One word that comes up often, as NIAD works to define our role as a racial and social justice organization, is radical – meaning root-level.
Our staff use this word to define the best in how we work, and to remind us, as a community, that when we question the ground in which we’ve been planted so long, we are moving toward greater unity.
When we embrace the differences and the diversity it’s our honor and fortune to hold, we can learn from these resources, and reimagine how we are going to exist in a more just society and world.
This is the basis for the policy, procedure, and structural change work we are doing at NIAD right now.
This is the same as NIAD’s vision – a unified community, one in which art makes the individual and their story visible.
It’s a vision statement because we are not there yet – unity is still a long way off, as the verdict of the Breonna Taylor case has made so clear this week.
We must continue to demand justice for the Black, Brown, and disabled lives that have been devalued by our systems, the ground in which we find ourselves.
When the root-level diversity and richness of our community is valued equally and equitably, then we can begin to rebuild that ground to be unified, visible, radically whole.
Until then, we’ll continue working.
At NIAD, this means creating de-escalation policies and trainings that are appropriate for our staff and artists, defining what abolition and transformative justice means for our community, recognizing and lifting up the leadership of our richly diverse staff, artists, and community of support, and learning how we can do more.
We need everyone – we want you to be part of the conversation.
Reach out if you’d like to know more about how we’re working – we love hearing from you.
Amanda Eicher, Executive Director
(image: Ann Meade, Untitled (D8707)