Yard makes commitment to work against racism

Between COVID-19 and the global movement for Black Lives Matter, 2020 has been a year unlike any other. The Yard’s campus may be closed, but they are engaged and active, according to a press release from the Island’s dance organization. “As we reimagine our programs and operations in this context, we are committed to playing an active role in dismantling racism and advancing diversity, equity, and inclusion,” the release states.

Moving forward, The Yard will:

– Invest in anti-racism and cultural competence training for the staff and Board of Directors.

– Reassess and, where necessary, change their employment practices to ensure they promote anti-racism, equity, and belonging across our staff.

– Evaluate and evolve hiring practices for employees and contractors to increase opportunities for Black, Indigenous, and People of Color.

– Work to diversify the leadership; both the board and our senior staff.

– Make changes to better foster collaboration and share risk equitably in their relationships with artists.

– Continue to commission, present, and engage Black, Indigenous, and People of Color artists and explore new modes of amplifying their voices.

– Continue to educate youth and adults in diverse dance genres, partnering with guest teaching artists to ensure they are taught with authenticity.

– Collaborate with organizations on Martha’s Vineyard to increase their outreach and create universal access to the arts in the community.

The Yard states it is committed to taking action in the short-term while working to implement and augment the above goals. In June, the organization formed a working group of board and staff members to advance anti-racism work at The Yard and, more broadly, to promote diversity, equity, and inclusion across all aspects of the organization. This will be a sustained effort on the part of The Yard, the release concludes.