Blog post

Mocean's Commitment to Change

posted July 10th, 2020

The violence and tragedies of the past few weeks and calls from the #BlackLivesMatter movement have invigorated honest conversations around our role and accountability in contributing to a society that does not tolerate racism and oppression.

Mocean Dance lacks consistently diverse representation, particularly within our board of directors and historically with external collaborators. We acknowledge that we are the benefactors of systems built on and which perpetuate colonialism and white supremacy. These structural injustices create significant barriers for Black and Indigenous persons and People of Colour (BIPOC) to pursue a career in dance. 

Much of what we know, respect, and love about dance is rooted in the vast innovation and traditional cultural foundations of BIPOC communities and history. For us, the guiding strengths of dance are its capacity for collective experience, healing, and for processing what cannot be spoken. Dance is a conduit for reflection and humanity; this fuels our hope that it can be a catalyst for change that will bring about equity and empowerment.

As a dance organization, we commit ourselves to listening to BIPOC voices and perspectives, unlearning harmful practices caused by white privilege, and being partners in solutions. As a first step, we are actively engaging in anti-oppression and anti-racist training, including workshops and discussions. We commit to ongoing education and practice and to creating an environment that welcomes and celebrates diverse points of view.

We will also move intentionally to: 

  • build meaningful, reciprocal relationships with people from all walks of life, seeking ways to re-imagine dance from a more inclusive and compassionate lens;
  • examine our systems to accelerate diversity, inclusion, decolonization, and more equitable workplaces and programming;
  • remove barriers to BIPOC artists by exploring the unique needs of unique communities -- from recruitment, to outreach, to audience development;
  • use our platform in the arts community to share what we learn and develop. 

We care deeply about the future of our community. We want to be part of a force for change in which structures of exclusion are dismantled and historical injustices are reconciled.

- From the Board and Staff of Mocean Dance