Diversity and Inclusion

FTT's Commitment to Anti-Racism and Racial Justice

As scholars and creators within FTT, we recognize our responsibility toward awareness and consciousness of global histories of colonization and imperialism, of cultural domination and subjugation, and of indigenous peoples and their rights, histories, culture, and heritage. We emphasize the academic commitment to embrace, discuss, and converse about issues and texts, both written and performative, related to political justice, economic justice, civil rights, police brutality, and environmental justice.

As advocates of the performing and audiovisual arts, media, and entertainment, we appreciate the vitality of these forms as conduits for social change and for amplifying marginalized voices, but we are also aware of their legacy as hegemonic institutions that replicate traditional mechanisms of power and control, and we aim to foster awareness of this range of capacities.

As teachers, we acknowledge that we have the power to shape curricula based in anti-racist principles, to highlight the work of Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC) creators and scholars, and to try to equip our students with the intellectual, creative, and ethical tools and cultural competencies necessary to shape our communities and societies into places where racial justice and equality are vital priorities, not vague propositions.

As scholars, creators, advocates, and teachers, we understand that creative work has the potential to transform culture and that we as critically aware subjects can have transformative experiences through it.

Therefore, the members of FTT pledge a commitment to concrete actions that expose and dismantle white supremacy; enable the betterment of conditions for Black and other historically marginalized people; escalate efforts toward diversity, equity, and inclusion; identify and interrogate implicit and explicit biases, recognize exclusionary practices past and present, and address institutional and systemic racism, including within our own spaces; and hold ourselves accountable for any failures to follow through on these actions.

With these intentions, the Department of Film, Television, and Theatre has done the following:

  • Hosted online town halls with current students and alumni addressing gaps, blind spots, and best practices for racial equity within the Theatre concentration.
  • Conducted faculty workshops on anti-racist curriculum and pedagogy, encouraging examination of syllabi and teaching methods.
  • Planned anti-racist theatre events for 2020-2021.
  • Allocated funds contributed to the Broad Avenue Filmmakers Fund to financially support the production and distribution of work created by BIPOC students and/or work that focuses on stories of the lived experiences of BIPOC people.
  • Implemented an Identity/International attribute to ensure that students take at least one FTT class primarily concerned with the exploration of race, ethnicity, gender, sexuality, ability, religion, class, age, and/or nationality.
  • Created a permanent Committee on Anti-Racism, Racial Justice, and Equality in FTT with both faculty and student members and with both department and university goals for interventions.

With an eye toward long-term structural changes, we also commit to these goals:

  • Carrying out an extensive review of our curriculum to ensure that students are aware of the diversity of perspectives, stylistic practices, narrative and performative strategies, and modes of engagement of creative practitioners.
  • Creating opportunities for students and faculty to discuss and examine gaps, blind spots, and best practices for racial equity within all three concentrations.
  • Working with the DeBartolo Performing Arts Center director and staff to increase the percentage of public-facing film and theatre programming created by those who identify as BIPOC, researching past percentages and setting a new target goal.
  • Planning anti-racist theatre seasons every year.

Identity/International Course attribute

Every major in FTT is required to take at least one course with the Identity/International (I/I) attribute. Courses that carry the I/I attribute are 30000 or 40000 level electives centrally concerned with the exploration of race, ethnicity, gender, sexuality, ability, religion, class, age, and/or nationality. While other FTT core classes introduce students to — or have some content related to — these basic concepts, I/I courses provide a sustained, in-depth exploration of these issues. Grounded in the values and practices of inclusive pedagogy, these courses decenter dominant cultural identities and communities in order for students to explore, reflect on, and understand cultural practices and representations of — and made by — underrepresented communities and the cultures of the global majority. The I/I attribute does not require additional credit hours: it should be fulfilled within the student’s FTT electives.

University Anti-Racism, Diversity and Inclusion Resources