Dallas Summer Musicals adopted a new Strategic Plan in 2017 that included a commitment to Equity, Diversity, Inclusion and Access and in 2021 we became aware of an opportunity to further inform and deepen our commitment. We embarked on a journey, with the guidance of Dallas Truth, Racial Healing and Transformation* (DTRHT) who provided us with a framework to learn and internalize the truth of how racist systems and structures developed and how they continue to cause harm in communities and within our company for all people and disproportionately to those who identify as BIPOC. DSM will share these truths with our staff, board and other constituents and together use this knowledge to drive change of systems that uphold a hierarchy of human value, allow race to impact a person’s agency or position and limit opportunities for people to become part of the DSM family.
DSM developed initial priorities for change with an aim to institutionalize Racial Equity as part of DSM’s organizational culture, enable more equitable processes for our staff, board and patrons and set policy priorities, metrics, and accountability. These priorities became the building blocks to support modifying organization roles and power structures in vital business activities such as strategic planning and budgeting, redesigning recruiting to identify BIPOC candidates, altering hiring practices to create a more diverse staff, identifying, and dismantling dehumanizing systems and building a culture of belonging.
DSM understands that a journey to become an anti-racist organization requires a steady and ongoing commitment to change by discovering and hearing truth, understanding harm caused by racist systems and challenging or dismantling them. We recognize that this commitment is not simply a department of DSM or a project to be added on when convenient but rather a lens that we must learn to apply to everything we do. DSM’s mission to bring the best of Broadway to North Texas and to deliver the spirit of Broadway into all corners of our community, in classrooms and community centers throughout the region, can only be accomplished if DSM also transforms to become a fully inclusive, multicultural, anti-racist organization.
Our journey has just begun. Please check back here as we share our progress.
*The W.K. Kellogg Foundation-led Truth, Racial Healing & Transformation (TRHT) enterprise is a multi-year, national and community-based effort to engage communities, organizations, and individuals from multiple sectors across the United States in racial healing and addressing present-day inequities linked to historic and contemporary beliefs in a hierarchy of human value.