End Racism and Injustice at The Great Dickens Christmas Fair

End Racism and Injustice at The Great Dickens Christmas Fair

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London Solidarity Network started this petition to Red Barn Productions

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If you have attended, volunteered, or worked at The Great Christmas Dickens Fair in San Francisco you know the joyful spirit of the holidays it represents. Unfortunately, that joy is not experienced by everyone. Marginalized cast and crew members have experienced racism, sexism, and ableism at Dickens Fair for years. Members who have reported harrasment to leadership have been ignored.

In 2020 efforts to organize support for marginalized cast and crew members increased in response to national events like the death of George Floyd and fair-based events like public racist comments from long-time vendors. 

The Londoners of the African Diaspora (LoAD), an affinity group dedicated to celebrating the black cast and crew members at Dickens Fair, led the push for inclusion, diversity, equity, and accessibility (IDEA). Other affinity groups for neurodiversity, disability, and other marginalized identities also came together to form the London Solidarity Network.

In August of 2020 LoAD spent weeks researching and writing an AntiRacism Initiative (ARI) at the request of Red Barn Productions leadership. (Red Barn Productions is the company that owns the Dickens Fair.)

This document outlined a clear path forward to ensure that the Dickens Fair experience could be safe and equitable for all. It included requests to hire much needed Human Resources and IDEA professionals as well as create formal inclusive casting policies that would put an end to racist casting traditions at Dickens Fair.

Red Barn Productions leadership repeatedly failed to implement the changes outlined in this document. Instead of an HR or IDEA professional the company hired a Dramaturg (artistic director). Instead of implementing inclusive casting policies, leadership continued to talk to directors about the idea of "portrait casting" (casting which requires actors to look similar to the historical portrait of their character) which excludes people of color and different abilities from lead roles at Dickens Fair.

After this and many other examples of mismanagement, LoAD finally released a public statement to cast and crew and a Statement of No Confidence in Red Barn Productions leadership in May of 2021. The Statement of No Confidence calls for Red Barn leadership to form a supervisory board to oversee policy creation at Dickens Fair.

It is standard practice for most theatrical companies to have a board of directors. The business of the Dickens Fair has persisted for more than 30 years, draws in tens of thousands of visitors, relies on a mostly volunteer work force of hundreds for operation throughout the year, and generates millions of dollars in economic activity. However Red Barn Productions has not adhered to basic industry best practices for management.

The Statement of No Confidence was met with significant support from fellow cast and crew members on the Dickens Fair Cast and Crew Facebook group. Red Barn leadership responded by deleting the statement and all comments as well as other posts from LoAD members and archiving the entire Facebook group.

Now is our moment to raise our collective voices against injustice and call on Red Barn leadership to make The Great Dickens Christmas Fair a safe and equitable space for all. 

We are asking the public to Statement of No Confidence by committing to not attending the Dickens Fair if Red Barn Productions continues to refuse to implement these changes.

We are proud to have been part of creating an event that has become so successful it requires formal, professional, and representative-based oversight. None of us would be pushing for change if we did not love the event we have created together. But we cannot in good conscience continue to participate in an event that is not safe and just for all our fellow participants.

There is no requirement to sign this petition. Please only do so if you are wholeheartedly in support of the changes called for in the documents created by LoAD. 

NOTICE: After you sign, another page appears asking you to "chip in." PLEASE click/tap "No, I'll share instead" or close the tab/window. THESE DONATIONS DO NOT GO TO THE LSN. This is change.org's fundrasing method for public petitions that wish to advertise outside their community. No "payment" is necessary to support this petition. Apologies, but this cannot be removed.

0 have signed. Let’s get to 5,000!
At 5,000 signatures, this petition is more likely to get picked up by local news!