Hate Has No Home Here: A Message from School Director Eric van Baars
The School of Theatre and Dance shares the pain and outrage expressed by so many regarding the ongoing acts of racism on our campus, in our community, and throughout the world. Together as artists, we are committed to be catalysts of Inclusion and Change. While we look to the university community at large to provide additional action steps, Theatre and Dance must mobilize now.
These cowardly acts and messages, meant to promote hate and fear, are unacceptable and must stop. As a School, we seek to combat hate with truth. The safety of our Black students, faculty, staff and all BIPOC members of the Kent State University must be protected.
In acting, there exists the central question; “what is your objective? what do you want?” As a School, we want accountability of the perpetrators of hate crimes. We want Black students to feel safe and supported. We want racist actions to end.
In support, we submit a plan of actions in the ongoing condemnation of racism and hate. These are further steps in the school’s action plan.
In keeping with our commitment to engage in action, this week the School will do the following:
First, we will demonstrate solidarity with other organizations campus and community wide. No one is alone. All are encouraged to join the Black Lives Matter Peaceful Protest organized for Thursday, September 10 at 2:00 p.m. in Risman Plaza. Faculty are encouraged to allow students to attend this event.
Provide a Safe Space
Update: Second, the School of Theatre and Dance will provide a virtual forum via Zoom so that we may talk and share ideas. This meeting was originally scheduled for Thursday, September 10, however we are postponing it to allow for all School of Theatre and Dance students to attend a university-wide town hall meeting scheduled for the same time. More information about a rescheduled School of Theatre and Dance meeting will be shared in the near future. Discussion from this meeting will be shared with the newly formed CARE (Community, Anti-Racism, and Equity Committee).
Create Change Through Art
Our third action is to gather together as a School to peacefully protest and create something as artists. On Friday, September 11 at 5:00 p.m., members of the School are invited to gather at the Rock to use our collective voices and creativity to call for change for the members of our BIPOC community. The date of this activity also coincides with the 19th anniversary of the 9/11, a day which taught us the importance of standing up for those under attack and created an outpouring of art for the cause of justice. Create, sing together, dance together, support each other and tell your story to another.
In support of Black Lives Matter, the School asks all participants to wear black.
Bring your Art and Bring Your Passion.
These are steps we take together.
Eric van Baars
Director, School of Theatre and Dance