FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
May 25, 2022
CONTACT: Johanna Tschebull
Atlanta, Georgia. Baton Rouge, Louisiana. Charleston, South Carolina. El Paso, Texas. Fresno, California. Jersey City, New Jersey. Kenosha, Wisconsin. Louisville, Kentucky. New York, New York. Oak Creek, Wisconsin. Orlando, Florida. Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Portland, Oregon. Poway, California. Rochester, New York. St. Louis, Missouri. St. Paul, Minnesota.
Laguna Woods, California.
Buffalo, New York.
This list of devastating acts of violence motivated by hate is far from exhaustive.
Two years ago today, on May 25, 2020, we witnessed the horrific, unconscionable public murder of George Floyd in Minneapolis, Minnesota, and some were moved to make Black Lives Matter statements.
In March 2021, some of us – again – made statements in protest of anti-Asian hate as racialized misogyny and xenophobic ideologies manifested the slaughter of Soon Chung Park, Hyun Jung Grant, Suncha Kim, Yong Ae Yue, Delaina Ashley Yaun, Paul Andre Michels, Xiaojie Tan, and Daoyou Feng in Atlanta, Georgia.
And on May 14 and 15 of this year, we learned of two more acts of violence that took the life of Dr. John Cheng in Laguna Woods, California and the lives of Aaron Salter, Jr., Celestine Chaney, Roberta A. Drury, Andre Mackniel, Katherine Massey, Margus D. Morrison, Heyward Patterson, Geraldine Talley, Ruth Whitfield, and Pearl Young in Buffalo, New York.
We must continue to say their names. And we must stop normalizing acts of oppression and the characteristics of white supremacy culture. These actions, behaviors, comments and interactions are harmful to the individuals in our communities, organizations, and social and familial circles.
In 2018, Dance/USA articulated the driving engine behind our vision: our belief that dance can inspire a more just and humane world. As such we are committed to amplifying the power of dance to inform and inspire a nation where creativity and the field thrive. As part of this commitment, we are devoted to a practice of centering equity and inclusion at the core of our daily work as we manifest the full intention of our core values.
And what I know to be true is dance has the power to heal and connect communities. It has the power to manifest greater equity and inclusion within the ecosystem through deeply connected and interdependent relationships, and if we allow it – it can be transformatively catalytic by gifting us new perspectives.
How will you choose to harness the superpower of dance to evince this vision?
Accompanying my message today is a powerful call to action by arts activist, spoken word artist, acclaimed speaker, and Vice President and Artistic Director of Social Impact at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, Bamuthi (Marc Bamuthi Joseph). Bamuthi’s message of hope and authenticity warrants absorbing it deeply and more than once.