After many hours of discussion, we want to thank our community members who have taken the time to speak openly to us. We acknowledge that the time we have taken to respond has caused concern.
Gateway Theatre is situated on the traditional lands of the hən̓q̓əmin̓əm̓-speaking peoples. In this current moment, Indigenous, Black and persons of colour on Turtle Island are fighting for equality. As an artistic organization we have the responsibility to bear witness to what is happening around us. Theatre allows us to use empathy to step into the shoes of another, by witnessing and experiencing one another’s stories, so that we as human beings can transcend differences and have compassion for one another. Racism, and other forms of intolerance, do not reflect Gateway Theatre’s core values of respect and inclusion. We stand in solidarity with Indigenous and Black communities seeking justice.
We are listening to the voices of our community, artists, students, and staff. We want everyone who walks through our doors, either as participants in our events, patrons, staff, and Board members to feel safe and welcome. We are committed to taking the time and making space for the education and learning needed for this to happen.
We are in a process of reflecting on how our choices in programming, our artist and community engagement, and our organizational structure can deepen our commitment to amplifying and sharing the voices of IBPOC artists, individuals and organizations.
We celebrate working and creating art in the vibrant, diverse community that is Richmond. We understand our responsibility to reflect this community, and we are in a process of continual change, in order to ensure that Gateway is the equitable space that we dream it can be.
We welcome dialogue and recognize that this is an ongoing conversation.
Here are some resources that we are reading and would like to share:
Policing Black Lives by Robyn Maynard
"This book should be read not only by those who have a specific interest in Canadian histories and social justice movements but by anyone interested in the abolitionist and revolutionary potential of the Black Lives Matters movement more broadly" — Angela Y. Davis
Me and White Supremacy: A 28-Day Challenge to Combat Racism, Change the World, and Become a Good Ancestor by Layla F. Saad
Layla Saad is a globally respected writer, speaker and podcast host on the topics of race, identity, leadership, personal transformation and social change. As an East African, Arab, British, Black, Muslim woman who was born and grew up in the West, and lives in the Middle East, Layla has always sat at a unique intersection of identities from which she is able to draw rich and intriguing perspectives. Layla's work is driven by her powerful desire to 'become a good ancestor'; to live and work in ways that leave a legacy of healing and liberation for those who will come after she is gone.