As the global spotlight on the Black Lives Matter movement continues, so do calls for racial justice across communities and industries. The American theatre is no exception. The formation of the Broadway for Racial Justice organization; the widely circulated letter, penned by 300 artists, exposing the indignities and racism that BIPOC, and in particular Black theatre makers, face on a day-to-day basis; and The Broadway Advocacy Coalition's three-day forum—an online gathering for the community to hold itself accountable and move towards becoming an anti-racist and equitable space—are part of a larger, overdue movement that is currently sweeping the theatre industry.
In the days since stating its solidarity with the Black Lives Matter movement, The Broadway League has pledged to do more. Charlotte St. Martin, the League's president and chief executive, has told the New York Times that in addition to making internal changes, the trade association will hire a company to survey diversity in all aspects of the industry.
The Broadway League's 700-plus members include theatre owners and operators, producers, presenters, and general managers in North American cities, as well as suppliers of goods and services to the commercial theatre industry. According to the Times, the League will also strongly encourage the participation in the audit of labor unions and nonprofits that produce on Broadway.
In addition, St. Martin told the Times that the League has taken steps to change its bylaws to better allow industry leaders of color to join its board; that the organization will hire someone in an executive position to oversee its equity, diversity and inclusion efforts; that there will be an assessment of its existing diversity initiatives; and that it will make unconscious bias and anti-racism training mandatory within the League, and that this will be offered to its members as well.