Six of my key takeaways after attending La Raza for Liberation’s Decolonizing Unconference in Austin, Texas in January 2019

One of my first takeaways was around thinking about food justice, veganism, and the animal rights movement differently. I learned the current vegan and animal rights movements aren’t taking into consideration intersectionality when it comes to people of color. For example, the movements often don’t consider the food workers, mainly people of color working, yes in slaughter houses, but also in producing food products that are not animal based. Vegan food isn’t cruelty free if that doesn’t include thinking about the treatment of food workers.

Further learning:

Food Empowerment Project

Vegan Soul Squad

2. Anti-blackness exists within all…

What is Equity, Diversity and Inclusion you ask?

Equity, Diversity and Inclusion, or EDI in most diversity initiative mission statements, is like putting goggly eyes on a dead fish. (Credit to Lauren E. Turner* for the dead fish 👀analogy.)

It’s a superficial, get rich quick way of approaching systematic oppression.

I say “approaching” rather than fighting because fighting systematic oppression is impossible to do without also naming that it exists and that we are taking action to stop it. An example here is the difference between saying, “we are racially diverse” (or in most cases simply “diverse”) vs. “we are…

Originally Published on TCG Circle

I love that this year’s TCG Conference, a reflection of where some of the theatre industry nationwide is at, interestingly aligns with where I am in my artistic and professional practice. After attending The Melanin Collective’s POC Entrepreneurial Bootcamp in Washington, D.C. and artEquity’s National Facilitator Training in New Orleans last year, I was inspired to develop and articulate my personal “self care” practice as an artist, activist, arts manager and facilitator into something that could be shared with others in these fields.

I officially held my first session of the “Self Care = Self Love Workshop” (after having shared…

Over the past months, the TCG Conference team has been at work with collaborator/co-curator Viviana Vargas of Advancing Arts Forward, putting together a Conference space dedicated to self and community care. This year’s Conference WellSpace offers the unique opportunity to explore financially sustainable models of self-care, while also acting as a launching pad to setting up an affordable self-care practice in an industry where compensation is not always a top priority. What follows is a conversation facilitated by Viviana Vargas and featuring several of the practitioners who will bring their skills and personal commitments to well-being into the WellSpace as…

Some hiring tips you may not have considered.

Originally published on TheatreArtLife.

While working in the Diversity & Inclusion office at Actors’ Equity Association, I had the pleasure of hearing from various stakeholders in the process of casting a show. When I say “inclusive casting,” I’m talking about casting actors of color, actors with disabilities, women, trans and gender non-conforming actors, and other members of historically and currently marginalized communities that are not well represented or misrepresented onstage in theatre productions. Here are some tips for inclusive casting from the earliest start of the producing process until after the show ends:

At the start of the process:

Why high school art programs matter.

After my family (read more on My Beginnings, part one), a huge contributor to my artistry the high school arts program I was a part of called Student Television Arts Company, or STAC for short.

Photo from our annual “STAC Night” presenting what we’ve been working on throughout the year.

“STAC is an alternative arts program that is unique to Herricks High School: there is literally no other program like it in the world…The class meets five days a week for the last three periods of the day …The class has from 24 to 36 students in it, depending on the year, from grades 9–12.” — STAC Website

“STAC is a unique multidiscipline program for…

Let’s get the people together.

Photo by Yura Sapi

Starting affinity groups is an actionable step you can take to fuel power for change. There is something about gathering, about creating space held together by the group, that opens the door for change to occur. Affinity groups are ultimately community organizing, but interestingly enough the practice has been adopted into the more mainstream “organizational diversity” model.

“Affinity groups are spaces formed with individuals surrounding a shared interest, goal, values, identity, or life experiences.”

In corporate culture, affinity groups are often referred to as “Employee Resource Groups” and usually live under the Human Resources department. There are plenty of resources…

And an additional step for POC solidarity.

Photo by Yura Sapi

What is a “Stolen Land Acknowledgement”? In a Guide to Indigenous Land and Territorial Acknowledgements for Cultural Institutions, a land acknowledgement is described as “a statement that recognizes the traditional Native inhabitants of the land who have been dispossessed from the homelands and territories upon which an institution was built and currently occupies and operates in.”

Land acknowledgement is about asking, “Whose land are we on?” and acknowledging the answer.

“Acknowledgment is a simple, powerful way of showing respect and a step toward correcting the stories and practices that erase Indigenous people’s history and culture and toward inviting and honoring…

An Interview with The Movement Theatre Company on #25kin25days

We’ve probably all donated to a friend’s project or cause on some crowdfunding platform with goals in the hundreds or thousands.

But is this a viable method of raising funds for art projects? If we try it, will it actually work? And what’s the strategy here?

Let us figure out what it is that we want
so we can move closer to our goals
as they move closer to us.

Photo by Yura Sapi

Vision boarding is a way to create a physical manifestation of what we want. It’s about putting in our requests, our desires, out into the world for ourselves and for the universe to see in front of us.

However, this particular exercise is as much about figuring out and telling the universe what we are striving for as planting the seeds for us to get ourselves there.

Yes, we are putting the request to the universe…

Advancing Arts Forward

Creating liberated spaces that uplift, heal, and encourage you to change the world.

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