Community, Anti-Racism, and Equity Committee

Mission

The Community, Anti-Racism, & Equity (CARE) committee is a permanent standing committee of the School of Theatre and Dance. The mission of CARE is to promote and advocate for equity and belonging through the promotion, development and implementation of anti-racist policies, practices and ideas in the School of Theatre and Dance, on the Kent campus, on our regional campuses, and in the city of Kent. In this effort, the committee and the School of Theatre and Dance will collaborate with the Office of Admissions; the University Diversity Action Council; the Office of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI); SOTD; and the College of the Arts.

Vision

By 2025, to establish a climate of equity and inclusion/belonging within the School of Theatre and Dance; develop and implement anti-racist policies, practices, and systems; and recommend and implement strategies for continued improvement. The CARE committee’s activities support the following Kent State University stated priorities and initiatives: (1) Students First; (2) A Distinctive Kent State; (3) Global Competitiveness; (4) Regional Impact; and (5) Organizational Stewardship.

About the Community, Anti-Racism, and Equity Committee

A lack of diversity, equity, and inclusion/belonging continue to be a concern in SOTD. The committee uses the term diversity broadly and believes that adopting ideologies of intentional anti-racism, inclusion/belonging, and equity enhances the cultural, social, and intellectual experiences and achievements of the KSU community. To this end, the committee will create and enact initiatives that support anti-racism, equity, diversity, and inclusion/belonging throughout SOTD, COTA and the greater community. The committee seeks to: (1) improve the climate for current and prospective students, faculty, and staff from BIPOC and underrepresented groups; (2) diversify SOTD curriculum and creative programming; and (3) recruit more undergraduate and graduate students, faculty, and staff from BIPOC and underrepresented groups. The committee is comprised of elected, volunteering, and selected students, staff, and faculty from SOTD, KSU and the city of Kent.

Monthly meetings will be held during the academic year and are open to all community members. In addition, the committee will host school events and workshops.

Responsibilities

The CARE Committee will:
  • Ensure that information about the committee is included on SOTD website and in the School’s handbook.
  • Solicit, discuss, and respond to recommendations from student organizations representing BIPOC and underrepresented groups.
  • Suggest, promote, and implement strategies to improve equity per KSU diversity policies.
  • Work with the School on the recruitment and retention of BIPOC other marginalized populations.
  • Review policies and procedures within the School to ensure equal opportunity for all students, faculty, and staff, and make recommendations to improve policies and procedures when necessary.
  • Encourage the incorporation of diverse and diversity instruction throughout School curricula.
  • Analyze and disseminate yearly data on the representation of students, faculty, and staff from BIPOC and underrepresented groups within the School.
  • Encourage establishment of a climate of inclusion within the School and recommend strategies for improvement.
  • Determine and implement strategies to educate the entire School community on diversity, equity, inclusion/belonging, and anti-racism. In this effort, outside experts may be invited to campus to share academic research and potential remedies with SOTD, the College, and the University.
  • Distribute information and educational resources from the Student Multicultural Center, the LGBTQIA+ center, and the Women’s Center, via the School and College websites.
  • Contribute to the recruitment of faculty from BIPOC and underrepresented groups by providing them with resources on equity, cultural literacy, the history of BIPOC and underrepresented group representation, inclusion and experience in the school, and by publicly voicing our commitment to support BIPOC and faculty from underrepresented groups.
  • Name white supremacy when and where it presents itself.
  • Hold the School accountable to its commitment to diversity, equity, inclusion/belonging, and anti-racism.
  • Establish policies that protect BIPOC and other underrepresented students, faculty, and staff from retaliation, intimidation, and denial of access to resources and opportunities. Especially as a result of opposing racism or established power structures/dynamics or speaking out on issues of diversity, equity, inclusion/belonging, racism and power in the School.
  • Work with DEI, Human Resources, the School, and the College to address complaints; biases; exclusionary practices, policies, and systems; and breaches of school, college and university policies on diversity, equity, inclusion and anti-racism.
Functions
  1. Promote a diverse and inclusive faculty and staff:
    1. Identify and implement strategies to increase the diversity of the faculty.
    2. Identify and implement strategies to increase the diversity of the staff.
    3. Ensure the inclusion of diverse candidates in all faculty searches and adjunct faculty and staff hires.
    4. Monitor efforts to diversify the faculty and staff, including recruitment, hiring, retention, and promotion.
    5. Report annually to the Director and the Dean of the College of the Arts regarding the diversity of the faculty.
       
  2. Promote equitable distribution of faculty and staff workload, salary, and access to resources, and report annually to the Director and Dean on the School’s progress in these areas.
  3. Promote a diverse and inclusive undergraduate and graduate student body
    1. Identify and implement strategies to increase the diversity of the student body.
    2. Monitor efforts to diversify the student body, including admission, enrollment, retention, and graduation.
    3. Report annually to the Director and the Dean regarding the diversity of the undergraduate and graduate student body.
       
