NW Dance Project believes that in order to advance the art form of dance, we must be representative of our future audiences, patrons, students, and supporters. By bringing together people with a wide range of perspectives, backgrounds, and experiences while encouraging a community and culture of openness and acceptance, we are working to take an innovative and more inclusive approach to dance creation, performance, training, and recreation that is welcoming, accessible, and engaging to all. NW Dance Project is continually working to ensure that dance is for everybody and every body, and we are striving to find ways to make this ideal and core belief a greater reality each day. NW Dance Project is dedicated to the fair, just, and equitable treatment of all races, cultures, national origins, genders, gender identities, gender expressions, religions, sexual orientations, and socioeconomic statuses. We stand unequivocally against white supremacy, police violence and brutality, and acknowledge that systemic racism and implicit bias is within and all around us. It must be confronted and changed. We know we need to do better, and we are dedicated to continually trying to do so.
We are horrified at the senseless, racist killing of Black people in this country including George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor, Elijah McClain, Eric Garner, Rayshard Brooks, and far too many others, both known and unknown.
Calls to respond to systematic racism, implicit bias, and our culture of whiteness, as well as to work for social justice and for anti-racism, have been heard and are resonating deeply. We understand that NW Dance Project needs to listen, learn, and act.
On behalf of our directors, teachers, dancers, and staff, we not only say that Black Lives Matter, but they have meaning and a place in the heart of dance.
Although it’s in our mission to be an equitable and inclusive dance organization, we have fallen short. We need to ensure that we are an ally to the Black community and a dance organization that is accessible and available to all. We need to work for anti-racism.
Through a heightened awareness and the gift of feedback, we realize we have a lot of work ahead to build an organization that is worthy of our shared values, vision, and goals. This work will be difficult and uncomfortable, but it is work we are determined to do.
We have to accept that it won’t be good or thorough enough, and it will certainly not come fast enough, especially as we remain essentially shuttered in response to the pandemic.
We all have the responsibility and expectation to actively work against racism and for anti-racism. We strive to honor that and hope you will join us in moving forward to a more equitable, inclusive, and just organization, community, society, country, and world.
NW Dance Project
NW Dance Project acknowledges the land on which we sit, occupy, and operate rests on traditional village sites of the Multnomah, Wasco, Cowlitz, Kathlamet, Clackamas, Bands of Chinook, Tualatin, Kalapuya, Molalla, and many other tribes who made their homes along the Columbia River. We recognize that this land was unjustly taken from these tribes and we take this opportunity to thank the original caretakers of this land.
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Some Listening + Learning Opportunities We Are Using And Appreciate (in no particular order):
USC’s diversity toolkit A Guide to Discussing Identity, Power, and Privilege
Support these Black-owned online retail businesses
Pepperdine University’s Confronting Prejudice: How to Protect Yourself and Help Others