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Stages stands in solidarity with the Black community. We condemn the acts of violence that have taken the lives of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor and Ahmaud Arbery. We acknowledge these names as only the most recent in a too-long list of Black people who have endured racist assaults under the banner of civic protection.

The staff of Stages shares a collective responsibility for our company and we endeavor to function with a shared leadership model inclusive of all members of our staff team. We aspire, through our work as artists and through a sustained investigation of our organization, to eradicate the systemic oppressions that limit our human capacity. This work is complex, slow, inspiring and painful. We fail at these efforts every day. We make progress, too. We live in hope that our daily operations and our work on stage will one day manifest the full power of an inclusive human community.

After a period of reflection, we bring forward a portion of our conversation concerning the events of recent days. Our statements rise from many voices so as to acknowledge the varied human responses to the death of George Floyd and the diverse perspectives of our staff team. We recognize that our staff is but one part of the Stages family. Our collective statements aspire to lift the voice of the full Stages community. We also acknowledge those for whom writing is not the vehicle most suited to their capacities of expression at this time; we name that for some, there are no words.

We condemn racism. We work toward its full and complete eradication.

"Don’t be afraid of dialogue." - Elizabeth Keel
"A threat to justice for one, is a threat to justice for all." - Charity Sells
"Hand in hand, we must protect and love one another until we are all free of that which oppresses us." - Austin Abernathy
"Black Lives Matter. White fragility is real. Racism is insidious and rampant. It’s past time to have hard conversations - start them now." - Mitchell Greco
"There is no place for intolerance or racism. Engage every human that you meet as YOU would want to be engaged. We can all do better." - Greg Warrington
"I’ve had two occasions in which I was detained in a police cruiser because I was on foot in the vicinity of a complaint. I never feared for my life or even that I’d be falsely accused just because I was conveniently there.  That’s the default because I’m white.  I want that to be the default for everyone.  No one should feel endangered by the police." - David Jezek
"The unconscionable actions of white members of our communities against Black lives has served as a reminder of the terrifying injustice that exists in our world. We must work to create change and eliminate racism in all forms. Black lives matter. We have work to do." - Mark Folkes
"I promise to stand by you in times of trouble, love deeply through times of heartbreak, fight for you in times of hardship, and cheer for you with all I am in times of freedom. None of us are free until all of us are free." - John Moore
"From Fred Hampton to George Floyd, it’s been enough over and over again. It’s way past time to do the uncomfortable work on ourselves and stand up. Silence is not acceptable." - Tiffani Fuller Bonds
“'No man is an island, entire of itself. Any man’s death diminishes me, because I am involved in mankind,' John Donne.  I mourn George Floyd, I mourn Black lives lost, I mourn America’s empty promise of liberty and justice for all." - Jodi Bobrovsky
"I believe all people should be treated as fully human. The events surrounding George Floyd’s death disturb me to my core. I am appalled by the action of a few men but am fully aware this behavior (or similar behavior) is a lived experience for people of color in 2020. I fully stand with you and I apologize if I have not voiced my support or lifted you up as I should. You will hear me." - Mandi Hunsicker-Cooper
"Blood, sweat and tears are my reality every day. I stand willing to sacrifice all that someday the color of humanity and equality proves to be the same." - Dino Hall
"We must choose to SEE people of color. LISTEN to their voices, and HEAR with our hearts. We must humbly EDUCATE ourselves to become stronger allies, and then we may be able to endeavor to be human and LOVE unconditionally." - Irma Carrillo
"Always practice empathy. Always seek justice. Always strive to be a more educated and visible ally. #BlackLivesMatter" - Rachael Smith Niederhauser                
