UIC SCHOOL OF THEATRE AND MUSIC
ANTIRACISM COMMITMENT and ACTION PLAN (AY21)
The UIC School of Theatre and Music (STM) condemns racism in all its forms. We hold antiracism as a core value, and we work toward antiracist pedagogies and practices as part of our mission. We take action to imagine, create, and sustain an academic and artistic community that contributes to a just and equitable world.
We acknowledge that this ongoing work takes time, and we are committed as a school to creating and maintaining sustained initiatives centered on antiracism and equity, diversity, and inclusion (EDI) in our curriculum, classrooms, and community. In so doing, STM centers BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, and People of Color) and Hispanic faculty, students, and staff as we engage in critical institutional and individual self-reflection and learning in order to enact institutional change. All members of the STM community will be included in this endeavor, which will be equitably distributed among administration, faculty, and staff. We will ensure inclusive and transparent leadership and communication.
Following is an action plan for the 2020-2021 academic year, including steps that will be taken immediately by STM leadership as well as long-term initiatives. The plan is a living document, and will be annually assessed and revised to reflect our changing priorities and commitments. We acknowledge that it is important for us to engage in this work as a school; however, we recognize that specialized work will be necessary within the Theatre department and Music department via the Theatre Antiracism Action Plan (AAP) Committee and the Music Antiracism Advisory Committee (AAC).
(1) Establish an STM Antiracism Advisory Committee (STM AAC). The STM AAC aligns its work with the College of Architecture, Design, and the Arts (CADA) Diversity Committee and STM Department of Theatre and Department of Music equity, inclusion, and antiracism efforts. It is charged annually by the Executive Committee with the following goals:
- Providing education, training, and workshops for STM-wide antiracism initiatives.
- Reporting on the antiracism initiatives, programs, and workshops of the administration, faculty, staff, and students.
- Determining priorities for school-level initiatives.
- Managing the budget for STM-wide antiracism initiatives.
- Reviewing and recommending revisions to current university, college, school, and department policies and practices for recruiting and supporting BIPOC faculty, staff, and students.
- Evaluating work annually and holding STM accountable for antiracism work, including recommendations for change.
Membership will consist of two students and two faculty members from both Theatre and Music, along with one staff member. The director and both department heads will attend as ex officio members, but will not vote. Meetings will be open to all STM students, faculty, and staff. Meeting minutes will be posted for the entire STM community.
(2) Establish an Associate Director position to support equity, diversity, and inclusion work in AY21. The Associate Director will chair and manage the budget of the STM AAC, attend Music and Theatre AAP meetings, identify and support common goals in both Music and Theatre, collect data and share information from organizations beyond STM to support school-level initiatives, serve as a liaison between the STM AAC and college, campus, and external committees, and advocate to the director to support proposed initiatives from department AAP committees.
(3) Establish an annual budget line to support the work of the STM AAC, Theatre AAP Committee, and Music AAC. Pursue additional funding by reallocating STM funds and requesting additional support from the college and campus.
(4) Recruit, hire, and support full-time BIPOC faculty and staff.
- Advocate with campus administration for increased support for BIPOC faculty and staff recruitment, hiring, and support.
- Increase the number of BIPOC faculty in full-time positions in general, and in tenure and clinical positions in particular.
- Include commitment to equity, inclusion, and antiracism in position notices
- Include salary range in position notices as possible.
- Promote positions through BIPOC-serving professional outlets and networks.
- Include at least two BIPOC faculty or staff on each search committee; include faculty from other UIC units or individuals from the Chicago area with disciplinary expertise when necessary.
- Invite the UIC Office of Access and Equity to review current protocols for recruitment and retention of BIPOC faculty.
- Maintain competitive salaries for adjunct faculty and honoraria for guest artists.
- Provide mentorship and professional development support to junior BIPOC faculty and staff.
- Develop, maintain, and make available a list of BIPOC faculty and affinity groups across campus.
- Develop and implement a protocol for ensuring that all non-UIC guest instructors and substitute instructors are familiar with the STM Antiracism Commitment and Action Plan; invite non-UIC instructors to participate in workshops and training as appropriate.
(5) Recruit and develop ongoing relationships with BIPOC guest artists, clinicians, speakers, and adjudicators.
(6) Recruit and support BIPOC students.
- Develop and implement recruitment principles and practices that focus on making higher education in Theatre and Music at UIC accessible for BIPOC students.
- Include an equity, inclusion, and antiracism commitment statement in promotional and recruitment materials.
- Feature current BIPOC students and alumni in promotional and recruitment materials.
- Identify and partner with high schools and community organizations that serve BIPOC students.
- Increase community access to STM Theatre productions, Music concerts, backstage and concert stage tours, class visits, and related activities.
- Increase support for BIPOC student scholarships through advocacy and fundraising.
- Actively connect STM BIPOC degree students to existing social, academic, and financial resources available on campus.
- Provide training and support for BIPOC advisors, faculty mentors, alumni mentors, and professional mentors to address the particular needs of BIPOC students.
- Establish and hire a BIPOC alumni liaison position for each department.
- Develop ways to bridge BIPOC student education to career readiness and success through internship and mentorship opportunities, both during and after their time at UIC.
(6) Include reports from the STM AAC among the first three items on STM all-faculty meeting agendas and on Theatre and Music faculty advisory committee meeting agendas.
(7) Change STM Promotion and Tenure Norms so antiracist work can be acknowledged and valued. This may include research, creative practice, curricular development, service, and work with organizations that primarily service BIPOC artists and audiences.
(8) Ensure that evaluation of equity, diversity, inclusion, and antiracism policies and practices are included in reviews of leadership (dean, director, and heads) and in self-study reports prepared for external agencies even when not required as part of that report.
(9) Ensure accountability by prioritizing transparency, community inclusivity, open dialogue, and regular outreach. Open meetings to all and share minutes with students, faculty, and staff via Box and via email. Invite members of the STM community to participate in our meetings and solicit discussion topics. Solicit feedback on the STM Antiracism Commitment and Action Plan on a regular basis and subject the plan to annual review and revision so that it best reflects our changing principles and priorities.
Guide to abbreviations:
EDI: Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion
BIPOC: Black, Indigenous, and People of Color
AAC: Antiracism Advisory Committee
AAP: Antiracism Action Plan