Dear Colleagues and Students,

The Department of Performing Arts and Emerson Stage stand in solidarity with President Lee Pelton and all of the Black members of our Emerson community, in grief, pain, and yes, anger.  We, too, are outraged at the heartbreaking and senseless deaths of George Floyd, Tony McDade, Breonna Taylor, and Ahmaud Arbery, along with the countless others before them whose lives have been taken.  We acknowledge and grieve that our nation’s persistent failure to address its legacy of white supremacy and systemic oppression has brought us to this moment. We also acknowledge that Emerson, too, has much to do to address its own history, and that white silence is part of the problem.  

As a training ground for the next generation of theatre-makers, we know that the choices we make moving forward will either uphold or help to dismantle the injustices that have characterized our nation's history and institutions. We pledge to continue our anti-racist work, and we will listen, join, and amplify the voices calling for justice, equity, and an end to institutional racism and anti-blackness in this country.

Black lives matter. Black voices matter. And we are privileged to walk alongside you, guided and uplifted by your determination and hope.

Some resources—

—Dr. Robert Colby, Former Chair
Department of Performing Arts
Emerson College