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Diversity Plan

Updated June 2021

Summary below.  See the full report/action plan here.

Goal 1. Create and sustain a welcoming, supportive, and inclusive campus climate.

  • Goal 1 – Section A: MODEL DEI VALUES & COMMUNICATE DEI Values, Policies, Practices and Resources regularly and effectively to all members of the Dept, the CBT, patrons and the general public.
    • Goal 1-A1. Reconceive Orientation as an expanded process and implement it in both fall and spring semester.
    • Goal 1-A2. Draft or revise/update and publish/distribute through multiple sources a variety of written materials detailing campus, departmental, and CBT values, policies, practices and resources on Safety, DEI, Title VI and Title IX, Anti- racism, LGBTQ+ inclusion, season selection, casting, course content, etc.
    • Goal 1-A3. Faculty and staff are expected to engage in regular and ongoing education and training in DEI history, values, and issues. Provide an ongoing list of resources.
    • Goal 1-A4. Include a prominently displayed land acknowledgement statement honoring indigenous peoples in selected publications and events: CBT production playbills; CBT Lobby; Dept of Theatre Office; Websites; Production first rehearsals; etc. Establish a marketing protocol to consider inclusions in other publications or events.
    • Goal 1-A5. Designate MFA and BA student ambassadors to represent students in regular channels of communication to Departmental and CBT leadership.
    • Goal 1-A6. Publish and maintain clear reporting protocols for students and guest artists to voice DEI concerns during the production process, and that guide directors and designers in attending to those concerns.
    • Goal 1-A7. Develop a mentor program: Alumni to MFA (for recruiting and for entry to the profession)
  • Goal 1 – Section B: PROGRAM CBT productions with content or themes that address issues of diversity and allow for diversity in staffing and casting in the season as a whole.
    • Goal 1-B1. In each CBT season, program plays written by playwrights of color, LGBTQ+, Disabled, Women, or other under- represented communities (URC).
    • Goal 1-B2. Appoint a standing Dept/CBT Season Planning Committee (SPC) comprised of faculty, staff, and MFA student reps from Design and Acting. Example: 2021-22 season.
    • Goal 1-B3. Prioritize programming that affirms the diversity of traditions and experiences of BIPOC, LGBTQ+, or other under-represented populations.

Goal 2. Attract and retain greater numbers of individuals from historically underrepresented populations into faculty, staff, and administrative positions.

  • Goal 2 -Section A: RECRUIT AND RETAIN a diverse faculty.
    • Goal 2-A1. Closely adhere to Office of Equity and Diversity best practices for diversity hiring. Search committee members will integrate OED best practices into all search activities.
    • Goal 2-A2. Develop a list of national resources for diverse faculty candidates, for use in searches. Enlist support of entire department – faculty, staff, and students – to utilize their networks in developing list. Also enlist support of the local Black theatre community.
  • Goal 2 – Section B: RECRUIT AND RETAIN a diverse professional staff.
    • Goal 2-B1. Closely adhere to Office of Equity and Diversity best practices for diversity hiring. Search committee members will integrate OED best practices into all search activities.
    • Goal 2-B2. Research national resources and develop a list of diverse theatre production staff. Enlist support of department – faculty, staff, and students – to utilize their networks in developing databank. Also enlist support of the local Black theatre community.
  • Goal 2 – Section C: RECRUIT AND RETAIN diverse guest artists and guest / temporary staff in all production areas.
    • Goal 2-C1. Closely adhere to Office of Equity and Diversity best practices for diversity hiring.
    • Goal 2-C2. CBT Season Planning must include a projection of potential diversity hires.
    • Goal 2-C3. Develop local and national list of potential diverse guest artists and production staff. Enlist support of entire department – faculty, staff, and students – to utilize their networks in developing list. Also enlist support of the local Black theatre community.

Goal 3. Attract, retain, and graduate increasing numbers of undergraduate and graduate students from historically underrepresented populations and international students.

  • Goal 3 – Section A: RECRUIT AND RETAIN MFA students from under- represented populations.
    • Goal 3-A1. Use annual URTA (University Resident Theatre Association), SETC (Southeastern Theatre Conference), and other national and international audition and interview forums for recruitment of students.
    • Goal 3-A2. Require attendance in Fall Orientation – See Goal I, Entire Section A.
    • Goal 3-A3. Rigorously maintain diversity in MFA casting and design assignments
  • Goal 3 – Section B: RECRUIT AND RETAIN BA students from under- represented populations
    • Goal 3-B1. Seek regular UTK funding, marketing resources and support to develop publicity, marketing, and recruiting strategies that target high school graduates in the Knox County area and statewide.
    • Goal 3-B2. Develop new publicity materials and review, revise, and update existing materials.
    • Goal 3-B3. Continue presence at recruiting events such as: UTK Open house; Tennessee Theatre Association; Tennessee Thespian Society; Tennessee All State Honors Auditions; Ace Awards
    • Goal 3-B4. Work with the Office of Development and the CBT advisory board to fund undergraduate scholarships for diverse students.

Goal 4. Develop and strengthen partnerships with diverse communities in Tennessee and globally.

  • Goal 4 – Section A: DIVERSIFY the CBT advisory board with BIPOC and LGBTQ+ community leaders and engage all board members to broaden contacts and promote DEI in CBT culture, events, publicity, and programming.
    • Goal 4-A1. Promote the clear strategic priority of DEI to the Advisory Board, and engage Board members to identify, nominate, and retain diverse new members.
  • Goal 4 – Section B: DEVELOP OUTREACH programs that serve or partner with area schools and communities of underrepresented populations
    • Goal 4-B1. Expand current outreach programs with area schools, students and underserved communities such as: Ace Awards; Shakespeare in Shades; CBT Acting Camp; Family Feast Program; Faith, Hope, Love Program.

Goal 5. Ensure that curricular requirements include significant intercultural perspectives.

  • Goal 5 – Section A: INTEGRATE DIVERSE CULTURAL PERSPECTIVES in the curriculum.
    • Goal 5-A1. Use plays and literature from diverse cultural perspectives in all courses.
    • Goal 5-A2. Create new regularly offered courses that center diverse cultural practices and perspectives
    • Goal 5-A3. Encourage participation in international travel and study abroad opportunities

Goal 6. Prepare graduate students to become teachers and researchers in a diverse world.

  • Goal 6 – Section A: INCREASE MFA STUDENTS’ awareness of global art, perspectives, and research.
    • Goal 6-A1. Engage students with multi- cultural and international professionals both abroad and on campus.
  • Goal 6 – Section B: PROVIDE MFA STUDENTS training in DEI
    • Goal 6-B1. Work with UTK, TTLC, and CAS to provide training modules in DEI, anti-racism, etc. for all GTA’s
    • Goal 6-B2. Provide a reading and resource study list of seminal works in DEI issues.
    • Goal 6-B3. Continue to improve well- structured and faculty supported teaching and assisting opportunities in the BA program