Statements against racism, hate and authoritarianism

Statement Against Authoritarianism

Like many around the world, we are horrified by the Russian invasion of Ukraine. Our College’s commitment to elevating humanity extends well beyond our campus and local communities. Moreover, many of our own faculty, staff and students are directly and indirectly impacted by this and other humanitarian crises. We thus stand in solidarity with Ukrainians, Afghans, Uyghurs and other people around the world who seek self-determination, autonomy and independence. As Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy emphasized, the struggle is for “democracy, freedom” (March 1, 2022). The foundation of our work to dismantle hate, bias and discrimination lies in these principles. Without freedom, there is no democracy and vice versa.

As many political scientists have noted recently, authoritarianism is on the rise around the globe and Russia’s aggression against Ukraine is one horrific manifestation of this trend. Freedom House, which tracks every country in the world, reports that global political freedom has declined every year since 2006 and “faces a dire threat” (“Freedom in the World 2002”). We unequivocally stand against authoritarianism and the oppression and killing of those who seek to live in a free, safe and democratic society.

For a list of highly rated, non-profit organizations engaged in relief, recovery and peace-building efforts, visit Charity Navigator: Ukrainian-Russian Crisis. The Northern Nevada International Center also released a statement regarding the crisis in Ukraine, which contains information on how to help refugees.

Statement on Diversity, Equity and Inclusion

The Department of Theatre and Dance rejects racism, misogyny, classism, homophobia, ableism, sexism, ageism, religious discrimination and other forms of hate and bias. We are committed to developing and implementing departmental practices that reflect our diverse communities and prioritize equity and social justice. We value every student, instructor, staff member and patron and we aim to cultivate an inclusive artistic environment where all community members feel safe, supported, valued and empowered. As such, we affirm unambiguously that Black Lives Matter.

We believe it is the mission of the performing arts to hold a mirror up to society, celebrating diverse voices and embodiments in an effort to entertain, inspire and facilitate social transformation. We recognize that theatre and dance in U.S. higher education has historically operated from a position of privilege, focusing on Western European classicism at the expense of excluding underrepresented groups and more global perspectives. Thus, we pledge to confront and address all forms of hate and oppression through teaching, learning, performance, scholarship and service with specific attention to anti-racist practices and global perspectives in our programming and curricula.