We have never explicitly named ourselves as an anti-racist organization. We do that now.
We are seeing a flood of statements from theaters and individuals right now. Maia Directors is an organization founded to champion the work of MENASA artists and support organizations interested in producing that work. So we’d like to speak specifically to our community of MENASA artists and audiences, as well as to the predominantly white institutional theaters we collaborate with.
We acknowledge that Middle Eastern, North African, and South Asian communities, including our own families and the governments of our specific heritages, have been active perpetrators of anti-Black rhetoric and action. We have benefited from and colluded with many aspects of white supremacy even while being injured by others -- these things are not mutually exclusive.
Today, we renew our commitment to continue to challenge racism, xenophobia, and anti-black sentiments in our communities, and amongst our families, friends, and colleagues. From the beginning, we’ve embraced an intersectional view of privilege and power. We now commit to naming how anti-blackness operates within this paradigm and to continuing to lead a nuanced conversation to hold folks accountable -- including and especially within our own MENASA community.
Maia Directors was founded to support and uplift the work of MENASA artists, but we have never explicitly named ourselves as an anti-racist organization. We do that now. We commit to continued explicit visibility around the value of anti-racism. We know this work is never done. We are reflecting on the moments when our silence or our desire to see MENASA work onstage has colluded with or given alibi to the white supremacy underlying business-as-usual in institutional theaters. We commit to speaking to this tension and naming it, even when to do so means risking gigs that we want and projects that we care about.
Today, we commit to deepening the rigor with which we hold ourselves and the institutions we collaborate with accountable.
Evren, Kareem, Megan, and Pirronne
Things we are doing and you can do, too:
Donate to one of these fundraisers to cover the bail and legal fees of those arrested during the protests.
Commit to actions on this resource list from ArtsEquity.