"Hi, I’m Christine Toy Johnson, Chairman of the Guild’s Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Committee. We’ve had a busy year as we continue to fight for more just and inclusive theatrical landscape. To be sure, this is a long-range goal that cannot be achieved quickly. But we have an incredible team, lots of ideas and lots of motivation.
In October, we released Season 2 of our podcast, (The Dramatists Guild presents:) TALKBACK. This season we talked about access, the pipeline, MFA’s, physical access, ageism, alternative platforms for storytelling and radical hospitality. I’m proud to tell you that Talk Back has had over 14,000 downloads since its inception of October 2019 and averages around 400 downloads per month, even in months we have no new episodes. That puts us within the top 10 percent of podcasts. I want to give a special shout out to my coproducers Amy VonMacek and Sarah Storm who made recording from our home studios this year a resounding success. You can find ways to listen to it on the Guild’s beautifully renovated website and on the Broadway Podcast Network.
We are working with Aisha DeCoteau, our new Director of Business Affairs and Ry Armstrong, our new Business Affairs Associate on developing an inclusion writer for our members to be able to use when forging agreements with producers and we hope to be able share more about this with you in the coming months.
And last but not least, we are gearing up for Diversity, Equity and Inclusion town halls in March that will be rolled out in our six regions, namely the Northeast, mid-Atlantic, Midwest, the South, Southern California, the West and New York City. Our goal is to create a space where we can navigate the expanding conversations around representation, access and inclusion, harm reduction and the power of storytelling to help repair the damage that injustice and exclusion have perpetuated. You should be receiving information on how to tune into these conversations via email so stay tuned. I look forward to seeing you there."