Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion
Belonging at Yale is the name for the university’s activities to enhance diversity, support equity, and promote an environment of belonging, inclusion, and respect. These activities further a vision for the university outlined by the President’s Committee on Diversity, Inclusion, and Belonging. For detailed information, resources, and action plans please visit belong.yale.edu
The development of anti-racist theater practice is central to the mission and values of the School and Yale Rep, as well as our goals of advancing equity, diversity, inclusion and belonging. Therefore, a core component of the curriculum for all students is an introductory workshop led by faculty member Carmen Morgan and facilitators from . The workshop is titled Everyday Justice: Anti-Racism as Daily Practice and is required for all students and full-time benefitted faculty and staff. The workshop serves as an introduction to key frameworks and strategies for the development of anti-racist practice and is offered annually at orientation. Everyday Justice is also a prerequisite for anti-racist practice coursework required in all academic programs at the School.
“[The EDI Symposia] provide a forum for dialogue and training on diverse topics and remove barriers and provide access for individuals and groups who have traditionally been left out of theater” – DGSD/YRT Community Member
The EDI Symposia series is an ongoing effort that welcomes the attendance of all David Geffen School of Drama/Yale Repertory Theatre community members to explore topics related to anti-racism, equity, diversity, and inclusion in pedagogy and professional practice, providing opportunities for the cross-pollination of ideas and discourse between the School, Yale Rep, and the greater theater community. Distinguished guest panelists and presenters are curated by a Steering Committee including faculty, staff, and students who identify topics of interest and relevance to the community. The committee invites individuals with a relationship with, expertise in, and unique perspective on the chosen subject matter to give a presentation or participate in a discussion panel. The symposia are an opportunity to amplify the identities and perspectives of those who have historically been underrepresented, so that we can center their and others’ experiences. Each session includes an opportunity for the community to engage with the guests in a question-and-answer session.
What do you see as the purpose of the EDI Symposia Series?
“To learn from those out there doing the dang thing.” – DGSD/YRT Community Member
“Learning, listening, questioning, engagement, action” – DGSD/YRT Community Member
Curated in collaboration with faculty and student representatives from the Steering Committee, former Assistant Dean Kelvin Dinkins, Jr. led the first installments of the EDI Symposia series in the August Wilson Lounge at Yale Repertory Theatre. Since this program began in 2018 as part of the School’s EDI initiatives, Committee members and topics have shifted annually. During the COVID-19 pandemic, the Symposia was conducted online, allowing for even greater accessibility.
Why do you consider the EDI Symposium you attended valuable?
“Because it reflects who I am.” – DGSD/YRT Community Member
Symposia History 2018–2023
March 1, 2023 | August Wilson Lounge | 9AM–11AM
A conversation with Laurie Woolery (Yale Rep Beinecke Fellow) and members of the company and creative team of Mojada: A Medea in Los Angeles about their values in making community-based theater, and how to find and keep community in the theatre.
Panelists: Laurie Woolery, Alma Martinez, Mónica Sánchez, and Cynthia Santos-DeCure
October 26, 2022 | August Wilson Lounge | 9:30AM-11:00AM
Tara delved into the history of Yale, New Haven, and the University's impact on local community perceptions. This event is intended to give students, staff, and faculty a space for dialogue and the tools to work together as responsible community members who are living in New Haven either long-term or temporarily.
Monday April 25, 2022 | 10AM–12PM
Joanelle Moriah (’22) gave a presentation based on her Stage Management thesis (also entitled "Where the Industry Stands on Our Strands") and welcomed actress and hair/wig designer Nikiya Mathis into a discussion on textured Black hair and the theater industry.
March 9, 2022 | Zoom | 12PM–2PM EST
Theater practitioners spoke about their personal restorative practices as they continued to champion anti-racist and EDI work at their respective organizations.
Panelists: LT Gourzong (’19) Daviorr Snipes, and Elena Chang, facilitated by DGSD student Doug Robinson.
November 16, 2021 | August Wilson Lounge | 12:30PM–2PM
Students, faculty, and staff of the David Geffen School of Drama (DGSD) and Yale Repertory Theatre (YRT) addressed the question central to creating an inclusive and accessible mission-driven environment: What is community? Participants were encouraged to think broadly about past, present, and future relationships within the DGSD/YRT community in a Fishbowl discussion moderated by Jacob Padrón (‘08).
