The Department’s Equity, Diversity, Inclusion, and Accessibility Committee worked to create a living document addressing oppression and systemic racism in our institution and classrooms. We ask all personnel engaged in our Department to read over the full Anti-Oppression Statement.
Concordia University’s Theatre Department, located on the unceded traditional territory of the Kanien’kehá:ka Nation, stands in solidarity with Black Lives Matter activism globally demonstrating and protesting against white supremacist systems. Systemic oppressions and colonial practices continue to disempower individuals based on their race, age, gender identity, religion, sexual orientation, mental or physical capacity, economic or social status, political ideology. We recognize that communities of Black, Indigenous and People of Color continue to be impacted disproportionately.
We acknowledge that academic institutions hold histories filled with instances of racist abuse, including Concordia University. We assert that pervasive forces of institutionalized oppression are historically present in academic and arts institutions. We also recognize that academia and the arts have often been sites of bold resistance to oppression. Since the early 2000s, when our Equity, Diversity and Inclusivity Committee was founded, our Department has been working towards adopting anti-oppression frameworks into our curricula and programming; examining critically the systems of power and abuse we have operated within. The global events of 2020 show us we must all redouble our efforts. We acknowledge that, while we have made some progress, there is much more we can and should do.
We are committed as a Department to actively eliminate forms of marginalization, cultural insensitivity, and oppression, especially those which we perpetuate into our theatre practices. We assert that theatre is powerful. It can reflect the society in which it’s produced, and offer potent glimpses of realities that could be. It can therefore too perpetuate harmful ideas. We believe therefore, in our programs, that it is necessary to teach students how to confront oppressive systems in order to succeed on their own terms. Furthermore it is necessary to teach students to identify and recognize oppression so that they can better be able to confront said systems. The Department of Theatre is committed to unpacking how certain pedagogies, processes, or course content, intersect with forms of oppression. To this end, the Department is dedicated to an ongoing and open conversation on the basis of dismantling systemic oppression.