Diversity + Inclusion Statement of Commitment
SDC believes that the American theatre must reflect the great diversity of our nation and affirms its commitment to equitable hiring practices in order to achieve that goal. As the Union that unites, empowers, and protects professional stage directors and choreographers whose work appears on stages across the country, we believe strongly that these values should manifest in the hiring of artists for projects and positions, as well as the representation of our Membership and our staff.
While SDC acknowledges the American theatre’s longstanding dedication to diversity and inclusion, there remain inequities in hiring. We believe that, despite good intentions, there are biases in place that sometimes inhibit the hiring of qualified directors and choreographers from underrepresented groups. SDC further believes that this lack of opportunity contributes to the inability of these artists to create a sustainable career in the theatre.
In the creative enterprise of making theatre, SDC recognizes that the Union and its Membership have a great deal of influence, responsibility, and decision-making power in the industry. SDC acknowledges a need to cultivate a more diverse Membership within its own ranks as well as the need to examine hiring practices within the Union staff.
SDC challenges itself and the theatre community to ensure that qualified, diverse candidates are considered for each and every directing and/or choreography job on any given project or SDC staff position.
SDC is committed to taking the following actions:
- Include, respect, and appreciate differences in ethnicity, gender, age, national origin, ability, sexual orientation and identity, education, and religion in our goals and objectives.
- Establish a Diversity and Inclusion Committee with a clear charter to oversee SDC’s efforts and make recommendations to the Board through consistently integrated conversations.
- Create structured opportunities for the Board and staff to increase awareness and understanding of the issues inherent in the work of inclusion and diversity.
- Advocate for action on diversity, inclusion, and equity issues across all media platforms which are available to us; include current information on the Union’s website detailing the efforts of the committee and the Union; maintain consistent, direct communication with our Membership about these issues on an ongoing basis.
- Partner with SDC Foundation, ensuring that current and future programs align with SDC’s inclusion and diversity goals of creating access and opportunities for underrepresented artists, and proactively support Artistic Directors.
- Make available workshops and training opportunities regarding inclusion and diversity for our Membership.
- Keep diversity, parity, and equity at the forefront of our considerations with regard to the nomination of candidates for our Board, and ensure our staff hiring practices fully reflect our commitment.
- Collect, analyze, and share data with regard to hiring practices involving our Membership to better understand the issue in our field and work with employers to promote inclusion and diversity goals.
- Support our Member Artistic Directors, opening communication and determining ways in which the Union can prompt more diversity in hiring.
- Work with our fellow unions and service organizations to coordinate efforts and effect change in the field.
- Recognize success and advocate for an American theatre that represents a robust body of work of both familiar and unfamiliar voices.
This statement was adopted by SDC Board on December 7, 2015.