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THE OFFICE OF EQUITY, DIVERSITY, & INCLUSION

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MISSION

The Office of Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion (OEDI) is committed to and responsible for institution-wide leadership to build, strengthen, and sustain a culturally conscious and responsive environment. The office provides resources, coaching, consultation, and strategies to help lead the college and conservatory and its diverse community toward a more equitable and just future through policy, classroom practices, activities and addressing workplace climate.

In addition to OEDI, the equity, diversity, and inclusion mission of the College is fulfilled through policies, protocols, support services, committees, and leadership teams.

    • Strategic Coaching & Support
    • EDI Resources, Programs, & Support At The College
    • Land Acknowledgement & Beyond Committee
    • Culturally Responsive Syllabi

STAFF

DIVERSITY STATEMENT

AMDA is committed to dismantling existing structures that historically exclude and oppress minoritized groups. This commitment requires each of us to take responsibility to actively grow and preserve AMDA’s diverse community and culture. As such, AMDA will actively elevate and prioritize equity, diversity, inclusion, and belonging in our curriculum, creative productions, services, and administration. Most crucially, we will continue to work towards the recruitment, retention, and advancement of students, faculty, and staff from underrepresented populations in higher education and the performing arts.

As an integral part of our mission, AMDA expects all of its community members to exemplify the following principles:

  • ACCOUNTABILITY: We build trust with others by following through on our mission and commitments. We endeavor to normalize giving and receiving feedback in the inevitable areas of growth in this work and continue to confront implicit biases and systems of oppression.
  • COLLABORATION: We acknowledge that our work is a shared responsibility and we best achieve our goals when we work together in an effort to create a more equitable and inclusive campus.
  • INNOVATION: We empower our community to define and own their unique artistry, connecting our personal experiences to our creative work. Through intentional representation, narrative reframing, and personal agency, we allow the art we create to increase our understanding of one another.
  • INTEGRITY: We live our institutional values in our work across campuses and with each other. We show up authentically when challenged, and acknowledge that part of our wholeness is the continuation of growth and learning.
  • TRANSPARENCY: We develop healthy relationships by sharing information, policies, and procedures openly with each campus and with each other, while protecting confidentiality where needed.

AMDA recognizes that honoring this commitment requires us to create and maintain campus resources, offer frequent EDI-focused learning opportunities and establish consistent and clear systems of accountability for all community members. Accordingly, AMDA rejects and condemns all forms of harassment, wrongful discrimination and disrespect, and expects that this core value will be reflected in the behaviors of all its employees and students.


PHILOSOPHY AND STANDARDS REGARDING CASTING PRACTICES

At AMDA, we are committed to creating and upholding the best standards and practices regarding casting for our students in our classrooms, on our stages, and for our on-camera work. We hope one day soon to see these standards and practices realized across platforms for performing artists including Broadway, national and international stages, film and television.
Click here to view our full casting policy.

BIAS-INCIDENTS

A hate-bias incident is an act of conduct, speech, or expression motivated, in whole or in part, by intolerance, bias, or prejudice against another. Unlike a hate crime, the act is not a criminal act; like a hate crime, the act is motivated by prejudice. It differs from a hate crime in that no criminal activity is involved but its effect is to discriminate, demean, embarrass, assign stereotype, harass, or exclude individuals because of their actual or perceived identities, including but not limited to: race, ethnicity, national origin, language, sex, gender identity or expression, sexual orientation, disability, age, veteran status, or religion. Examples of hate-bias incidents may include but are not limited to: speech, gestures, epithets, direct insults, graffiti, harassment, etc. Hate-bias incidents can occur even if harm is unintentional or the act is meant as a joke or prank. This definition is not meant to inhibit classroom discussion of sensitive or controversial topics related to the above. This definition is also intentionally broad to reflect AMDA’s values.

