As part of our continued efforts to make direct and enduring progress combating racial inequality within our organization and community, we’ve designated a senior level position on our staff to prioritize and uphold ongoing institutional change. Ambre Emory-Maier is our Director of Education, Equity and Community Engagement. Here, she will share quarterly updates on our work as we continue to learn and grow to forge a brighter path ahead.
In June of 2020, I was asked to take on the role to lead and uphold BalletMet’s work around Anti-Racism and Equity. In accepting this charge, I realized that I was in for a tough, painful but meaningful road ahead.
We started to examine our place in the community and evaluate programs around Anti-Racism and Equity in 2019. Although BalletMet has some diversity within its organization, we quickly realized that we had much to do. I felt overwhelmed. Where to start? So we started with ourselves.
Since June, our board, senior management team and I have worked hard to carefully write an Anti-racism and Equity statement. We wanted it to be authentic, with specific goals related to our community and organization.
In September, we issued our Board-approved Anti-Racism and Equity Statement, and formed a Coalition with members from our community, Board, dancers and staff to focus together on this critical work.
We also created the following learning groups; Black, Indigenous, People of Color and White, so the work could come from deep within BalletMet. Consultants and experts will be engaged for our entire organization through virtual training.
We also have an organization-wide training scheduled for Jan. 15, 2021, with Dr. Hasan Kwame Jeffries. An associate professor of history at The Ohio State University, Dr. Jeffries is also a noted author and speaker on racism’s history, Civil Rights and the Black Power Movement.
While I know the work around Anti-Racism and Equity will never be finished, my colleagues and I are filled with hope that we will have a positive impact as we move forward together.