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A Message to our Black Members

Posted 22 Jul 2023 by Joe Duggan

Following the tragic death of George Floyd and events of the past week, we’d like to send this message to our Black members:

The National Youth Theatre sends you all our love. We want to be open to your needs, a source of comfort for you, a place you know and trust, a home and family. We want to be here for when you want to share. We support and champion you safely and peacefully protesting this week up and down the country. We invite all members of all backgrounds to show their continued support for Black members within our community: now, and in the coming days and weeks, and in the ongoing struggle against racism. We want to acknowledge that we are part of a sector that needs to be better in this world and that we need to be part of that collective action. 

At National Youth Theatre we commit to: 

• Continuing to champion the voices of Black talent within our community 
We will do this by holding more showcases for Black NYT members, through the stories that we tell and who tells them  

• Listening to how we can best support you
We will do this by holding NYT Town Hall Meetings, starting on Monday 15th June with a Zoom Town Hall facilitated by Mumba Dodwell (Diversity School founder and 2019 NYT REP Bryan Forbes Director), a new email address to share any concerns and through our Youth REPs

• Providing mental health support
We will do this by sharing resources and offering some free counselling sessions to members in need of support 

• Learning lessons where we've fallen short 
We will do this by listening to our members through our Weekly Meets, Youth Reps, our Town Hall Meetings and setting up a new email to share any concerns

• Responding proactively to ensure that NYT is a safe and inclusive space for all
We will do this through training for our staff, associates and participants and by taking forward recommendations from our Town Hall Meeting

• Continuing to proactively seek out new Black talent
We will do this through partnerships and targeted auditions, like our partnership with the Black Ticket Project on auditions earlier in 2020

• Continuing to fight against racism  
We will do this through our creative programme, by using all the platforms available to us to share information and speak out and by educating our staff and our members  

We also want to share: 

This self-care advice for Black people feeling overwhelmed by the media

These self-care thoughts for Black people feeling overwhelmed

This article on how to be a good ally 

This anti-racist reading list 

5 series on Netflix to educate yourself on black oppression

This Poem by NYT member Tolu, @toluafagbayi on Instagram

This painting by NYT member Seji @TheArtisanGeek on Instagram

This poem by NYT member Alia - @alia.i.a on Instagram

This poem by NYT member Naila, @poemshelp on Instagram

This poem by NYT member Chanai, @chanaidestinee on Instagram