The expression of viewpoints and disagreements on political or social issues is permitted at AMDA, and therefore not subject to disciplinary action. However, the expression of such opinions can have harmful impacts regardless of intention, and in some cases may undervalue personal rights, dehumanize individuals, and adversely affect someone's sense of belonging. In such cases, this protocol will be used in whole or in part as a means of promoting greater awareness of the impact of our words and behaviors, and allowing for restoration following harm - even when it is unintentional.

AMDA is committed to addressing incidents of hate-bias and needs your assistance in bringing these incidents to our attention. To report information about hate-bias related incidents, please email oedi@amda.edu. By documenting incidents, we can better protect and educate our community, and best enable the college and conservatory to prevent this behavior and to address it properly when it occurs.


TITLE IX

AMDA is committed to providing an academic environment free from sex discrimination, where all members of the school community are treated with respect and dignity. Sex discrimination includes both sexual and gender based harassment and violence. All members of the AMDA community, including students, employees, and third parties, are protected under this policy.
Click here to view Title IX policies, resources, and information.

The mission of AMDA's Accessibility Services Office is to ensure that all students are afforded an equal opportunity to fully participate in and benefit from AMDA's performing arts education and diverse community of creative artists. We believe that disability is an integral part of the diversity of experience that fuels creative excellence. Therefore, it is our goal to remove access barriers to allow every student to reach their fullest potential. Services and Resources Provided by the Office include:

  • Students +

      • Assessment of eligibility for disability accommodations, including both classroom and residential accommodations
      • Tips, resources, and strategies to manage any difficulties that may not rise to the level of requiring official accommodations
      • Staff support for student-led alliances surrounding disability rights, awareness, support, and/or advocacy
      • Assistance with developing self-advocacy skills and communicating with instructors and peers
      • Assistance for disabled students within other AMDA meetings where extra support, presence, or advocacy may be needed
      • Help finding local resources to utilize after graduation from AMDA
  • Faculty/Staff +

      • Regular trainings and professional development opportunities to ensure that faculty and staff have the tools to teach inclusively
      • One-on-one assistance with effectively incorporating student needs into unique courses and teaching styles
      • Information to reference on the Faculty Dashboard including FAQs, communication tips, resources for universal design, and a changing library of videos including performances involving disabled performers and talks by disabled panelists/speakers
      • Consultation regarding incorporating the needs of disabled students into curricula, programs, events, performances, and other AMDA programming

International Student Services is committed to providing support to international students to achieve their educational goals while enrolled at AMDA. International Student Services assists with immigration and visa processes in compliance with government rules regarding student visas. The office provides referrals to resources and serves as an advocate for international students as they pursue their education in the United States. International student advisors are available to work with students prior to enrollment and during their time at AMDA to offer support and guidance.

For questions or if you need support, please contact the International Student Office:
NY: InternationalNY@amda.edu
LA: InternationalLA@amda.edu

Calendar of Events

  • Fall 2022 +

    Faculty & Staff should check their AMDA email for information about signing up!

    Skill Building

    But…I didn’t mean it like that!—Microaggressions facilitated by Chianti Blackmon (she/her/ella) NEW Fall 2022!

    This session focuses on micro-encounters and micro-behaviors that impact the ways we interact across difference. We will explore common uses of microaggressions, how they tend to manifest, how people respond and we will use scenarios for deeper discussions. This session will also support participants in developing ways to respond when witnessing or perpetrating a microaggression. We will also discuss strategies for strengthening our own resiliency when being called-in. This is a one-part training, open to all staff & faculty.

     
    Tuesday, October 18; 12pm-2pm PT/3pm-5pm ET
    Thursday, January 26; 11am-1pm PT / 2pm-4pm ET


    Gender

    Getting Pronouns Right facilitated by Andy Cofino (he/him/his) 

    This brand new session is a dedicated conversation about pronouns: how to navigate usage, what to do if you make a mistake, and best practices. This is a one-part training, recommended for all staff & faculty.

