The recent horrifying incidences of racial injustice in our country, and many others preceding them, are painful reminders of the suffering that has been endured by generations of Black Americans. We recognize that there are devastating consequences to systemic oppression and there is an urgent need for change. We are also moved by the pain that racism causes in the lives and experiences of people we care deeply about in our own community of artists, staff members and supporters.
We understand that New York City Ballet has existed within a larger system in the ballet field that has historically marginalized people of color and has not recognized the value of diversity and inclusion to our art form. This fuels the imperative to ensure that our company’s policies, practices, norms, and behaviors uphold justice and inclusion for everyone in our community. We are committed to this important work and are currently engaged in a formal process to make diversity, equity, inclusion, and anti-racism a priority at NYCB.
Over the past three years, we have brought together dancers, artistic staff, administrators and board members who have participated in listening sessions, focus groups, and anti-racism training and education with consultants who have been engaged to organize and facilitate these efforts, and to stimulate institutional change. As part of this process we jointly imagined a vision for our future, creating a set of core values and embarking upon a plan of action to transform our Company as we work towards an organizational culture that values and reflects racial justice, diversity, equity, and inclusion. We have also joined fellow ballet companies, through the national Equity Project, to pursue change throughout the field of American ballet.
The more we learn and listen with an openness to shifting the traditional paradigm, the more determined we are to embrace systemic change. We are aware this is not an easy task, but we are dedicated to investing the necessary time and resources for our deeper learning and growth.
We affirm our commitment to anti-racism and to becoming an institution that welcomes and amplifies the voices of all races, ethnicities, and cultural identities. We are deeply committed to learning, listening, and acting, as we engage in the ongoing work to make this vision for New York City Ballet a reality.