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Dear Dreamer Family,

Earlier this week, I issued a statement affirming Broadway Dreams’s explicit support of the Black Lives Matter movement, and stated our staunch commitment to oppose any and all forms of racism and inequality both within our organization and within the entertainment industry at large. 

Following that statement, Broadway Dreams hosted an open forum for BIPOC from our body of current and former dreamers and faculty, along with non-POC allies, attended by our full staff along with members of our board of directors.  Our goal was to not only listen directly to the voices most in need of being heard but to challenge our leadership team to see, acknowledge and feel the critically important perspectives of our BIPOC constituents.

This forum was illuminating, devastating, inspiring, and at times extremely challenging. Broadway Dreams has always had the foundational commitment to creating visibility and opportunity for the next generation of nonwhite artists, and in striving to break down the historic injustices and pernicious barriers black performers have long been subjected to in our industry. As our nation is grappling with legacies of racism, it will be critical that our Broadway Dreams family takes what we are hearing and seeing and turns it into action- action that forces braver spaces for all, rivals inequalities and elevates our industry to a place that doesn’t allow unjust and discriminatory behavior.

The past few days have been a time of frank reflection and unsparing assessment of the ways in which Broadway Dreams as an organization may have fallen short of our ideals and even inflicted specific harm and pain upon the very people we have set out to champion. Our commitment looking forward is to create accountability and governance that does not allow this sort of injustice to occur.  

As a result of the generous feedback we were given on Wednesday, I now know more about the concerns and perspectives of the BIPOC constituents of Broadway Dreams.  I know that this is just the beginning of a journey of learning, seeing and hearing these perspectives.  Malice is not required for injustice to be experienced, and it is for that reason that I wish to offer a sincere and unreserved apology on behalf of myself and of the organization for any unintended pain or seemingly unfair actions that may have been experienced. I am grateful in some ways that this movement is occurring as it is providing a necessary wake up call. I want to make clear my intention that Broadway Dreams join fully in the fight to eliminate racial injustice and live up to the promise and potential of our ideals through clear, specific, and tangible action.

First, I want to announce a new and permanent protocol for Broadway Dreams to hear, catalogue, and address any instances of injustice in real time. Equality@broadwaydreams.org will serve as a mechanism for students, faculty, parents, and anybody else who chooses to report their experiences directly to our management team. I will not have automatic access to this inbox so that requests for anonymity can first be applied before I read them.

Secondly, I will be mandating certified racial sensitivity training for all salaried staff at Broadway Dreams as well as Board members. This requirement will apply to all new hires in perpetuity. 

Finally, I will be requesting the formation of a working group comprised of members of the Black Lives Matter movement involved or formerly involved with Broadway Dreams, as well as liaisons from the Broadway Dreams staff, to draft specific recommendations of further broader policy changes and initiatives that may be taken under consideration by our full governing board before being implemented. 

Broadway Dreams must not only seek to confront conscious and unconscious bias within our organization, but must also aim to be actively anti-racist. The most difficult and most critical reform those of us who wish to be allies can make is to recognize this and change the way we think on a moment to moment basis. This will be hard. Neither I nor anybody can guarantee that we will not fall short again in the future. But I will be better able to recognize and correct such shortcomings as they happen through a shift in mindset that is a result of the process we are now, however belatedly, entering into. 

That process is only beginning, and I have faith that it will serve to strengthen and amplify the positive good Broadway Dreams is capable of providing to the students and communities we proudly serve.


Annette Tanner
Founder and President