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An oasis for those who love classic stories. Los Angeles Times

EDI Policy & Committee

OUR MISSION

Classic theatre is an inclusive endeavor, designed to engage A Noise Within’s broadest community – representative of Southern California in every way.

A Noise Within (ANW) produces classic theatre as an essential means to enrich our community by embracing universal human experiences, expanding personal awareness, and challenging individual perspectives. We define our community expansively to include everyone within reach of A Noise Within.

EQUITY, DIVERSITY, & INCLUSION POLICY

This Equity, Diversity, Inclusion, and Anti-Racism (EDIA) Policy strengthens ANW’s commitment to its core mission of enriching its community. The Policy establishes a framework to identify the roles, responsibilities, and goals of the Equity, Diversity, Inclusion, and Anti-Racism Program.

POLICY REVIEW PROCEDURE
This Policy is reviewed by the Equity, Diversity, Inclusion, and Anti-Racism (EDIA) Committee at least annually in January and revised as needed.

BACKGROUND
ANW’s Board of Directors recognized the need for expanding discussion and action around equity, diversity, inclusion, and anti-racism. The EDIA Committee was established and assumed the responsibilities for EDIA oversight from the Board.

ANW’s Strategic Plan includes building a more accessible, equitable, inclusive, and diverse organization, all of which pursue greater diversity among playwrights, patrons, artists, staff, volunteers, and the Board. Among other things, these goals support ANW in maintaining a company culture that balances accommodating the organization to the individual and the individual to the organization as opposed to requiring new artists, staff, and Board members to conform to an existing culture.

While the entire organization shares responsibility for the collaborative pursuit of these goals, several areas of the organization have specific responsibilities that support the ongoing implementation, monitoring, review, and reporting of the EDIA Policy.

REFERENCES
This document is supported by A Noise Within’s staff Anti-Racism Action Plan (which can be viewed here), the company’s current Strategic Plan (available upon request by emailing mbateman@anoisewithin.org), and additional future materials.

RESPONSIBILITIES
Board of Directors

The Board of Directors understands the value and impact of having a culturally representative Board that supports ANW’s commitment to promoting the equity, diversity, inclusion, and anti-racism values of ANW.

OBJECTIVES

  • Recruit Board candidates of diverse backgrounds and experiences
  • Support and empower the Governance Committee, EDIA Committee, Artistic Department, Resident Artists, and staff in fulfilling their objectives with regard to this EDIA Policy

Governance Committee

The Board’s Governance Committee understands the value and impact of having a culturally representative Board of Directors, and is responsible for promoting the equity, diversity, inclusion, and anti-racism goals of ANW as it relates to the Board of Directors.

OBJECTIVES

  • Assure that the Board of Directors reflects the range of diversity within ANW’s community
  • Continually recruit, identify, and interview Board candidates that meet the identified criteria for election to the Board, and that embody and support the organization’s EDIA goals
  • Offer nominations to the Board of Directors

Equity, Diversity, Inclusion, and Anti-Racism Committee

The Equity, Diversity, Inclusion, and Anti-Racism Committee is responsible for developing EDI-related policy and monitoring and reporting on ANW’s EDIA activities. The EDIA Committee conducts meetings regularly and is populated with at least 2 Board members, 2 staff members, and 2 Resident Artists working closely with executive leadership to implement policy at all levels of the organization.