"Nothing changes when you are silently not-racist, it is time to loudly be anti-racist. Black Lives Matter. Today. Tomorrow. Always." - Jazmyn Castillo
"I believe in equality, peace, love, and happiness. And Black lives around the world deserve these things. I am here to stand against anyone that is not for black lives. Silence is standing with the oppressor. It's time to take action and stand for what is right. Stay informed and stay strong." - Ryanne Fury
"I am learning, listening and standing with and for you. I care about you and want to help. I support you. I hear you. I love you."  - Michelle Pacheco
"This is what the Lord Almighty says: ‘Administer true justice; show mercy and compassion to one another.’ Zechariah 7:9"   - Debra Yeang
"Things cannot change when we are comfortable. So let's start getting comfortable with discomfort! #BLACKLIVESMATTER" -Tevyn Washington 
"I'm so sorry for what you're suffering now, and for all the suffering that's come before this. You've been fighting this fight for centuries, and those of us who are new to it need to step up to the front lines and fight with you, and for you. I see you, and I care, and I believe you matter. I will listen and learn and own my ignorance and mistakes. You have my voice and my actions and my vote." - Lise Bohn
"History is watching us, let’s not disappoint. We have to overcome hate with love and respect. Black lives matter." - Joel Burkholder
"My skin is not a sin." - Arianna Day
"Black Lives Matter." - Todd Molesky
"I choose Love. My siblings of color deserve Equality. I stand with you and I will fight with you and for you." - Christa Ruiz
"We must listen. We must be held accountable  We must take action.  We must demand justice.  We must champion equality.   We must clamor for reform.  We must remain vigilant.  We must stand in solidarity.  Because Black Lives Matter." - Josh Morrison
"Enough is enough. It’s time to take action in order to have a safe and viable future for EVERYONE. #BlackLivesMatter" - Cesar Jaquez 
“Do not withhold good from those to whom it is due, when it is in your power to act." - Proverbs 3:27. It is time for us all to act because Black Lives Matter." - Travis Doucett
"I stand with you. Change doesn’t happen by itself, we have to make it happen. We make it happen by speaking out: BLACK LIVES MATTER!" - Sarah Flores
"I’m angry, I cry and am sad, but I have HOPE." - Rene P. Rodriguez
"Racism is a system of oppression, not only acts of conscious hate. To dismantle it, we must have these tough conversations. Now is the time to talk." - Jarred Tettey
"I will listen. I will stand. I will raise my fist in opposition to injustice. I will kneel in humility to the fallen. I will use my power for those who have little. I will pray for those for whom no one prays. I will fight the racist. I will pursue liberty and justice for all. I will share my story. I will hear your story. I hold space for the angry. I hold space for the broken. I hold space for the tired. I hold space for the frightened. I will make space for the pledges yet unknown to me that I will be called to make I will_________I will________ will__________ I will________ I will__________ I will forgive. I will reflect. I will start again. BLACK. LIVES. MATTER." - Kenn McLaughlin
"Black Artists Matter. Black Stories Matter. Black LIVES Matter. I stand with you now and always." - Mark Ivy
"My existence shouldn’t make you uncomfortable. My skin shouldn’t be a threat." - Dominique Davison
"Black Lives Matter. Lean into the discomfort." - Eboni Bell
"Listen to those who suffer. Every heart feels the rawnesses of their cries. I stand with you. Black Lives Matter." - Analía McEnelly
"Systemic racism and violence against and the oppression of black people has been the centuries-long epidemic poisoning this country. None of us have escaped its toxicity. For white people like myself, simply stating that we're not racist is a failure to confront our unmistakable privilege, and continued inaction is not acceptable. Educate yourself and use your voice, your time, your money, your vote, your art, and your mind to advocate for your black neighbors, lift their voices, and defend our collective humanity. Unless there is justice there will not be peace. Black Lives Matter." - Jack Ivy
"I stand with you. I walk with you. I kneel with you. Black Lives Matter and always have." - Jordan O’Hara Smith
“'This is my commandment: love one another as I have loved you. No one has greater love than this, to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.' John 15:12-13" - Alma Frias

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