Views: On this week’s global protests

People of all colours and backgrounds around the world have united in peaceful protest at the killing of George Floyd at the hands of the police, yet another in a long line of killings in the USA all centred around race.

Racism is a cancer which cripples our society’s growth. Peaceful protest is understandably a significant way for people to express their grief and outrage. But it’s worth remembering that, as well as protest, there are so many other actions we can take which will also bring about change. And in my own opinion, education will play a major role in the way forward.

That is why I am asking you to support progress in a very specific way.

You and I know that theatre is a powerful educator. When theatre comes back – as it will – we will need all those companies who have produced radical, challenging and exciting work around the black experience to be primed and ready to leap out of the starting gate.

If you, like me, feel that you must contribute to the protest in some way, but feel that you haven’t quite found your own way in which to do this, then do something different. Donate! In particular, donate to the many excellent theatre and arts companies which are producing great work in sharing and exploring the experiences of People of Colour.

In the UK

Donate to Eclipse Theatre, who produced and toured a terrific play in early 2020, Janice Okoh’s THE GIFT (review here)

Donate to Tamasha and Paines Plough and the Bush Theatre who produced and toured Zia Ahmed’s I WANNA BE YOURS (review here)

Donate to The Bush Theatre, who have produced Temi Wilkey’s THE HIGH TABLE with Birmingham Repertory Theatre (review here)

Donate to The Young Vic which produced the UK premiere of the Pulitzer Prize-winning FAIRVIEW (review here)

In the UK and internationally

Donate to Simeilia Hodge-Dallaway’s (founder of award-winning ARTISTIC DIRECTORS OF THE FUTURE organisation) new project BEYOND THE CANON to draw students attention to literary diversity by championing hidden and forgotten plays written by Black, Asian, LatinX and Middle Eastern playwrights by making these texts available to students in the UK and internationally during the hiatus in global education systems. This is a brand new project today and I am thrilled to have been the first donor- so who will join me? Donate here

In the USA

Donate to award-winning Chicago playwright Reginald Edmund’s BLACK VOICES BLACK WORDS INTERNATIONAL project.

Whilst this is my own personal selection of my own recent engagements and experiences, I appreciate that there are many other great organisations which I haven’t highlighted here, so if you know them better than I do, why not donate to them also?

Change is coming, and you can help drive it. Use your money as a way of planting seeds of hope and thought for the future, to help these organisations’ contributions to conversations about important work flourish and grow. And hopefully to lead us all into a more enlightened and caring world where difference is no longer hated but celebrated.


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