The Shotgun EDI Committee
Shotgun’s EDI Committee met bi-monthly for most of 2020 for a total of 21 meetings. In that time, they initiated and helped facilitate, with staff, company, board, and consultants, the following projects through to completion.
The Artist Survey:
The EDI Com recognized the need for in-depth, candid feedback from collaborating artists on their working experience at Shotgun. The momentum for this project took on increased urgency in light of The Living Document and WSYWAT Demands. In summer of 2020 the staff interviewed and hired POPROUSER, a BIPOC-led HR firm, to create, implement, and synthesize the results of a survey for the roughly 300 individual artists and administrative staff that have worked with Shotgun over the previous 19 months. The survey asked a comprehensive range of questions touching every aspect of the artist’s engagement; from auditions and hiring, through rehearsal, tech, performance, and strike.
- The Artistic Director and Staff, upon reading the results, felt compelled to apologize for specific harms that were identified in the survey.
- Survey results also helped prioritize a list of policies, procedures, and actions (revised casting/hiring protocol, updated employee manual, training etc) to improve the employee hiring and work culture of the organization.
- Shotgun Players will continue surveying artists at the end of each season, to track progress and identify places for continued progress.
The Land Acknowledgement and Shuumi Land Tax:
In collaboration with members and the founders of Sogorea Te’, the EDI Committee researched and drafted a Land Acknowledgement. This text will be spoken before all performances and EDI and Company meetings. It is also posted on Shotgun Players’ website and lobby. Shotgun Players used the formula identified by Sogorea Te’ to calculate and pay a Shuumi Land Tax that supports the healing and rematriation of this land.
In an effort to make their public spaces more welcoming and inclusive, the EDI Committee led an effort with the staff, board, and company to create a list of Community Agreements. This language will be posted in the theatre, studios, programs, and website. Within these agreements is a “feedback@shotgunplayers” email address for anyone who has a concern or needs support. Staff and EDI Committee members will respond to each request in a timely manner.
Strengthen our Identity and Profile:
The EDI Com will focus and clarify its charter so it can successfully lead and be aligned with the organization’s goals and objectives. Progress and actions will be regularly updated on the EDI page of the Shotgun Players’ website.
Review and Revise Organization Policies and Procedures:
The Shotgun Players is still in the midst of a process of evaluating and improving the way it engages with our internal and external communities. The EDI Com is here to ensure these new policies uphold the highest standards of equity, diversity, and inclusion.
Furthering Our Education:
The organization has identified certain training (Moderator, De-escalation, Bystander, Sexual Harassment, etc) that will be mandatory, depending on job description, for each employee. The EDI Com will help to research, identify, and evaluate each training tool or process.
Deepen Relationship with Sogorea Te’
The EDI Com will liaison with artists and staff of Sogorea Te’ to facilitate the design and creation of a mural on the Ashby Stage. The hope is to look for other ways to collaborate that are in service to their purpose and values.
And in other EDI News...
The Shotgun Players Board of Directors established a separate EDIB (Equity, Diversity, Inclusion, and Belonging) Committee in August 2020. The Shotgun Players Board EDIB Committee's purpose is to implement activities that support all board members to promote the values of equity, diversity, inclusion, and belonging by identifying strategies to remove systemic bias from our board culture. Our goals are to ensure that the board culture is safe and welcoming to all, regardless of age, race, gender/sexual identity, religion, ability, and socioeconomic/financial status.