The staff, artists, and board of directors of Chicago Danztheatre Ensemble condemn the systemic racism that has led to the deaths of George Floyd, Tony McDade, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery, Laquan McDonald, Sandra Bland, and so many others. CDE particularly mourns the loss of Jemel Roberson, the son of Beatrice Roberson, a paraprofessional from Pritzker Elementary School. Jemel was killed nearly two years ago while doing his job as a security officer.
During this time, I am often speechless. I do not always have the words to comfort our students or artists, so I listen. And what I consistently hear is people are hurting, and they want action. We cannot always effectively make change on a nationwide scale, but we can at the community level. We can continue to hire artists and teachers of color, and uplift Black voices and Black stories in our produced work. We can continue to bring books into classrooms to educate our students about race and equity. We can seek to teach empathy and compassion and show students how to use their voices to bring change in their communities.
In President Obama’s recent statement, he says that if we want to bring about real change, “the choice isn’t between protest and politics. We have to do both. We have to mobilize to raise awareness, and we have to organize and cast our ballots to make sure that we elect candidates who will act on reform.” We can make a change in our communities by electing local officials who can systematically make change. Read more:
CDE’s vision for Chicago is that all residents are inspired to make our community and world a better place by exploring important social issues in an artistic setting. We aim to build a platform for the voices of the diverse communities we serve. We ask you to stand with us in supporting Black lives, Black voices, and Black stories. They matter.
- Ellyzabeth Adler, Founder and Executive Director