A statement on current events …

Posted June 4, 2020

The Atlanta Opera stands in support and admiration of those courageous members of Atlanta’s Black community speaking out against the systemic discrimination that pervades our society, corrupts our justice system, and impedes meaningful accountability. These individuals embody our collective hope that we can unite as a community to reject hate and restore justice.

We feel their hurt; we acknowledge it; and we call the hurt what it is—racism inflicted against Black people and the violence perpetrated against Black people in our community and throughout the nation. We stand with everyone who mourns the deaths and celebrates the lives of George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor, and many, many others.

The Atlanta Opera is committed to joining those who demand equity and will apply its mission as a cultural institution to work towards peace and justice.

 

And more broadly…

  • The Atlanta Opera demands respect for all people and passionately celebrates the cultural differences that make this country and our city strong. We commit to fostering community dialogue that celebrates our spectrum of diversity, challenges world views, and encourages thoughtful reflection.
  • As an arts organization, The Atlanta Opera believes that diversity and inclusion are cornerstones of excellence.
  • The City of Atlanta has a proud history of overcoming civil injustices. Atlanta has shown that it can be a change leader, challenging societal inequities and forging new understandings of freedom and humanity. The Atlanta Opera is committed to being a part of that continuing journey.
  • This effort will require more than words.

 

So, here’s what we will do…

The Atlanta Opera is proud of the foundational work we have done in our educational programming to intentionally create programs of, for, and by marginalized communities, but there is much work to be done.

  • The Atlanta Opera staff has met to specifically discuss the events of the last months. The staff will continue to have townhall meetings where we encourage all voices to be heard.
  • The Atlanta Opera has convened and re-engaged its Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion Committee of the Board of Directors.
  • The statement you see above will be codified as the guiding charter for this committee.
  • A new staff taskforce will meet in the next week to ensure accountability for all of these actions. This group will meet regularly.
  • We will engage a third-party EDI and anti-racism consultant to guide us through this hard reckoning as an organization with additional action steps to emerge from this process.
  • These action points are not enough, but they are a start.