The ODC community values equity, love, and accountability. We strive to lift each other up and hold gratitude for one another. We acknowledge, however, that ODC, as an institution, has benefited tremendously from white privilege and its associated cultural and structural practices. We invite you to join us as we make conscious, and dismantle, these inherited practices and policies both within ourselves and in our community. Any form of retaliation against someone who has expressed concern about any form of harassment, refused to partake in harassing behavior, made a harassment complaint, or cooperated in a harassment investigation, is strictly prohibited. A complaint made in good faith will under no circumstances be grounds for disciplinary action.
Our Equity Working Group is a group of members of ODC staff from every department (including faculty, accompanists and company dancers), contractors engaged in long-term projects at ODC, community partners (including ODC tenants and licensed partner organizations), and volunteer special guests who meet on a weekly basis to share and discuss how to make the ODC community and dance at large more equitable.
The Equity Working Group collectively identified the tools we are using to help guide this work as follows:
- To value other people’s opinions, take the time to hear them, and be present.
- To be open-minded, and lead with an open heart.
- To create a brave space where individuals can be free, feel safe, be heard, and fully express who they are.
- To check in to make sure these spaces are truly safe.
Be active in our community
- Recognize our own power to build a company, an organization, and a community that fights racism, misogyny, homophobia, xenophobia, and all intolerant beliefs and actions.
- Constantly recommit ourselves to policies and practices that promote anti-racism, anti-misogyny, anti-homophobia, anti-xenophobia, anti-ableism, and all other intolerant beliefs and actions.
- Continue educating ourselves on experiences outside of our own and be cognizant of the fact that every individual comes into our community with a different experience and perspective.
- Call out to call in structural and status quo institutions that marginalized populations and work to dismantle them.
Become more self-aware
- Listen and take ownership of our own internal fear(s). Speak openly and honestly, especially when it is hard.
- Acknowledge the spaces where we have privilege and power, so that we can step back and help provide space for those who do not.
Acknowledgement of Place
ODC is based and its buildings reside on the traditional land of the Ohlone people. We pay respects to these Indigenous caretakers and encourage you to learn more about the land where you reside at native-land.ca. While we recognize that Land Acknowledgment is only an introductory step to this work, we also encourage you to learn more about this practice of paying respects by visiting the website of Kanyon Konsulting, founded by Kanyon Sayers-Roods, who worked with ODC as we developed our acknowledgment.
For more information on Kanyon Konsulting please visit kanyonkonsulting.com
Recent ODC Equity Working Sessions*
July 10 - Ohlone Solidarity & Land Acknowledgement - Kanyon Konsulting LLC
July 17 - Community Agreement & Feedback Form
July 24 - Discussion:
- A Letter on Justice and Open Debate signed by 153 artists
- Response by the NYT
- We See You, White American Theater
July 31 - Continuation of discussion from articles on 7/24
August 7 - Discussion: What are the most pressing policies that would benefit from more transparency?
August 14 - Discussion: What do we want to ask of our patrons? How do we want them to show up (in being antiracist)? How do we message that to people? How do we hold them accountable to our standards?
August 21 - Shared Language (Equity, Inclusion, Equality, Bias, others?) When do you feel most connected to ODC? When do you feel most disconnected from ODC?
August 28 - Continuation of Shared Language (Equity, Inclusion, Equality, Bias, others?) When do you feel able to speak up? When do you feel unable to speak up?
September 11 - Discussion: How can we generate engagement in the equity working group? How do we create actionable items and follow through? What does success look like to you from the equity working group?
September 18 - Accountability Plan: Come up with 1 task you can do for yourself in relation to the equity working group, and 1 task you can do together as a breakout group.
September 25 - Topic: Check in on your task. How were you successful? Where were your roadblocks?
October 9 - What changes have occurred to our practices and proceeds to create equitable digital space? How un/successful has that been? What help do you need to be more successful? Article: Recognizing Systemic Racism in Dance
October 16 - How do you think the equity working group is doing? What do you want out of the Equity Working Group?
October 23 - Continuation of topics discussed on 10/16
October 30 - What choice making is the Equity work influencing in our daily lives?
November 6 - How are you feeling about the election? Let’s check in.
November 13 - Discuss The Problem With ‘Hey Guys’ *The Equity Working Group finds that this article dynamically investigates the issues surrounding exclusive language practices. However we DO NOT condone the findings of it's interviewees, namely John McWhorter, a Columbia linguistic teacher, who states that the word, "Y'all" is, "...associated with two things: the South and black people. And those two things are considered informal, and many people would have less polite things to say about both of those things."
November 20 - How are you doing with the re-shutdown? How are you dealing with or thinking about seasonal/winter gatherings?
December 11 - Dancers' Consent
December 18 - Land Acknowledgement & Reparations
January 8 - New Year, New Ideas, What are the goals for the Equity Working Group in the start of a new year?
January 15 - Board Involvement
January 22 - Reading group report out: My Grandmother's Hands by Resmaa Menakem
January 29 - Workshop: creating ODC's Equity Working Group Webpage
February 5 - Discussion: How to open the Equity Working Group to the larger community, artists?
February 11 - Discussion: What are culturally-relevant and responsive outreach strategies for engagement that ODC should invest in?
February 19 - Uncomfortable Environments, Harm, Progress
February 26 - Accountability and Community Healing
March 5 - ODC's Podcast - Dance Cast Overview & Reflection
March 12 - Discussion: Notions of Legacy
March 19 - Discussion: Equity Working Group's Sustainability
March 26 - Exploring Subcommittees
April 2 - Discussion: Subcommittee Models
April 9 - Discussion: Establishing Subcommittee Workflow(s).
April 16 - Discussion: Setting Subcommittee Intentions
*Session topics are volunteered by members of the Equity Working Group. This page reflects recent sessions as of February 26, 2021.
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