May 7, 2021 | Zoom | 3:30PM–5PM EST
In part two of this symposium, we heard from three alumni who were original signatories of the We See You White American Theatre industry demands of 2020. The panelists drew from their lived experiences to address the significance of arts institutions releasing statements of solidarity with WSYWAT and BLM; how those institutions can be active and intentional collaborators with BIPOC artists; the impact of the demands on theaters of color; how predominantly white organizations can effectively center and celebrate BIPOC identities without being appropriative, performative, or tokenizing; and their personal reasons for co-signing the demands. Panelists: Snehal Desai (’08); Leah Gardiner (’96); David Roberts (’08).
December 18, 2020 | Zoom | 3:30PM–5PM
This symposium engaged members of the School and Yale Rep community who were also original signatories of the We See You White American Theatre industry demands of 2020. The panelists drew from their lived experiences to address the significance of arts institutions releasing statements of solidarity with WSYWAT and BLM; how those institutions can be active and intentional collaborators with BIPOC artists; the impact of the demands on theaters of color; and how predominantly white organizations can effectively center and celebrate BIPOC identities without being appropriative, performative, or tokenizing.
Panelists: Roberta Pereira (’07), Nicole Brewer, Kelvin Dinkins, Jr.
Thursday, November 5, 2020 | Zoom | 3:30PM–5PM
Panelists spoke about the state of the field, what the next generation of art makers needs to know, how arts organizations can be more proactive collaborators with indigenous artists, and how institutions can center and celebrate indigeneity in the art making process.
Panelists: Mary Kathryn Nagle, Ronee Penoi, Tara Moses
May 12, 2020 | Zoom | 2:30PM–4PM
In this symposium, Professor Petra Kuppers presented a talk about disability culture dramaturgy entitled “Crip Dramaturgies: The Asylum Project.” The Asylum Project is a workshop series Kuppers developed as artistic director of The Olimpias, a disability performance artists’ collective. She discussed her recent work and the ways that disability culture practices offer a field for experimental performance methods and opportunities.
April 24, 2020 | Zoom | 2:30–4PM
The COVID-19 crisis had an unprecedented impact on the performing arts. As we adjusted to distance learning and isolating in our homes, we hosted this panel to consider the ways this epidemic transformed our understanding of accessibility needs, organizational priorities, and the push towards more inclusive practices.
Panelists: Jennifer Bielstein, Adrian Budhu, Carmen Morgan, Monica White Ndounou
March 27, 2020 | Zoom | 2:30PM–4PM
Nicole Brewer spoke on Conscientious Theatre Training (CTT), which she describes as “dedicated to equitable anti-racist representation in all areas of theatre through disrupting harmful erasure present in traditional theatre training through purposeful inclusion of marginalized groups’ contributions to the cannon of theatre, fusing together cultural competency, self-care practices, and anti-racist theory to create an embodied experience where participants learn to utilize their sphere of power to disrupt white supremacy culture.”
December 18, 2019 | August Wilson Lounge, Yale Repertory Theatre | 2:30–4PM
A conversation on Asian and Asian American representation in the American theater. The exciting array of panelists included actors, directors, and producers who are working to combat stereotypes and increase performance opportunities for Asian and Asian American artists. Panelists addressed the state of the field and how they are making the American theatre more inclusive through their activism and artistry.
Panelists: Pun Bandhu (’00), Nelson T. Eusebio, III (’07), Mia Katigbak, Aneesha Kudtarkar (’19)
May 7, 2019 | August Wilson Lounge, Yale Repertory Theatre | 12:30PM–2PM
Invited panelists discussed the history and current practices regarding gender in the American theater and highlighted the shifts needed to live in a more gender-inclusive world. The panel sparked an interdisciplinary discussion on how we can shift culture so that people across the gender spectrum may thrive.
Panelists: Becca Blackwell, Joey Reyes
February 22, 2019 | August Wilson Lounge, Yale Repertory Theatre | 2PM–3:30PM
The Panel on Disability and Design brought together professionals with a diverse array of theatrical experiences working with artists with disabilities. The conversation included topics such as the history of theater and disability, current trends and practices affecting disabled artists, and how neurotypical collaborators can be better allies for the disabled community.
Panelists: Talleri A. McRae, Mickey Rowe
November 12, 2018 | August Wilson Lounge, Yale Repertory Theatre | 2PM–3:30PM
How do we hold a mirror up to Life? What Lives do we reflect? How do we reflect the World on and offstage?
Panelists: Brian Eugenio Herrera, Tara Rubin, Victor Vazquez
EDI Symposium Series Steering Committee
Cynthia Santos DeCure (co-chair)
Kimberly Jannarone (co-chair)
Eugenio Sáenz Flores