    Thursday, October 20; 8am-10am PT/11am-1pm ET
    Wednesday, November 30; 8am-10am PT/11am-1pm ET
    Friday, January 13; 1pm-3pm PT/4pm-6pm ET


    Allyship Refresher facilitated by Andy Cofino (he/him/his)

    It's likely been a while since you participated in Allyship at AMDA, so we're offering a 90 minute refresher, which includes a review of the basics as well as some updated terminology and information. This session is also great for folks who are newer to AMDA and have not yet engaged in this topic. This is a one-part training, recommended for all staff & faculty.

    Thursday, December 1; 1pm-3pm PT/4pm-6pm ET
    Thursday, January 5; 8am-10am PT/11am-1pm ET


    Trauma Informed

    Trauma Informed Pedagogy facilitated by Sam Skaller (she/they) and Tracia Banuelos (she/they) NEW Fall 2022!

    This training series will equip AMDA faculty with tools and skills to create safer educational spaces for students. Together we will unpack how the impacts of trauma may show up in our classrooms and strengthen our skill sets in responding to trauma disclosures, best practices of trauma-informed care, and much more. This workshop is best suited for faculty, directors, choreographers, and anyone who leads classroom spaces with students. This is a two-part training recommended for all faculty.


    Part 1
    Thursday, November 10; 10am-12pm PT / 1pm-3pm ET
    Tuesday, December 6; 8:30am-10:30am PT / 11:30am-1:30pm ET


    Part 2
    Thursday, January 12; 8:30am-10:30am PT / 11:30am-1:30pm ET
    Monday, January 30; 10am-12pm PT / 1pm-3pm ET


    Disability Justice

    Deaf Culture and Communication presented by Andrew Moore of ASL with Andrew (he/him/his) NEW Fall 2022!

    Participants will learn how to immerse themselves into Deaf culture and understand the importance of communication. They will leave the sessions feeling more confident about their ability to communicate with Deaf and hard-of-hearing individuals. Session 1 will focus on Deaf culture, communication & language, the ASL alphabet, numbers, and general phrases. Session 2 will focus on information relating specifically to AMDA’s campus culture, information, and programs. These sessions are required for public-facing staff and all student workers.

    Part 1: Thursday, October 27; 10am-12pm PT / 1pm-3pm ET
    Part 2: Saturday, November 12; 1pm-3pm PT / 4pm-6pm ET


    Series on Autism and Neurodivergence presented by Asperger/Autism Network (AANE) NEW Fall 2022!

    Part 1: Through a New Lens: Understanding an Autism Profile

    This workshop is for college professionals working with autistic individuals. Attendees will review attributes associated with an autism profile, as well as an overview and history of language use as it relates to supporting autistic individuals. Attendees will leave with a comprehensive, up-to-date understanding of autism and learn how to apply a neurological lens to better understand autism and their autistic students. This is part one of a two-part series, required for all AMDA faculty and staff.

    Wednesday, November 16; 8am-10am PT / 11am-1pm ET
    Tuesday, November 29; 5pm-7pm PT / 8pm-10pm ET


    Part 2: Neurodiversity on Campus: Supporting Autistic College Students

    Creating responsive and inclusive campus cultures is a priority for colleges across the country. This workshop will highlight how colleges can create classrooms and campus communities that are responsive to the needs of autistic students, and in doing so, respond to the needs of all students. Through a universal design lens, this workshop will help college professionals build and develop a neurodiversity lens and learn concrete, applicable strategies for making their classrooms and campus communities inclusive for neurodivergent students. This is part two of a two-part series, required for all AMDA faculty and staff.

