PAAL Statement of Commitment to Racial Justice + Call to Action
PAAL stands with Black Lives Matter and the movement against police brutality and systemic racism prevailing in all of our institutions, governments, and practices. Without deliberate anti-racist action, racism and the harm to communities of color, especially the Black community, will persist. We irrevocably join the national call for justice for George Floyd and the countless deaths and acts of racism against communities of color that have happened for generations and continue to occur every day. To our families of color, and to our Black families especially, we fight with you and for you. You deserve to be heard. You deserve to live. You deserve to be supported in this life.
We call on white parents and families to engage in education and action through this resource page, donate to organizations supporting justice for the Black community, and actively speak with your own children and communities about the necessity of taking responsibility for education and working in solidarity with communities of color.
"Certainly if the issue of parent support was reconstructed as an issue of race and racism, my response would have been activated to right the imbalance of superficial resources enacted to support parents of color in the arts."
- Nicole Brewer, PAAL Board Member and founder Conscientious Theatre Training
writes on "Parents of Color and The Need For Anti-Racist Theatre Practices" in HowlRound
As websites and digital real estate became dedicated to the COVID global pandemic, we began wondering why the same amount of real estate was not being given to the global pandemic of Racism and how we can take action to fight it. Below are resources PAAL has been intentional about implementing into our values especially as it impacts caregivers in our field, as well as external leading digital resources. These resources and conversations have taken place in various spaces and on various platforms. We've gathered them here to encourage immersive and intentional engagement with anti-racism in caregiver support. The fight for caregiver support shouldn't just "include" intersectional realities of race and gender: the fight for caregiver support must center the intersectional realities of race and gender.
We also acknowledge and support the reality that caregivers of color, particularly Mothers of Color, are leaders.
We call on our field to intentionally create support that will make their lives and professions thrive.
PAAL's structural commitment to anti-racism is to achieve and sustain vertical 50/50. Vertical 50/50 is representation by a minimum 50% people of color on every level of the organizations structure so that there is no ceiling to the clear channel a person of color would need to see a clear path of representation throughout every aspect of PAAL's organization.
PAAL not only recommends other institutions center EDI work in their caregiver support, PAAL also centers EDI work in creating financial support wherever it's provided. This commitment includes the childcare grants, primarily, where the largest amount awarded and most grants applicable are available to mothers of color.
PAAL is committed not only to organizational and messaging anti-racism, but also doing the work, actively engaging with institutions and communities to create platforms and opportunities for visibility, engagement, and implementing solutions for caregivers that are intentionally rooted in anti-racist practices.
RESEARCH AND RESOURCES FROM PAAL LEADERS:
______ "Here's a safe place to process the impact of systematic racism with a group of other Black women. In our virtual trauma-focused cognitive behavioral therapy support group, we discuss how to, not only cope, but thrive in light of the painful racial injustices we have faced personally and collectively and have witnessed in the media and our surrounding community."
______ “This week, we were disappointed to see wide circulation of the videos showing Ahmaud Arbery's and Sean Reed's shooting deaths. Educators have a responsibility to engage with students about this violence against Black men—and the white supremacist systems that allow it to continue. But they must do so without re-traumatizing Black students and with extra care for their mental health. These resources can help.”
______ PAAL Chief Rep of NYC and founder of Blackboard Plays, Garlia Cornelia Jones wrote this piece for the 24hourplays. Watch Garlia’s piece performed by Liza Jessie Peterson.