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Black Lives Matter at the School of Theatre & Dance

The West Virginia University School of Theatre & Dance released the statement below on July 28 regarding the social justice issues happening across the country. On August 20, a group of WVU alumni under the name WVU Artists Aligned wrote an open letter to the School of Theatre & Dance faculty. That letter can be found at The School of Theatre & Dance and WVU Artists Aligned will collectively work together toward a more inclusive and equitable future.

To our students:

The School of Theatre & Dance at West Virginia University has grappled with the issues raised by the Black Lives Matter movement as individuals, and as a virtual community during this time of isolation. This national movement has greatly impacted our discussions, the momentum of our contributions to the industry, and the framework of our offerings at WVU. Before the pandemic took full effect in March, the School had been in active engagement regarding the formation of a Diversity & Inclusion Committee. We are glad to share that we have now formally enacted this committee to begin service in the upcoming semester. There will be more clarification for how this committee will support our program as we all convene, exploring the possibilities and needs for the School of Theatre & Dance. Please keep your eyes and ears open for opportunities to contribute to this organization of change. 

Let us be clear in our perspective:  

The School of Theatre & Dance stands in solidarity with our communities of color today, and every day. As storytellers, performers, designers, technicians, scholars, and mentors, we are committed to supporting the voices of our BIPOC students, faculty, and staff to continue our advancement of diversity and inclusion in our classroom, on our stages, into our industry, and beyond.   
The past few months, and many to follow, have been and will be full of deeper growth for faculty, staff, students, and our national community. Our CCA community will continue to learn: through webinars, literature, collaborations, discussions, and listening. We will speak and act boldly, we will make mistakes, and we will learn. We must continue to nurture compassion for all fellow humans and embrace this as a collective process of learning and change. We must not lose momentum to effect change in our system.  
In solidarity, 
The faculty & staff of the WVU School of Theatre & Dance