Black Lives Matter

Casa 0101 like many other individuals and organizations – was appalled by the senseless killing of George Floyd at the hands of the police. We stand in solidarity with the black community. We believe black lives matter.

And while George Floyd’s name is unique and the callousness and brutality of his death was beyond
shocking, his fate is all too common. Many black men and women have experienced unjust
imprisonment, torture and death at the hands of police, the criminal justice system or white vigilantes…
Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery, Eric Garner, Michael Brown, Trayvon Martin, Sandra Bland, Amadou
Diallo, Abner Luima, Emmett Till are but a few names in a long history… a history that extends to
political figures, from Martin Luther King Jr., to George Jackson and to Geronimo Pratt, who spent 27 years in prison on false charges for uplifting black power… and this is not just an American
phenomenon… Nelson Mandela too spent 27 years in prison for his role in ending apartheid in South
Africa.

And while these high profile events shine a light on historical injustices, the truth is they are but a small
part of a bigger problem. Hundreds of invisible acts of injustice take place in black communities across
the nation everyday. These acts may be silent, or gradual or may be the result of unconscious habits.
But the results of those acts have taken the shape of food desert, lower life expectancy, higher rates of
incarceration, homelessness and drug addiction… which all disproportionately affect black communities.

In this time of national reckoning as we examine our past, and come to grips with the historic injustices
and begin to imagine a more just future where everyone belongs, Casa 0101 understands it has a role to
play.

While Casa 0101 was founded to give back, and to give voice and to uplift the underserved primarily
Latino community of Boyle Heights through the arts – we understand that prejudice, in particular anti-
black prejudice exists everywhere. As creators of culture in Los Angeles, it is our duty to be part of the
solution. We hope to build a world where everyone is included, even if it is only for a couple of hours on
stage… We hope to re-imagine a society that works for everyone even it is during our Saturday morning arts education programs… We hope to inspire everyone who enters our doors.

To do so will take effort. We do not have all the answers, or know how to reach the top of that idealistic
mountain. However, we pledge to take the journey.

1) As an organization we are committing to convening our black participants (students, actors, writers,
producers etc.) and have a conversation and especially to listen. We will listen to how we have been
serving them or how we have not been serving them.

2) We are committing to have internal conversations within the staff and leadership of the organization
to examine internal prejudices we may carry, and how they may manifest themselves.

3) We are committing to take into account how our artistic and arts education programming become
part of the solution to the problem of anti-blackness in our society.

4) We are committing to have conversations with black leaders, both in the theater community, and in
other communities, whether they be faith-based or non-profit based or others, and we will listen so that
we can begin to examine how we can be part of the solution.

We don’t have all the answers – we know that anti-blackness is a deep rooted, global phenomenon. But we pledge to do our part, whether it is raising awareness through the arts, or engaging in thoughtful
community discussions to lift up the black experience, so that we can begin to untangle and get at the
root of this problem and begin to transform it.

Let us use the tragic event of George Floyd’s cold-hearted killing, as a guiding point, a north star that will
help us navigate towards shores of greater compassion. And on those shores, we will do our part to build a true global, human family.

All Black lives matter.