Chicago Heights, IL-(ENEWSPF)- The Drama Group in Chicago Heights held a general membership meeting on Zoom July 18 to address issues of racial justice inside the organization. More than 75 people participated in the meeting, according to the group’s statement.
The statement follows:
In the wake of the Black Lives Matter movement, The Chicago Heights Drama Group has been addressing the issue of racial justice, inclusivity and empowerment in all aspects of their Theatre. An extraordinary meeting of the general membership and community was called and held on ZOOM on the evening of July 18. More than 75 people attended. During the meeting, the Board of Directors unveiled a plan to move the organization forward and address the issue.
The 8-point plan included the appointment of two black members to the Board of Directors and an investment in People of Color in all levels of the organization, performing artists, directors, show staff, Board of Directors and committee members. In addition, J.R. Rose, the director of next year’s musical, “The Color Purple” graciously stepped down to turn over the helm to a person of color. The organization is committed to Black inclusion, leadership, and participation on any and all shows.
The Drama Group has also pledged to work with individuals who want to direct at their organization. They will partner with them to foster their success. They have also committed to the hiring of an outside diversity consultant to inform and recommend change.
The greater part of the meeting was an opportunity for members and the community to speak freely about their concerns, hopes, fears and desires for the Group. It was a very lively, honest and frank forum with the Board of Directors listening openly to all comments.
This coming year, The Drama Group will celebrate its 90th birthday as a community theatre. As one devoted member, Tina Zagone, put it, “Last night was a pivotal moment for The Drama Group and a monumental way to begin our 90th Anniversary season.”