  4. Systemically explore and, as necessary, propose SOTD policies and practices that effectively meet the learning needs of diverse students.
  5. Strategically intervene when BIPOC students are on academic probation.
  6. Develop and implement professional development activities that actively engage faculty and students in research and teaching practices that address issues of diversity, inclusion/belonging, equity, and anti-racism.
  7. Systemically explore and, as necessary, propose policy that promotes the positive well-being of SOTD students, faculty, and staff.
  8. Ensure that faculty of color engaged in the labor of serving on diversity and equity committees, disproportionately mentoring students of color, and performing research while teaching, receive a letter of support for their file from the Director and the Dean, and monetary compensation for work on this committee.

Membership

Each Division/Area shall elect a member to a two-year term on the CARE committee. The newly elected and selected members will be reported to the School at the beginning of each fall semester. Elected members will appoint a chair or co-chairs for that academic year. In addition, the CARE Committee membership will include a graduate student, an undergraduate student, the president or highest ranking executive available from all student organizations within the school that represent underrepresented communities [i.e. Black Theatre Association (BTA) and Latinx in Theatre (LiT)], and two Staff members elected by the committee. In the first year of its existence, the committee will be co-chaired by Professor Gregory King and Professor Fabio Polanco (the individuals who crafted the proposal]). After one year, the committee will choose whether or not to keep the co-chairs or new co-chairs. The co-chairs will report to the Director and the Dean. The School Director, Dean, staff from DEI and Human Resources may be invited to meetings if concerns about overt discriminatory practices need to be addressed.

Committee Members

Gregory King, Co-Chair

Fabio Polanco, Co-Chair

Tom Humes

Amy Fritsche

Catherine Meredith

Yuko Kurahashi

Terri Kent

Marti Coles

Jaye Jackson

Kirstin Henry

Tetta Askeland

Eric S. Kildow

 

Diversity Statement

The College of the Arts is a community that supports and encourages creativity; in that, we welcome all students to express themselves fully. We believe that diversity is critically important because we grow and become inspired by varied perspectives. The College of the Arts is an advocate for Black and Indigenous students, students of color, LGBTQ+ students, first-generation students, students with differing abilities, students from all economic backgrounds, international students, as well as students of all ethnicities, religions, and cultures. It is our goal to provide a welcoming space where every student can perform to their full potential to transform the lives of themselves and others through their work at individual, community, and global levels.

 

Comunicado de Diversidad de la Facultad de Artes

La Facultad de Artes es una comunidad que apoya y fomenta la creatividad; en el sentido en que todos los estudiantes son bienvenidos a que se expresen abiertamente. Creemos que la diversidad es importante por que crecemos y nos inspiramos gracias a la variedad de perspectivas que cada uno brinda. La Facultad de Artes aboga por estudiantes negros e indígenas, estudiantes de color, estudiantes LGBTQ+, estudiantes de primera generación, estudiantes con diferentes habilidades, estudiantes de todas procedencias económicas, estudiantes internacionales al igual que estudiantes de todas etnias, religiones, y culturas. Es nuestra meta proveer un espacio incluyente en donde cada estudiante pueda dar todo de su potencial para transformar sus vidas y las de los demás a través de su trabajo a nivel individual, comunitario y global.

Background and Context

CARE has identified three dimensions in which to concentrate its efforts in diversity:

I. Culture and Climate

II. Academic Curriculum & Creative Programming

III. Recruitment and Retention

These dimensions align with the standards set forth by Kent State University’s Strategic Roadmap, Mission and Core Values; Kent State University’s priorities and University-Level Initiatives; and the Kent State University Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Action Plan. CARE’s Diversity Plan identifies students, faculty, and staff within the School who fall within historically underrepresented and underserved groups. Additionally, the Plan identifies students who represent diversity in a variety of ways, including but not limited to race, culture, national origin, ethnicity, religion, beliefs, social class, socioeconomic status, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, physical or mental ability, age, body size/type/shape, marital status, parental status, and military and veteran status in accordance with the broad definition of the term recognized by Kent State Student Accessibility Services and the Kent State Division of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion.

CARE Diversity Plan

CARE has developed goals that support each of the three dimensions. Each goal should align with the university’s mission laid out in the Strategic Roadmap for the university and DEI are listed below, along with the expected outcomes, implementation initiatives and measurement metrics for each goal. Results of the metrics from each of the dimensions will be tabulated and analyzed in an annual report to the School of Theatre and Dance faculty. This dimension focuses on the School of Theatre and Dance environment with its prevailing attitudes, standards and/or environmental conditions – with respect to various groups within the university community.