Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Access at EdTA

Broadway actor Michael James Scott poses with students at Aiken High School

Because People Matter.

Diversity, equity, inclusion, and access are integral to upholding this EdTA core value. We want everyone involved with EdTA — from students and teachers to volunteers and event attendees — to feel important and respected by our organization and to advance our racial equity goals. We’re an anti-racist organization actively striving toward inclusion and belonging for all, and we’re living up to that commitment through our three-year racial equity plan. Read on to learn more about our ongoing work to make theatre education more equitable and inclusive.

Anti-Racism Statement

Exposure to theatre changes minds, builds empathy, helps to interrogate problems, connects us to one another and stimulates creativity. Therefore, every student must have theatre as a vital and essential part of their education and existence. To shape lives and ensure a future where equity is the norm and diversity is a cherished benefit of theatre, EDTA, ETF and ITS will honor student achievement, support educators, and influence public opinion through an anti-racist lens in our operating and governance practices, and programming and support services. The future of the field is determined by our youth and their multicultural stories. Ensuring an equitable and diverse theatre future is paramount and requires all theatre educators, students, and practitioners to act now.

Racial Equity Action Plan

Our anti-racism statement is part of a three-year racial equity action plan developed by the boards, staff, and chapter leadership of EdTA and ETF in 2023. The plan outlines the specific outcomes we’re working to achieve and our process to develop the plan.
JumpStart theatre participant

Defining the Need

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of theatre teachers are Black, Latinx, or non-white races

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of public high schools in high-poverty areas offer theatre instruction

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fewer fine arts credits earned by Black students (1.5) than white students (2.0)

For the kids of color who join these predominately white spaces, their “greatness” cannot be maximized because they often have to sift through many discomforts — ranging from disconnects with the material being presented, to how some teaching artists might engage with them due to implicit bias, to the sea of predominately white peers they are surrounded by.
Performing arts educator Ilasieia Gray
Ilasieia Gray
performing arts educator

We Believe...

Our Progress

What we’ve accomplished since 2020 and are currently working on…

Celebrating Exploring Honoring Black History Month

DEIA Updates

Promoting Inclusion by Expanding Access

EdTA’s charitable arm, the Educational Theatre Foundation, operates two programs focused specifically on racial equity and access: Pathway and JumpStart Theatre. Explore those programs’ impact on the foundation website.

NicholasTylerYesua Pathway participants

Creating Inclusive Experiences

At our events, EdTA strives to create a welcoming and equitable environment for all, from housing assignments to physical accessibility to racial representation. Our events aim to offer brave spaces, promote inclusion, build cultural competency, and broaden attendees’ horizons. We want every student and teacher to feel at home, while challenging our community to always strive to do more and do better toward access and inclusion.

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Our Workplace and Culture

We want EdTA to be a reflection of the world around us. While we have much work to do, we’re committed to actively building diversity within our staff and board leadership. How we’re creating a culture of inclusion and equity in the workplace:

  • Holding one another accountable for anti-racism as part of our core values
  • Providing tools and training to support employee development
  • Creating brave spaces for employees to learn and grow in their DEIA journeys
  • Examining all our member programs and processes for bias and inequity
  • Establishing an internship training program specifically for college students of color
  • Shifting our hiring practices to eliminate bias
  • Carrying out our anti-racist action plan of concrete steps and outcomes in support of our DEIA goals

Operational Policies

EdTA complies with the Civil Rights Act of 1964, the Age Discrimination in Employment Act, the Americans With Disabilities Act, and all other related federal, state, and local employment laws. EdTA does not discriminate based on age, disability, national origin, race, religion, gender identity, or sexual orientation in regard to any term, condition, employment, program, event, or service.

No one participating in an EdTA event or activity may be harassed or discriminated against based on any protected characters. Individuals found in violation of this policy may be dismissed from activities or other participation.


Join Our Journey

Our commitment to building a diverse, inclusive, and equitable organization is an ongoing journey involving our staff, board of directors, members, and friends in the theatre and education fields. If you would like to get involved and help make a difference — through involvement in an initiative or simply sharing your experiences from a DEI perspective — please contact us.

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