OBJECTIVES

  • Identify, prioritize, and respond to issues of equity, diversity, inclusion, and anti-racism including representation, access, and education involving ANW
  • Listen to issues about EDIA at ANW and suggest appropriate training and other activities to surface conversations around those issues
  • Plan meetings of the full company to include Board members, the Artistic Department, Resident Artists, and staff
  • Support resolution for EDIA-related issues reported to the Committee
    • Ensure a clear pathway to report EDIA issues from each ANW constituent group (including audience members) to the EDIA Committee
    • Collect reports of EDIA-related issues and conduct appropriate fact finding as needed
    • Discuss EDIA-related issues and make recommendations to the appropriate institutional body (Executive Leadership, Board of Directors, HR, etc.)
    • Ensure any EDIA issues that are reported, and their outcomes, are communicated to the organization
  • Provide an EDIA annual report to the Board of Directors at their first meeting each fiscal year, and status updates as needed
  • Collaborate with other areas of the organization to surface strategies to continually monitor and meet EDIA goals

Artistic Department

The Artistic Department at ANW fully supports ANW’s EDIA goals and understands the value and impact of having a culturally representative group of artists on stage and off, and that audiences, especially student audiences, need to have an opportunity to see themselves in the stories we tell.

OBJECTIVES

  • Hire Directors according to the values expressed in the EDIA Policy
  • Assist those Directors in hiring their own creative teams and casts considering the organization’s core values of equity, diversity, inclusion, and anti-racism
  • Ensure community-representative casting
  • Partner with culturally specific theatre companies to expand the pools of artistic talent and enhance our mutual success
  • Be present where discussions of theatrical diversity are happening to absorb new knowledge, contribute to the conversation, and to encourage action
  • Recruit Artistic team members from a variety of backgrounds
  • Engage in play selection with a commitment to honoring the EDIA values of the organization

Resident Artist Objectives:

The Resident Artists understand the value and impact of having a community representative group of artists on stage and off. Resident Artists are committed to promoting the equity, diversity, inclusion, and anti-racism goals of ANW.

OBJECTIVES

  • Heighten opportunities for Resident Artists to meet and cast members of underrepresented groups in Readings to broaden inclusive participation in the Readings
  • Engage in play selection with a commitment to honoring the EDIA values of the organization

Staff

The ANW staff is committed to cultivating and maintaining a working environment where equity, diversity inclusion, and anti-racism can thrive. ANW is also committed to engaging a diverse applicant pool when hiring for all staff positions.

OBJECTIVES

  • Maintain a work culture that promotes EDIA
  • Incorporate EDIA best practices in recruiting for all positions. Ensure that pathways exist for all staff to express feedback regarding organizational culture and its relationship to EDIA
  • Assure that the internal and external identity of the institution is one that reflects the EDIA values of the organization, for example, in marketing images and online copy

Read our full Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion Policy here.


EQUITY, DIVERSITY, & INCLUSION COMMITTEE:

ANW’s Board of Directors recognized the need for expanding discussion and action around equity, diversity, and inclusion. The EDI Committee was established and assumed the responsibilities for EDI oversight from the Executive Committee.

Mission:

The purpose of the EDI Committee is to expand upon ANW’s core mission to enrich its community, by building a more equitable, diverse, and inclusive organization and audience, and establishing a theater community that represents, reflects, and celebrates the rich human diversity of our Southern California home.

Activities:

  • To identify, prioritize, and respond to issues of EDI, including representation, access, and education involving ANW
  • To listen to issues about EDI at ANW and suggest appropriate training workshops and other activities to surface conversations around those issues
  • Plan agenda topics for meetings of the full company (including RAs, board members, and staff)

Procedures:

  • Meets monthly for 90 minutes
  • Members include: 2-3 board members; 2-3 staff members, and 2-3 Resident Artists; one member of ANW’s executive leadership (Artistic Directors and Managing Director) will be present at each meeting
  • Members are asked to serve for at least one full season, July through June

Current Equity, Diversity & Inclusion Committee Members:

Jay Lesiger, EDI Committee Chair & Board Member
Zach Davidson, Staff Member
Malik B. El-Amin, Board Member
Armando Gonzalez, Board Member
Kale Hinthorn, Staff Member
Robert Israel, M.D., Board Member
Kasey Mahaffy, Resident Artist
Carolyn Ratteray, Resident Artist
Erika Soto, Resident Artist
Deborah Strang, Resident Artist
Randi Tahara, Board Member