational materials by/for/and about BIPOC theater artists.

  • Removal and reconfiguration of outdated/racist/homophobic/discriminatory materials that are not pertinent to the overall success and cultivation of students. 

  • Intentional material selection in class and on stage for BIPOC students, which is based on the individual students' level of training/experience, specific needs for growth, applicable pedagogical/repertory needs, and the artistic/personal identity of each student.

  • Establishment of an equal opportunity protocol for all students in all fields of study, both in and out of the classroom, to ensure each student is afforded an equitable opportunity and support in regards to showcase/career prospects, guest artist workshops, cultivation of student-run organizations/productions/projects, and department facilitated productions.

  • Immediate implementation of a department-wide ban on encouragement of racial ambiguity, as well as the use of terminology and practices that perpetuate this (i.e. colorblind casting).

  • Immediate adoption of a-typical casting processes, which do not use erasure of an artist's racial identity as a casting tool but instead allow racial identity to influence and cultivate unique and diverse artistic experiences for students and audiences. 

  • Incorporation of individual post-audition feedback sessions and a general ‘open door’ policy that allows BIPOC students to discuss concerns regarding casting with faculty/staff.

  • A formal public statement issued by the department outlining plans to create a safe work environment for recruiting BIPOC faculty/staff and to hire at least two more BIPOC faculty/staff members by 2025. 

  • A formal public statement issued by the department providing recognition and apology to BIPOC students and alumni for all inequity and trauma experienced as well as outlining actionable steps presently being taken to address the above demands, which must be posted on all CCU Theater websites, social media pages, and affiliated public platforms.

Without extensive change, we contest that CCU Department of Theatre is not a safe environment for BIPOC students. We will not advocate for any new BIPOC students to attend this program until these demands are met. Much thought and care has been taken on behalf of the students and alumni to work as a community and heal the department on a personal, grassroots level using restorative justice techniques. However, the issues of this department are only a microcosm of the societal realities faced by all BIPOC peoples. Therefore, it is time for our concerns to be made public. Stand with us to demand change in the CCU Theatre Department as a part of a collective effort to transform the entire theatre community as we know it.

Miquela Rivers '15

Amani Huell '19

Sara Plensdorf '17

Jala Bennett '20

Keondra Gold '17

Brian Marshall '16

Nikko Austen Smith '18

Sydney Simone '18

Bryce Ridley-Williams '20

Terrell Jones '18

Kelis Herriott '22

Jihad Levermore '21

Robert Laws '23

Ja'Quan Shelton '24

Chantall Montgomery '14

Tierra Porter '16

Princess Shropshire '19

Donia Mourad '20

Earlene R. Copas '11

AJ Gardener '14

Miranda Fredrick '15

Devante Owens '19

Ariana Hooberman-Piñeiro '19

Hannah Johnson '13

Myisha Thomas '16

Anna Sheridan ‘15