    Wednesday, December 7; 8am-10am PT/11am-1pm ET
    Tuesday, December 13; 5pm-7pm PT / 8pm-10pm ET


    In Our Own Words: A Self-Advocate Panel presented by Asperger/Autism Network (AANE) NEW Fall 2022!
    Panelists: Sue Ann Pien, Lillian Carrier

    Join us for a facilitated discussion with a panel of autistic young adults, who are recent college graduates or current college students, detailing their lived experiences with the goal of encouraging inclusivity and acceptance. This panel discussion will highlight the perspective and lived experiences of our panelists, some of whom are in the TV and film industry, and cover topics such as their experiences in college and in the performing arts. Panelists will share what they would want students, faculty and other college professionals to know about being an autistic student and creating neuro-inclusive classrooms and campuses. Our speakers will answer attendee questions and share their insights and recommendations for students and college professionals. This session is open to everyone in the AMDA community; students, faculty, and staff are all welcome.

    Saturday, December 17; 11:30am-1pm PT / 2:30-4pm ET


    Accessibility At AMDA: Your Role in Helping Create an Accessible and Inclusive Campus Community facilitated by Hannah Enenbach (she/her/hers)

    This training provides AMDA faculty and staff with the tools necessary to create an accessible and inclusive environment for students and colleagues with disabilities. Participants will review what disability accommodations are, how they are requested, and how they are provided at AMDA. Breakout discussions will address additional ways you can support and be inclusive of students with disabilities in your classroom or office. Participants will learn what services the Accessibility Office provides (it’s not just accommodations!), how to refer students, and tips for effective communication with your students with disabilities. This session is required for all members of our community; however, if you have attended an Accessibility at AMDA session since January 2022, you do not need to attend again.

    Tuesday, January 17; 8am-9:30am PT / 11am-12:30pm ET


    Leadership

    Equity & Inclusive Leadership facilitated by Chianti Blackmon (she/her/ella)

    This session will focus on knowledge building around our EDI policies and procedures, explore opportunities for growth as an inclusive leader and build out your EDI toolkit from a leadership perspective. This is a two-part training required for VPs, Directors, Managers, Division Chairs, Academic Department Directors, and any others who supervise.

    Part 1
    Monday, November 7; 8am-10am PT/11am-1pm ET
    Friday, November 18; 10am-12pm PT / 1pm-3pm ET
    Part 2
    Friday, December 16; 8am-10am PT / 11am-1pm ET
    Wednesday, January 18; 11am-1pm PT / 2pm-4pm ET

  • Summer 2022 +

    Faculty & Staff should check their AMDA email for information about signing up!

    Navigating Triggers facilitated by Chianti Blackmon (she/her/ella)

    When was the last time you were triggered? Many times we are on autopilot and react to triggers in ways that are counterproductive to our goals. This interactive workshop aims to develop participants’ skills when identifying and navigating triggers, specifically within interactions across differences. This includes comments, behaviors, and exchanges with students, as well as colleagues. This is a one-part training, open to all staff & faculty.


    Thursday, July 14, 2022: 8am-10am PT/11am-1pm ET
    Monday, August 22, 2022: 10am-12pm PT/1pm-3pm ET



    Accessibility At AMDA: Your Role in Helping Create an Accessible and Inclusive Campus Community facilitated by Hannah Enenbach (she/her/hers)

    This training provides AMDA faculty and staff with the tools necessary to create an accessible and inclusive environment for students and colleagues with disabilities. Participants will review what disability accommodations are, how they are requested, and how they are provided at AMDA. Breakout discussions will address additional ways you can support and be inclusive of students with disabilities in your classroom or office. Participants will learn what services the Accessibility Office provides (it’s not just accommodations!), when/how to refer students, and tips for effective communication with your students with disabilities. This training is required for all members of our community, even if you have attended an Accessibility Services training before 2022.


    Wednesday, July 6, 2022: 8am-9:30am PT/11am-12:30pm PT
    Tuesday, July 12, 2022: 5pm-6:30pm PT/8pm-9:30pm ET



    Equity & Inclusive Leadership facilitated by Chianti Blackmon (she/her/ella)

    This session will focus on knowledge building around our EDI policies and procedures, explore opportunities for growth as an inclusive leader and build out your EDI toolkit from a leadership perspective. This is a two-part training required for Directors, Managers, Division Chairs, Academic Department Directors, and any others who supervise.


