Antiracism Statement of Commitment - Michigan Opera Theatre

24 June 2020

Michigan Opera Theatre is reaching out to our community to share the grief of the present days and to seek hope and direction for the future.

We grieve deeply for the people of our community who have died and those that love them, including our staff and their families, and for George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Tony McDade and others.

Shocked by the cruel disproportion of pandemic suffering borne by people of color in our City, we realize as never before the permeating injustices in safety, housing, health, employment, education, mass incarcerations and more that underlie this suffering. Shocked by the recent brutal murders, we realize as never before the specific injustices in our country’s law enforcement that underlie the countless wrongful deaths of Black people. We are aware as never before of the daily injustices in the lives of Black people that cause fear, denigration, anger and unjust burden. In the last few months MOT has come to see the injustices of systemic racism more clearly than we ever have before.

We join with the peaceful protestors in our City and throughout the country and the world expressing outrage at these injustices and demanding the end of systemic racism. We are learning from their voices and other voices all around us what it means to be antiracist in our community and in our times. We believe that being antiracist is essential to the work that we do as an anchoring arts organization in our City and in the works and performances of opera and dance that we bring to our community.

For nearly 50 years MOT has taken great pride and joy in its commitment to our City, in its welcome of all members of our community, in its support of arts education for our young people and in its presentations of artists, writers and composers of color in performances that we believed would be meaningful to our community. Today we know that we have not done anywhere near enough.

Opera and dance explore the depths of human emotion and grapple with essential human questions. We must ensure that these arts are truly meaningful to all the people of Detroit and our broader community.

We commit to seek truth, to examine ourselves, to know and treasure our community, to hear all the voices of our community and to work with our community to build a better future. MOT commits to fight systemic racism. We believe that Black Lives Matter. We will be an antiracist organization.