FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
June 1, 2020
Contact: Johanna Tschebull
Black.Lives.Matter. Dance/USA stands in solidarity with our fellow Black administrators, Trustees, supporters, audience members, and allies who bring beauty, joy, friendship, and love into our lives. We see you. We value you. We grieve with you. And we demand justice right alongside you.
Our dance industry and our country are in tremendous pain. A global pandemic has threatened our most basic human needs of physical and mental health, employment, food, and shelter. Racism, bigotry, and xenophobia are running rampant in our national policies. Anti-Asian racism continues to escalate during COVID-19 and and Indigenous communities are being disproportionately affected by the coronavirus. And now we have witnessed, once again, more senseless, and heartbreaking murders of innocent lives. We mourn the recent murders of George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery, and Breonna Taylor. We mourn Sandra Bland, Tamir Rice, Philando Castile, Alton Sterling, Walter Scott, Michael Brown, Freddie Gray, Eric Garner, and the countless others on and off-camera whose skin color alone made them twice as likely to die at the hands of those who take an oath to protect and serve. We call on our local, state, and national leaders to join us in actively opposing all forms of hatred, the institutions that continue to uphold injustice, as well as the mechanisms and the individuals who perpetuate it.
Dance/USA’s Commitment to Addressing White Supremacy Culture
This summer, Dance/USA will offer virtual national training(s) on white supremacy culture in the dance industry, open to all regardless of membership. The training will explore how white supremacy culture manifests and perpetuates in our industry and how we each can take constructive steps to counter it. Dance/USA will work with the organization Service Never Sleeps, previously confirmed to lead a session at our 2020 Annual Conference in Denver, to help design and implement trainings for the Dance/USA staff, Board, and field.
During the upcoming Dance/USA Virtual Conference, June 17, 18, and 19, Dance/USA will address white supremacy culture through various panels and sessions geared toward addressing inequity in our industry.
Dance/USA commits to unearthing how white supremacy culture shows up in our daily lives and to implementing the antidotes within our own organization as outlined by Showing Up for Racial Justice.
Do The Work
Dance is a powerful form of human expression that offers us healing, understanding, and hope. Even as we dance in social isolation, we are offering each other and the country inspiration, hope, and reflection through the work. The work is also just as much about the stage or studio as it is about the systems that support it. Amidst the hurt and righteous rage, we hold ourselves accountable to advance on our own equity journey – discarding antiquated racist systems – and accelerate action steps to make our dance world a more inclusive, equitable, and healthy industry.
Below is a list of resources for donations and ways to take immediate action:
Dance/USA Affirms our Vision, Mission, and Values
At Dance/USA, we are propelled by our belief that dance can inspire a more just and humane world, and we work to champion an inclusive and equitable world.
We value creativity, as creativity inspires change. Dance/USA celebrates our nation’s creative capacity and artistry to imagine and build a world we have never encountered and deeply desire.
We value equity. Through the lens of equity, Dance/USA strives to remove the boundaries erected by a legacy of racism, classism, ableism, ageism, homophobia, transphobia, sexism, gender bias, and xenophobia and we work to dismantle institutional and systemic oppression that attack the dance field’s progress, impede the creation of work, and negatively impact dance audiences and communities. We value connectivity. As Dance/USA strives to be a catalytic network enlivened by connection, community, and collaboration. We value calling people in as a practice of leading, listening, learning, and deepening our impact.
Propelled by our belief that dance can inspire a more just and humane world, Dance/USA will amplify the power of dance to inform and inspire a nation where creativity and the field thrive.
Dance/USA is the national service organization for the professional dance field. Established in 1982, Dance/USA champions an inclusive and equitable dance field by leading, convening, advocating, and supporting individuals and organizations. Dance/USA’s core programs are focused in the areas of engagement, advocacy, research, and preservation. Learn more at danceusa.org.