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Anti-oppression statement

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.


Concordia Theatre EDIA Committee

CAST Resources

Equity Office

Black Perspectives Office

Indigenous Directions

Access Centre

Queer Concordia

LGBTQ+ Resources in Montreal 

In 2022, a theatre undergraduate student conducted a study as part of a CUSRA grant on trans student experiences in the Concordia theatre department.  "Through a series of in-depth interviews, a complex picture of related experiences emerged, "  the student concluded, and their interviewees describe the department both as a place where trans people "are acceptable if not accepted," who encounter "some instructors who make the effort to create space for them" as well as significant stressors around misgendering, navigating the institution and anxiety around bathrooms, gendered casting and the Public Performance Projects, "and courses requiring engagement with trauma or artistic vulnerability, all present contexts in which the needs of trans students are not sufficiently accounted for in participants’ experience."

Their recommendations include:

  • trans specific diversity training for faculty and staff; 
  • increasing visibility of Concordia’s name change policy; 
  • bringing more trans voices into department syllabi; 
  • a reconsideration of gendered casting as it currently stands; 
  • increased clarity around boundaries and a practice of check-ins with students; 
  • listening to trans students’ discomfort, especially when similar situations will reoccur; and being prepared to be wrong and adapt together as a department. 
  • In all, participants raise a community focused approach, arising from a sense of belonging in the Concordia Theatre community and a desire for a more equitable student experience.

Parts of the trans theatre student experience still warrant further exploration. The research included no transfeminine participants, and the experience of trans POC students was not fully explored. Access to the full report is by permission of the author: please email with questions.  The department is currently working to act on these recommendations. 

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