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Black Theatre United

Audra McDonald, Brian Stokes Mitchell & More Form Black Theatre United

Several Black theatre industry members have formed together to create Black Theatre United in light of the recent protests and spotlight on the Black Lives Matter movement.

Black Theatre United’s core mission will focus on four pillars: awareness, accountability, advocacy, and action. “With roots reaching into all 50 of the United States this coalition can harness invaluable political scope and influence,” the organization says. “To elevate a cause or to overturn policies that target black people in any one state or community, the group will draw on members with local connections to use their visibility and influence for good in theater and on the national stage.”

The founding members of the group include Lisa Dawn Cave, Darius de Haas, Brandon Victor Dixon, Carin Ford, Capathia Jenkins, LaChanze, Adriane Lenox, Kenny Leon, Norm Lewis, Audra McDonald, Michael McElroy, Brian Stokes Mitchell, Wendell Pierce, Billy Porter, Phylicia Rashad, Allyson Tucker, Tamara Tunie, Lillias White, NaTasha Yvette Williams, Schele Williams and Vanessa Williams.

The organization says, “As members of the black theatre community we stand together to help protect black people, black talent, and black lives of all shapes and orientations in theatre and communities across the country. Our voices are united to empower our community through activism in the pursuit of justice and equality for the betterment of all humanity. We need every voice lifted and every heart opened, aligned with ours to fight against racist ideologies that have divided us by devaluing our lives. We will not be silent. We will be seen. We will be heard. We are here. Join Us.”

BTU is working with Fair Count, to partner with hard-to-count (HTC) communities to achieve a fair and accurate count of all people in the nation in the 2020 Census and strengthen the pathways to greater civic participation. BTU is also working with Harness to launch the #BeCounted campaign which features community leaders and celebrities to boost the participation of hard-to-count communities in the 2020 Census and help ensure that the $1.5 trillion federal dollars allocated through the Census reach minority communities.