EQUITY COUNCIL TAKES ACTION ON BLACK LIVES MATTER RESOLUTION

Following a recommendation of the Executive Committee, Equity’s National Council has taken action to in regard to the Black Lives Matter Movement, approving on the following resolution at their June 2020 meeting:

WHEREAS, the murders of George Floyd, Tony McDade and Breonna Taylor are just three in a long line of incidents of law enforcement officers killing Black people; and, 
 
WHEREAS, the murders of Ahmaud Arbery and Dominique “Rem’mie” Fells are additional examples of the systemic terrorism against Black people in the United States; and, 

WHEREAS, Black, Indigenous, and People of Color face police brutality, prosecution, incarceration, and violence in disproportionate numbers; and, 

WHEREAS, systemic racism is present in all functions of our society, including the labor movement and the theater industry; and, 

WHEREAS, leaders and members of Actors’ Equity Association have joined the protests demanding action to end police violence and address systemic racism throughout our society and our industry; and, 
 
WHEREAS, many BIPOC Equity members have bravely stepped forward to publicly tell their own stories detailing the ways in which structural, systemic racism has impacted their work in our industry; and, 
 
WHEREAS, Actors’ Equity Association values inclusion, and commits itself to being aggressive and responsive in achieving equity for all its members; and, 

WHEREAS, Actors’ Equity Association strives to lead the industry as a voice for the values it has adopted; and, 
 
WHEREAS, Actors’ Equity Association recognizes the impact that systemic racism and white supremacy have had on its own structures, acknowledges its historic culpability in perpetuating inequity, and is committed to doing the work to untether itself from all forms of unjust action; 

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, that Actors’ Equity Association loudly declares that Black lives matter; and, 

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that we will redouble our efforts to seek out, listen to, and amplify the voices of BIPOC stage managers and actors; and, 

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that we will address the systemic racism both inside our union and its structures—including one’s  ability to join and sustain membership, as well as one’s access to full participation—as well as in our industry more broadly; and, 

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that we will reexamine and reform our governance structure, ensuring not only that all forms of participation in the union are safe and that they engage with our BIPOC members, but that all parties empowered to represent and act on behalf of our members—including committees, negotiating teams, Regional Boards, and the National Council—are both diverse and inclusive; and, 

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that we will commit to negotiating provisions into our agreements with employers that ensure the safety and well-being of our BIPOC members, and; 

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that we will engage with our employers beyond negotiations to address systemic racism in our workplaces, using all of the tools at our disposal to implement anti-racist policy across our industry; and, 

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that we will push for and support efforts in alignment with Black, Indigenous, and People of Color and their communities to reform law enforcement and our criminal justice system at all levels and to ensure economic and democratic freedom for all; and, 

BE IT FINALLY RESOLVED, that Actors’ Equity Association commits to considering all options to help move forward the cause of racial and economic justice.