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    Posted June 19, 2008

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Actors' Equity Mourns
Willie Boston

Former EEO Business Representative

At its meeting of June 17, 2008, the Council of Actors' Equity mourned the death of Willie Boston, who served as the Association's Equal Employment Opportunity Representative and was the recipient of Equity's prestigious Rosetta LeNoire in 2007. His death was announced last week by Kent State University, where he was the Director of Equal Opportunity and Affirmative Action.

"As Equity's EEO Representative for 16 years, Mr. Boston stood tirelessly at the front lines, waving the diversity flag for Actors' Equity Association with grace, dignity, a cherished sense of humor and above all, an unwavering commitment to the membership," said EEO Co-Chairs Julia Breanetta Simpson and Christine Toy Johnson. "He was instrumental in implementing the many initiatives that have been developed in an effort to combat exclusion and increase opportunities for actors of color, females and actors with disabilities."

Back L-R: Herb Quebec, EEO Co-Chair Julia Breanetta Simpson, AIA Director Sharon Jensen, Joan Valentina, Willie Boston (deceased) Front: Kitty Lunn

Boston was selected as the 2007 recipient of the Rosetta LeNoire Award, which recognizes outstanding contributions made to the "universality of the human experience in the American Theatre" through either non-traditional or affirmative casting. At Equity, he served as representative for the Joint Equity/League EEO Committee, and the Diversity Coalition (made up of members of AEA, the League, SSDC, CSA, Dramatists Guild, and the League of Off Broadway Theatres).

"His steadfast work on the issues of inclusion in the American theatre will never be forgotten and will have a profound effect on our members for years to come," added Ms. Simpson and Ms. Johnson.

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