A Message from Playwrights Canada Press
Dear readers, colleagues, and friends,
Playwrights Canada Press condemns the racist actions and inactions that continue to take Black lives, Indigenous lives, and the lives of people of colour in Canada and the US. We mourn the deaths of Jason Collins, Eishia Hudson, Stewart Kevin Andrews, D'Andre Campbell, George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery, Tony McDade, Regis Korchinski-Paquet, Breonna Taylor, Chantel Moore, Rodney Levi, Oluwatoyin Salau, Ejaz Ahmed Choudry, and others, named and unnamed. We denounce anti-Black racism and white supremacy in all its forms. Black Lives Matter.
Sparked by the protests and calls for justice, we’ve spent recent weeks listening and learning and now we’re going to take action. It’s unfortunate that it took this particular moment of outrage for us to acknowledge that change was needed. The staff and board of Playwrights Canada Press met to talk about what concrete actions we can take to create a better work environment for current and future staff and to better represent the people we work with.
- We recommit to publishing work by BIPOC playwrights, LGBTQ2SIA+ playwrights, and playwrights with disabilities, and will do more outreach to these communities.
- We maintain our commitment to an open submission policy.
- We will convene a paid editorial committee of artists who represent diverse communities to ensure more voices are represented in the consideration of plays for publication.
- We will give playwrights licence to work with editors who better understand their experiences.
- We commit to paying playwrights for the promotional work they do in service of their book.
- We will ensure that books by BIPOC playwrights are marketed with determination.
- We commit to providing a safe space to work for all employees, including freelance and contract employees and interns.
- We will provide meaningful anti-oppression and anti-bias training for staff on an ongoing basis.
- Recognizing that there are inequities that limit participation, we will ensure interns are paid a living wage, not only an honorarium, for the work they do at Playwrights Canada Press.
- We will create a formalized mentorship program for interns once their employment with us ends to provide advice and encouragement while job seeking and as they begin their careers in publishing.
- We will prioritize the hiring of BIPOC employees and freelancers and ensure the qualifications we’re looking for represent a diverse range of skills and talent.
- We commit to reviewing these actions on an annual basis and holding ourselves accountable.
This is a start and we remain committed to open and ongoing dialogue. We will continue to educate ourselves in the ways in which we can combat systemic racism both inside and outside Playwrights Canada Press.
Annie Gibson, Jessica Lewis, Blake Sproule, staff
Bilal Baig, Roberta Barker, Rick Chafe, Michelle Kneale, Josh Languedoc, Daniel Macdonald, Colleen Murphy, board of directors