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Racial Equity and Inclusion in the Arts

ArtsGreensboro Statement on Cultural Equity

ArtsGreensboro invests in programs that provide access to the arts for all citizens, support arts integration in our schools, build capacity for our arts community, and unify the community through the power of the arts.
ArtsGreensboro provides grants and other resources to a diverse group of artists and arts organizations. Many individuals and groups supported by ArtsGreensboro are at the forefront of many urgent issues of our time. Through the visual and performing arts, educational activities, and public programs, we collectively strive to represent our community’s cultural diversity, address challenging subjects, and model a greater and more informed understanding of diverse experiences, histories, and voices. We understand a diversity of perspectives contribute to the dynamic environment necessary to be a welcoming, inclusive community that drives vitality and economic impact on the region.

STATEMENT ON CULTURAL EQUITY

To support a full, creative life for all, ArtsGreensboro commits to championing policies and practices of cultural equity that empower a just, inclusive, and equitable community. ArtsGreensboro is aware of the pressing issue of our time, is committed to specific improvements in areas of racial equity as an area of immediate focus.

DEFINITION OF CULTURAL EQUITY

Cultural equity embodies the values, policies, and practices that ensure that all people—including but not limited to those who have been historically underrepresented based on race/ethnicity, age, disability, sexual orientation, gender, gender identity, socioeconomic status, geography, citizenship status, or religion—are represented in the development of arts policy; the support of artists; the nurturing of accessible, thriving
venues for expression; and the fair distribution of programmatic, financial, and informational resources.

ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS & AFFIRMATIONS

• In the United States, systems of power grant privilege and access unequally such that inequity and injustice result, and that must be continuously addressed and changed.
• Cultural equity is critical to the long-term viability of the arts sector.
• We must all hold ourselves accountable because acknowledging and challenging our inequities and working in partnership is how we will make change happen.
• Everyone deserves equal access to a full, vibrant creative life, essential to a healthy and democratic society.
• The prominent presence of artists challenges inequities and encourages alternatives.

MODELING THROUGH ACTION

To provide informed, authentic leadership for cultural equity, ArtsGreensboro strives to:
Pursue cultural consciousness throughout our organization through substantive and ongoing learning and formal, transparent policies.
Acknowledge and dismantle any inequities within our policies, systems, programs, and services, and report on our progress to all of our constituents and audiences.
Commit time and resources to expand more diverse leadership within our board, staff, committees, and advisory bodies.

IMMEDIATE ACTION STEPS

To pursue needed systemic change related to equity, we strive to:
Encourage substantive learning to build cultural consciousness and to proliferate pro-equity policies and practices by all of our constituencies and audiences.
Improve the cultural leadership pipeline by creating and supporting programs and policies that foster leadership and reflect the full breadth of American society.
Generate and aggregate quantitative and qualitative research related to equity to make incremental, measurable progress towards cultural equity more visible.
Advocate for public and private-sector policy that promotes cultural equity.

LONG TERM VISION

ArtsGreensboro, together with our arts community will create a meaningful culture, structure, and embedded vision for inclusion, diversity, equity, and accessibility at our organizations that are strong enough to outlive our time in leadership and in everything we touch and do. We are committed to honoring and sharing our community’s collective history and experiences through leadership, funding, programming, and community engagement.

ArtsGreensboro worked with the Racial Equity Institute to offer a 4.5-hour Groundwater Training Session to the arts community. We encouraged executive directors, key staff, and board members to participate in this session. In a time of change and transition, addressing equity and inclusion is essential as we plan for the future.

Date: Friday, November 06, 2020 |

Time 9:00 am EST

Training Type: Virtual Groundwater Plus

 

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What Is Groundwater Training per REI:

The Groundwater metaphor is designed to help practitioners at all levels internalize the reality that we live in a racially structured society, and that that is what causes racial inequity. The metaphor is based on three observations:

  1. racial inequity looks the same across systems,
  2. socio-economic difference does not explain the racial inequity; and,
  3. inequities are caused by systems, regardless of people’s culture or behavior.

Embracing these truths helps leaders confront the reality that all our systems, institutions, and outcomes emanate from the racial hierarchy on which the United States was built. In other words, we have a “groundwater” problem, and we need “groundwater” solutions. Starting from there, we begin to unlock transformative change.

Attached you will find a paper fully describing the Groundwater Approach.

We sought REI’s training because we feel our team needs to be leaders in their understanding of issues of race and ethnicity in the U.S. in order to fulfill our mission, and the Groundwater training was one of the most fact-based and, therefore, compelling overviews of data that would impact our understanding. The Groundwater training will have a very long-term influence on our thinking, input into our organization’s strategies and programs, and influence on the role we play in our home community and others in the U.S.  -Cathy Belk, President, JumpStart, Inc., Cleveland, OH

Facilitators

Monica F. Walker

Monica F. Walker is a veteran organizer, artist, trainer, speaker, and social activist who has spent the better part of her career addressing race, equity, and inclusion while organizing social justice on every front. She currently resides in Greensboro, North Carolina, where she recently retired from her position as Executive Director of the Office for Diversity, Equity & Inclusion for Guilford County Schools. She led the district's efforts to eliminate racially disparate outcomes and all other forms of bias and discrimination for Guilford County Schools, the third-largest school district in North Carolina, and serves approximately 72,000 students and families. In this capacity, she led a small staff of equity directors, specialists, and coaches who provided professional development and equity coaching to the district's 11,000 employees. Monica is a highly regarded trainer who leads and facilitates Racial Equity and Undoing Racism training across the United States. Retirement now allows Monica to fully invest in the work of racial justice. She is particularly interested in supporting systems and institutions to interrogate the root causes of racial inequity and seek effective means to address and eliminate systemic and institutionalized racism. She is actively involved as an organizer in her community and serves on several boards, advisories, and organizational committees.

Dr. Blaise Amendolace

Dr. Blaise Amendolace is a trainer and organizer with the Racial Equity Institute. He is also a licensed clinical psychologist and is currently in private practice in Coral Springs, Florida. Dr. Amendolace has over 10 years of experience in collegiate mental health, serving in the roles of Clinical Director, Assessment Coordinator, Training Coordinator, Adjunct Faculty, and member of various Diversity and Inclusion Committees across multiple university settings. His specialty areas include trauma/abuse survivors, therapeutic personality assessment, relationship difficulties, and group counseling. Dr. Amendolace provides training to local youth sports organizations on child abuse prevention and volunteers with various organizations. As a counselor and educator, Dr. Amendolace strives to integrate social justice and equity issues into his work to help individuals become more compassionate and supportive. He has devoted much of his life to working with marginalized populations. As an undergraduate student at Florida State University, he worked at Capital City Youth Services' Someplace Else shelter program, which provided short-term housing and guidance for at-risk youth. He was a member of Dr. John C. Brigham's research lab and completed an undergraduate thesis exploring the Own-Race Bias with Chinese Americans. As a graduate student at Florida Institute of Technology, Dr. Amendolace worked for three years at The Family Learning Program, one of 14 state-funded sexual abuse treatment programs in Florida. As both a student and faculty advisor, Dr. Amendolace has attended several Alternative Spring Break volunteer mission trips, focusing on issues such as homelessness, poverty, food insecurities, and veteran's services. Dr. Amendolace is excited to be a member of the REI team and looks forward to continued learning and growth in the area of racial equity and social justice issues.