Diversity Summit 2016

Diversity and Inclusion Summit 2016

The USC School of Dramatic Arts announces its second annual Diversity and Inclusion Summit, taking place from Oct. 27-30, 2016. Consisting of a series of interactive workshops, panel discussions and performances, the summit was created to foster community through civic and conscious dialogue around issues of race, gender, culture and identity.

Organized by SDA Associate Professor Anita Dashiell-Sparks who also serves as the School’s Diversity Liaison Officer, these events are a catalyst to spark a series of conversations and strategies to cultivate and sustain an artistic, innovative and inclusive environment that reflects the evolving communities of the 21st century. The theme for 2016 is Crossroads – Embracing Race, Class and Gender in Theatre, Television and Film and will be guest facilitated by Jacqueline E. Lawton, playwright, dramaturg, Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion Advocate. All events are open to the entire USC community.


Schedule of Events

Thursday, October 27

12-1:30p.m. Cultural Appropriation and Cultural Capital Workshop PED 208
This workshop facilitated by Shafiqua Sahmadi from USC Rossier School of Education will define the difference between celebration and exploitation of cultural customs and traditions. Participants will also examine the various forms of capital we collectively have from our diverse backgrounds that enable us to become allies. RSVP for this event.
1:30-3p.m. “Having Our Say” – Theatre for Social Change Workshop PED 206
Jacqueline E. Lawton will facilitate a workshop exploring how art and theatre provide a creative and critical space for dealing with complex issues of diversity and inclusion. RSVP for this event.
3–5p.m. Performing Gender Workshop PED 207
An interactive gender-based, workshop exploring the play SEVEN. One of the seven playwrights, Paula Cizmar, will discuss creative process of documentary theatre based on current events. Jacqueline E. Lawton will lead participants in a gender identity activity. RSVP for this event.

Friday, October 28—Open only to SDA

9-10a.m. Diversity Admissions and Recruitment Discussion Massman Theatre
10a.m.-1p.m. SDA Faculty and Staff Diversity Retreat Massman Theatre
1:30-2:30p.m. Building Affinity Groups: Break out session for SDA students of color PED 202
2:30-3:30p.m. Allies and Advocacy Groups: Break out session for all SDA students PED 202
3:30-5p.m. SDA Diversity & Inclusion Forum: Open to all SDA students, faculty, and staff McClintock Theatre

Saturday, October 29

10-11:30a.m. Theatre of the Oppressed Workshop MCC 111
Dr. Brent Blair, Boal scholar-practitioner, will facilitate a workshop in theatre of the oppressed techniques that provoke civic and community engagement surrounding issues of diversity and inclusion. RSVP for this event.
11:30a.m.-1:30p.m. #Every 28 Hours Project MCC 111
Join a national collaboration of multicultural theatre artists responding to our Civil Rights Movement. After a community reading of one-minute plays produced by the Oregon Shakespeare Festival, Jacqueline E. Lawton and Oliver Mayer, will moderate discussion including community leaders/educators, and facilitate a creative writing workshop. RSVP for this event.
2-3:30p.m. Staging Diversity Panel MCC 111
Join artistic directors Jon Lawrence Rivera (Playwright’s Arena), Anthony Abatemarco (Skylight Theatre Company), Gregg Daniel (Lower Depth Theatre Ensemble) and Khanisha Foster (Educational Outreach, Center Theatre Group) for a conversation about play selection, inclusive casting, diversifying audiences and educational/community outreach initiatives. RSVP for this event.
3:30-5p.m. Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion (EDI) Workshop MCC 111
Jacqueline E. Lawton, playwright, dramaturg, and Equity, Diversity and Inclusion Advocate, will facilitate a workshop/discussion about how to effectively implement strategies and mission-relevant initiatives to enhance the culture of your school, organization, or business. RSVP for this event.
5-7p.m. The Hampton Years MCC 111
USC students and alumni will present a staged reading of The Hampton Years, written by Jacqueline E. Lawton. This reading will be directed by Anita Dashiell-Sparks, Associate Professor of Theatre Practice and SDA Diversity Liaison. RSVP for this event.

Sunday, October 30

10a.m.-12p.m. Performing Race and Class PED 206
Screenings of the groundbreaking series Queen Sugar and Atlanta will illuminate different perspectives about race and class through the genres of drama and comedy. A discussion with Queen Sugar’s Anthony Sparks (writer/producer) and Ayanna Floyd Davis (writer/producer, Empire, Private Practice), moderated by Anita Dashiell-Sparks, will immediately follow the screening. RSVP for this event.
12–1p.m. Identity Politics and Representation in Mass Media PED 206
A panel discussion, moderated by Kay Oyegun (NBC’s This Is Us and alumnae of the USC School of Cinematic Arts’ Peter Stark Producing Program), examining how multi-cultural actors, writers, producers and directors explore, define, and represent diverse identities and culture on stage and on screen. RSVP for this event.