Core Values & Commitment to Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion

TTAO CORE VALUES

Education
Our priority is theatre education for students and their teachers. Our policies serve to improve theatre training within the UIL contest framework.

Diversity
We celebrate differences and include all the varied voices that represent students and the communities we serve.

Integrity
We hold ourselves to the highest ethical standards. We expect and practice personal and professional integrity.

Transparency
We commit to open communication and access to information, including governing documents. This instills trust and ensures accountability.

Service
We serve our learning community by bringing our knowledge, experience, and leadership to students and teachers through professional training that instills confidence and provides growth.

CORE VALUES ACTION COMMITTEE

In June of 2020, the Board of Directors officially adopted the Core Values Action Plan as a continuing plan for TTAO. Each year, the organization will select a specific Core Value and focus on incorporating new projects to begin emphasizing a narrow focus within that Core Value in the organization.

The Core Values Action Committee is comprised of appointed members of TTAO with requisite experience and appropriate knowledge for the development of specific projects within the focus of the given year. In the academic year of 2020-2021, the Core Values Action Committee will address racial and cultural diversity issues and offer strategies for equity and inclusion.

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Chair

Phillip Taylor, Austin

Board Liaison

Yvonne Phillips-Dupree, Houston

Committee Members

Michael Avila, Austin

Joel Garza, Edinburg

Rachel Harrah, Carrollton

Joi Hughes, Fresno

Cathy Huvar, Katy

Aimee Kaspryzk, Corsicana

Omar Leos, San Antonio

Jim Mammarella, San Antonio

Ezekiel Morgan, Houston

Norma Thomas, Houston

TTAO’s Commitment to Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion

Statement from June 17th, 2020

It has been stated that “time and tide wait for no man.” In these disquieting times of racial injustice and social unrest, we recognize the urgency of this moment. The Texas Theatre Adjudicators and Officials (TTAO) organization stands united with the Black Lives Matter Movement and supports the ideology that racism and injustice have no place in our society. Therefore, we commit to building a culture of inclusivity that aligns with our core values of education, diversity, integrity, transparency, and service. To that end, we will continue to invest our efforts in work that represents not only our core values but integrates the tenants of humanity and impartiality.

As good stewards of education, it is incumbent upon us to build a culture of inclusivity and push beyond the unfair practices of the day. White privilege is a dehumanizing force in our society, a cavernous divide between opportunity and the lack of it. Destructive at its core, it systematically devalues the beauty and diversity of Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC), and deletes any opportunity for growth. 

We will no longer be silent to the voices of the oppressed. In the wake of the senseless and brutal murders of George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor, and so many others, and during a time of civil unrest in our society, we stand firmly with the Black community in outrage. Integrity, in the face of these disasters, compels us to engage in honest dialogue in order to learn, grow, and develop actions that address systematic racism.  

As live storytellers, we, as theatre artists, embrace the opportunity to humanize complex issues for marginalized people. As theatre educators, the members of TTAO have a responsibility to be receptive to the needs of our community and elevate conversations that champion racial equality. Let it be known that the Leadership of TTAO is committed to enacting the following during the academic year of 2020-2021:

  • Developing an Core Values Action Committee that will address diversity issues and offer strategies for equity and inclusion
  • Committing up to $10,000 to the Core Values Action Committee for the use of funding speakers, recruitment efforts, trainings, workshops, and any project that supports our urgent goals of diversity, equity, and inclusion
  • Requiring diversity trainings for TTAO Board of Directors, TTAO Standards and Practices Committee, and TTAO Adjudicators and Contest Managers   
  • Offering diversity training for our membership at the Texas Educational Theatre Association Convention
  • Including statements of support for diversity, equity, and inclusion in formal literature
  • Developing a campaign for TTAO Adjudicators and Contest Managers to donate to a fund for diversity, equity, and inclusion that benefits theatre students and/or theatre teachers in the state of Texas
  • Collecting data about the cultural self-identification of our membership and devising best practices for enhanced  recruitment and retention of BIPOC Adjudicators and Contest Managers in the organization, as well as in TTAO Leadership positions

These policies are only the beginning of an ongoing trajectory of our vital work. We will continue to offer transparency in our mission to build more diverse ethnic inclusivity by launching critical programs and soliciting input from our membership. We know that service to our community is vital.

Yasmina Reza suggests: “Theatre is a mirror, a sharp reflection of society.” Our driving force in TTAO continues to be that we are committed to building a community that reflects the best in each of us . . .  equal, empowered, insightful, and prosperous.

“Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.”

Martin Luther King