Our world has been profoundly changed by COVID-19, in ways in which we never could have imagined. Our practice, our families and communities, and our everyday lives have been extremely altered by this global pandemic.
And yet, systemic oppressive practices, overt racism, white supremacy, extreme violence against POCs, and a failure of justice continue. It continues and is fueled and is supported…and is not contained or filtered out by borders or boundaries.
I’ve lived with a fear of being punished for being brown as long as I can remember. My natural response is still to want to retreat, to hide, to become invisible, to not say a word. But silence is not an option. I don’t know what to say – I do not have the words as I read the reports and hear the stories, see the videos and images from the safety of my privileged retreat – but I know that silence is not an option. I need to do better than silence.
In this time of profound change, we need to do better. As an organization, as artists, as a community, we need to do better. We need to listen, to make permanent space for marginalized and oppressed voices and to follow those that have been leading this fight for generations. We need to stand up to all racism and all oppression.
I call on all PACT members, all theatre makers in Canada, and all of our partners and sister organizations to stand in solidarity in affecting profound systemic change. Lend your voice, your action, your support, your commitment and we will do better.
It’s a small step but we will devote our Town Hall platform this week (Thursday, June 4th at 1pm ET) towards gathering in solidarity and to bring voices and brilliant minds together for action. We have proven that we are good at gathering together in a time of crisis for the greater good – to work towards collective impact, share our superpowers, ask questions, search for answers and to take action.
Turn out for COVID-19 Town Halls has been great, but we will need an even larger gathering than normal – please join us. It’s better than silence.