Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, Belonging Statement
We will realize our vision by building a culture where difference is valued
The Center for Puppetry Arts is deeply committed to fostering Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Belonging in our local and global community. The Center realizes the unique ability of puppetry to tell diverse stories with diverse characters that relate to people from all cultures. We celebrate and embrace diverse voices, perspectives, backgrounds, and stories to inspire each other. Our conscious intention is to promote these principles in our programs, events, outreach, education and development opportunities, and communications, and to create safe spaces for groups and individuals to feel comfortable sharing their authentic selves.
We will do this through shared understanding and use the following definitions to guide our efforts:
Diversity is defined as the presence or representation of the multiple and intersectional identities of all members of our community. Diversity represents the ways we identify personally, culturally, and socially. It is the spectrum and intersections of humankind—our different perspectives, ways of thinking and being, and the families, communities, groups, and cultures from which we have come. When our differences are valued, appreciated, cared for, and leveraged, our unique talents, gifts, abilities, and perspectives enrich our learning and our understanding of each other and the world. This richness of diversity offers a competitive advantage by fostering a community of sophisticated, creative thinkers and problem solvers. We thrive because we are diverse.
Equity, at its core, is about treating people fairly as individuals. This does not mean treating everyone the same but instead requires us to ensure that everyone has the same access, opportunity, and resources to thrive and to be successful and recognized for their contributions to our community. Equity requires that we treat each person as an individual and meet them where they are—not where we preconceive or assume they should be. It accounts for people having different circumstances and allocates resources and opportunities needed for all to flourish equally within our ecosystem. Equity also requires us to be vigilant in evaluating our policies, procedures, and practices. Equity preserves and guarantees access, resources, and genuine fairness for all members of our community
Inclusion is the intentional practice of ensuring that all voices are heard, all people matter, and that we foster a culture of connection, understanding, and respect in our daily interactions. Every employee, volunteer, and visitor to the Center for Puppetry Arts is a leader with the ability to positively influence others. The expectation of leaders is to ensure that all feel welcome, valued, respected, and have a sense of shared power as a member of this community.
Belonging is a felt sense of complete acceptance. It is an essential human need that relates to our drive to be part of a group or something bigger than ourselves. It is achieved when we feel connected to other people, groups, and even a place or an organization, its mission, and its common goals. When we experience belonging, we feel safe to bring our whole and full selves, behave authentically, and take interpersonal risks while doing our best work. Conversely, when this sense of belonging is absent, we experience exclusion and a felt sense of disconnection. When we are deprived of this basic psychological need it affects our motivation, well-being, and ability to learn and perform at our best. Belonging is only possible when everyone feels seen, present, fully included, and confident that they will be treated fairly.