    Part 1
    Monday, July 25, 2022: 8am-10am PT/11am-1pm ET
    Monday, August 15, 2022: 12pm-2pm PT/ 3pm-5pm ET
    Wednesday, September 7, 2022: 9am-11am PT/12pm-2pm ET


    Part 2
    Monday, September 12, 2022: 1pm-3pm PT/4pm-6pm ET
    Thursday, September 22, 2022: 8am-10am PT/11am-1pm PT



    New! LGBTQIA+ Offerings facilitated by Andy Cofino (he/him)

    It's likely been a while since you participated in Allyship at AMDA, so we're offering a 90 minute refresher, which includes a review of the basics as well as some updated terminology and information. This session is also great for folks who are newer to AMDA and have not yet engaged in this topic. Plus a brand new session dedicated to pronouns: how to navigate usage, what to do if you make a mistake, and best practices. Open to all staff & faculty.


    Friday, July 22, 2022: 8am-9:30am PT/11am-12:30pm ET - Refresher: LGBTQIA+ Allyship 
    Thursday, July 28, 2022: 1pm-2:30pm PT/4pm-5:30pm ET - Getting Pronouns Right



    New! Title IX: What is it, What Does it Cover, and What is Your Responsibility? facilitated by Grand River Solutions

    This brand new session will cover the basics of Title IX and what you need to know. Most people assume Title IX only refers to sexual misconduct, so this session aims to expand our knowledge around the depth and breadth of Title IX. Case studies will be reviewed to build awareness as participants debunk myths and expand their overall understanding of AMDA's Title IX Policy. This is a one-part training, recommended for all staff & faculty.

    Title IX is the most commonly used name for the federal civil rights law in the United States of America that was passed as part of the Education Amendments of 1972.

    Monday, August 1: 8am-10am PT/11am-1pm ET
    Thursday, September 8: 12pm-2pm PT/3pm-5pm ET



    Supervisors & Title IX facilitated by Christine Galdston (she/her)

    Facilitated by AMDA’s own Title IX Coordinator, this session will provide supervisors with tools and skill building to support their staff in compliance with AMDA’s Title IX Policy. This is a one-part training specifically for supervisors and managers.

    Wednesday, August 31: 11am-12:30pm PT/2pm-3:30pm ET
    Tuesday, September 20: 9am-10:30am PT/12pm-1:30pm ET



  • Fall 2021 +

    Listening Circles

    The goal of listening circles is to discover, clarify and record themes regarding employee/student perception of and reaction to the climate at AMDA. Climate is defined as the experience of individuals and groups on a campus and the quality and extent of the interaction between those various groups and individuals. A healthy campus climate is not the same as a positive climate, or a climate that is always comfortable. These circles aim to include as much of the campus as possible in the development of the strategic EDI plan.


    Anti-Racism Series (3 parts)

    1. Why Now: AMDA, Equity, Justice, and Inclusion
    2. The Role of Faculty & Staff in Navigating Hot Button Triggers in Difficult Interactions Across Difference
    3. Building Skills - Interrupting Perfectionism, Individualism, Defensiveness, & Other Tools of Internalized Dominance

    LGBTQIA+ Allyship Series (2 parts)

    LGBTQIA+, and specifically trans, nonbinary and gender non-conforming students are increasingly comfortable being out on college campuses, but often are frustrated or let down by staff and faculty members’ lack of knowledge or discomfort about their identities and experiences. Staff and faculty who can address the needs of LGBQ and trans and nonbinary individuals can make a huge difference inside and outside the classroom.


    Accessibility at AMDA: Your Role and How Accessibility Services Can Support You

    Coming in 2022!