Changes in the POC community at KSU Theatre and Dance

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Ryan Leflar
Ryan Leflar signed this petition

We as the POC community at Kent State, have a few guidelines that will aid in changing our system. With the state of the world right now, we feel it is appropriate to call attention to our school's issues, and do our best to make changes to our institution.

1. A Student Person of color (to go with each represented ethnicity at Kent State) should be guaranteed a place on the season selection committee. This will eliminate running into extremely racially charged shows that'll cause discomfort in the POC student communities.This also allows for the non-POC faculty to be educated as to why these shows are not acceptable.

2. Much like Kupita, KSU School of Theatre and Dance should organize a welcome into their building prior to school beginning for POC students. BTA will assist in organizing this welcome into the school. They will no longer feel unseen or unheard by giving them an opportunity to connect with people who look like them. (Welcome parties, tours of the school, prep, etc.) This should be feasible, and similar to welcome weekend.

3. If any racially charged shows are presented (by any means), a POC dramaturg should be required to do the research on these issues, and educate the cast and community of people putting on said show. Make these opportunities known to the POC Student Communities in advance. They should know that these opportunities are available. Reach out to said Organizations to let them know they can do the extra research required. 

4. Black History (as well as POC history) needs to be incorporated into the curriculum more than the bare minimum. Although it takes time for curriculum changes, the small changes that CAN be made (ie. adding more plays with POC representation that are not stereotypical, as well as more history in POC areas) are important. If plays need to be provided, please reach out.

5. Language to students of color, both public and private, cannot and should not have racist language that make them feel down about themselves, the color of their skin, or their success in the industry DUE to the color of their skin. No student should ever be told they aren't black enough, too black, or not good enough.

6. Kent State should do shows for us and about us that are NOT racially charged. Tell POC stories on your stage that celebrate people of color, not the stereotypes that precede us. Doing them in the name of art is not acceptable anymore. 

7. If a show selected is a racially charged show, or a show with a specific race, cast accordingly. 

8. ALL FACULTY SHOULD BE INVOLVED IN CREATING A SAFE SPACE FOR OUR BLACK STUDENTS, LATINX STUDENTS, AND ALL STUDENTS OF COLOR.