Update - November, 2020

November 1, 2020

Dear Milwaukee Rep Community,

Elections always mark change in our nation, regardless of the victor. This month also marks change for Milwaukee Rep as we begin to put our latest equity, diversity and inclusion (ED&I) plans into action.

Nearly two years ago, Milwaukee Rep, with specific regard to ED&I practices recognized the need to implement some additional changes to how we operate in this area. We have already taken several actions to put us on a path toward improvement to become an even more equitable and inclusive company. We’re committed to taking meaningful action that makes a lasting impact.

In our vision of success, we underscore the value of collaboration with the acknowledgment of being a vibrant theater where everyone works together in the spirit of generosity, teamwork and unity.

In that spirit of togetherness, the full staff for the first time participated in a series of trainings with Kaleidoscope Group in late October. These educational sessions were dedicated to aligning on a common language for ED&I, deepening our understanding of ED&I and its personal and organizational value, and exploring our unique cultural worldview and personal biases and their impact on the theater.

It was also in these sessions that our executive director took us back in history to give a detailed reminder of Milwaukee Rep’s work in the field of ED&I since the company’s founding in 1954. This framing connected dots to our historical ED&I commitment and the work being advanced today.  In 2018 we centered ED&I in our mission statement as one of three key strategic priorities and our conviction to rising higher and stronger remains unbreakable.

We understand the power of this work enables us to think, behave and act differently through a shared desire for sustainable change. And it requires us to do it together. This month we held space for our staff to share how they were responding to the world around us. We engaged in an open session to encourage each other and share emotions while uplifting our collective humanity and strength. We pledged to continue these conversations going forward.

Parallel to our educational sessions is the work of our Chief Diversity Officer to amplify our identified priorities on workplace inclusion and cultural competence. She has concentrated those efforts with a focus on our operations, our leadership, and our talented staff. Most recently she presented a 90-day plan designed to ensure Milwaukee Rep’s ED&I efforts are impactful, sustainable and focused on inclusion practices.

The plan includes the following:

  • Implement training and coaching for leadership and staff on how to encourage inclusion in the workplace;
  • Expand cross-collaboration among departments to elevate our ED&I goal setting;
  • Facilitate training for the Emerging Professional Residents (EPRs) on ED&I efforts in the company;
  • Build on the workplace inclusion and cultural competence priorities of Milwaukee Rep;
  • Facilitate and encourage open dialogue among staff regarding their own journeys with systemic racism and how it relates to their own careers;
  • Launch a staff-led ED&I workgroup focused on key priorities and help us create a more diverse and inclusive mindset and stronger company;
  • Activate an internal ED&I campaign later this year that frames our strategies, activities, trainings, workshops and cross-collaboration approaches to move us forward.

Change is upon us all. We are proud to not only embrace change, but to campaign for it wholeheartedly. As ever, thank you for your ongoing support of Milwaukee Rep on this journey.

Greg Oberland
President, Board of Trustees

Warren Buliox
Trustee & Chair, ED&I Committee

Mark Clements
Artistic Director

Chad Bauman
Executive Director

Tammy Belton-Davis
Chief Diversity Officer