We at The Peoples Improv Theater (The PIT) condemn the horrific crimes that have been committed against Black people in America, and support the Black Lives Matter movement and all of our Black performers, directors, audience members, staff members, & students. Our love, respect, and steadfast support go out to all people around the world who are standing up and speaking out in order to create a more equitable and just world.
The PIT, like so many arts institutions, has a ways to go when it comes to representation, equity, diversity, inclusion, and justice. We understand the responsibility we have to dismantle systems of oppression in the filed of improv comedy. We do not take this responsibility lightly, nor do we underestimate that it is on us as an institution to make these critical changes.
We wish to reaffirm and expand our commitment to making The PIT a place where all people, regardless of race, color, religion, age, sex, sexual orientation, gender, gender expression, national origin, disability, veteran or military status, feel welcome to express themselves and gather to experience the joy of comedy.
We are updating our Standards of Conduct to reflect the following, and will keep the PIT community updated on all actions taken to achieve these goals:
Updated Conduct Policy:
“The Peoples Improv Theater (The PIT) is committed to providing theatrical, educational, and social environments that ensure the equality, dignity, and respect of every PIT staff member, audience member, instructor, performer, work study and student.
In keeping with this commitment, the PIT strictly prohibits discrimination and harassment based on race, color, religion, age, sex, sexual orientation, gender, gender expression, national origin, disability, veteran or military status, or any other basis protected by federal, state, or local laws.
Further, The PIT is committed to increasing diversity and inclusion in our comedy community, and is making active strides to become not just inclusive, but actively anti-racist to reach equity of representation and opportunity in all of our spaces. We understand that we, like so many arts institutions, have a long way to go in this regard, and we hope to collaborate with all members of The PIT community to devise evolving solutions to these ongoing issues.”
Goals and Initiatives:
Resources and Actionable Ways to Help:
Organizations to Support:
- Black Lives Matter
- The Bail Project
- The Liberty Fund NYC
- Reclaim the Block
- The Laundromat Project
- Unicorn Riot
- Black Visions Collective
- The NAACP’s Legal Defense and Educational Fund
- The Black Youth Project
- Color of Change
- National Bail Fund Network
Books, Articles, and Resources
On Racial Injustice:
- Anti-racism resources for White People (via Sarah Sophie Flicker and Alyssa Klein) – Google Doc with extensive resources and educational opportunities
- 105 things white people can do for racial injustice (via Medium – Updated 11.3.21)
- Why I’m No longer Talking to White People About Race by Reni Eddo-Lodge
- I’m Still Here by Austin Channing Brown
- Natives by Akala
- Dark Days by James Baldwin
- Diversify by June Sarpong
- How To Be Antiracist by Ibram X. Kendi
- Don’t Touch My Hair by Emma Dabiri
- White Supremacy and Me by Layla F. Saad
- The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness by Michelle Alexander
- Confronting Prejudice: How to Protect Yourself and Help Others
Books by Comedians of Color:
- The Last Black Unicorn by Tiffany Haddish
- Dear Girls by Ali Wong
- Born a Crime by Trevor Noah
- How to American: an Immigrant’s Guide to Disappointing Your Parents by Jimmy O. Yang
- Why Not Me? by Mindy Kaling
- You Can’t Touch My Hair: and Other Things I Still Have to Explain by Phoebe Robinson
Questions or Suggestions:
If you have any questions or suggestions on resources we are providing, goals we have laid out, our policy changes, etc. please email firstname.lastname@example.org.