The following are steps we are taking towards becoming a fully equitable and anti-racist organization:
• Through our work with DEEP Corporate Consulting Partners (DCCP) and their affiliate Disruptive Education Project (DEEP), we have committed to our equity journey in alignment with the Diversity, Belonging, Inclusion, and Equity (DBIE) Spectrum – developed by DEEP – and Unconscious Bias training – delivered by DCCP – and will work with them on an ongoing basis to create and implement anti-racism and equity policies. We commit to an accountability evaluation process for all staff members in our office.
• We are committed to continuing to increase our staff BIPOC presence by embracing thorough hiring practices and creating a space of belonging that centers, nurtures and amplifies BIPOC voices.
• We are committed to the continuous collaboration with outside organizations and BIPOC members of our community to establish equitable opportunities and paid casting fellowships for BIPOC casting professionals.
• We will continue to hold anti-racism and equity discussions with creative teams and producers in all preliminary casting meetings and consistently throughout the entire casting process.
As Casting Professionals, we recognize that traditionally, audition rooms were not designed as inclusive environments. We acknowledge that our audition spaces need to become a more mindful and accessible environment:
• We are committed to increasing access to audition opportunities for historically underrepresented actors by expanding the ways in which we seek talent. These initiatives will include increased outreach to underrepresented communities, collaboration with HBCU training programs and the creation of new pipelines for discovering talent.
• We have re-evaluated our audition process—from drafting breakdowns with specific, respectful and inclusive language, to honoring the amount of time and effort it takes actors to fully prepare—and will strive to create a safe space for actors to share their work. We will respect the actor’s relationship to racially and culturally sensitive material that potentially brings up trauma and allow them the space to be vulnerable and the time to recover. We encourage all performers to let us know if a safe environment is not provided for them.
• We will never accept the use of racially or culturally insensitive language, inferences, or labels in our audition rooms unless it is spoken by an actor who recites dialogue from a script in the course of an audition.
• We are collaborating with multiple advocacy organizations to find ways to become stronger allies and advocates.
We understand that this is a living document that will evolve and change as we move forward. The above articulates our intentions and identifies specific ways in which we believe The Telsey Office can make lasting change. We know that this is just the first step in a collaborative journey. The Telsey Office will continue this work to ensure that actors and staff members of all backgrounds, races, gender identities, abilities and sexual orientations feel welcomed, supported, and respected.