Editors note: The original version of this article incorrectly stated that current faculty and staff composed the letter. Emails of support were received from current faculty.
On June 30, over 150 students and alumni from the Texas Tech University J.T. and Margaret Talkington School of Visual and Performing Arts and the School of Theatre and Dance sent a Call to Action letter to Texas Tech University Officials.
The letter called out the college's late response after the death of George Floyd and the lack of safety and well being of Black, Indigenous and People of Color (BIPOC) within the college.
The letter further highlights recent transgressions of the School of Theatre and Dance. It states that the school has a lack of diversity and representation of BIPOC in the faculty and staff. The school also has had seasons where racially insensitive works of BIPOC were shown.
"Our vision for Texas Tech University’s School of Theatre and Dance is one where BIPOC students, faculty, and staff feel included, safe, heard, and celebrated," according to the letter.
The letter then states a list of demands to help support BIPOC and encourage the school to grow in diversity and inclusion. The demands are as follows, according to the letter:
- The demand for reparations and ongoing accountability.
- The demand for changes in institutional structure, leadership, and recruitment.
- The demand of focused education and programming.
The demands expand on the need for more representation of BIPOC in the school's faculty and staff, programming and course material. Furthermore, the letter states that the school should offer a public apology to BIPOC and implement measures to investigate racism and sexual harassment, misconduct and assault.
"As a student body, it is our job to hold Texas Tech University and the School of Theatre and Dance accountable for their injustices and incite positive change. We want the School of Theatre and Dance to be committed to creating a path toward dismantling the mechanism of cultural appropriation and systemic oppression within its walls. Current and future Red Raiders deserve better," according to the letter.