A Message From Our CEO on Black Lives Matter
To our audiences, partners, creators, and community:
TodayTix’s mission has always been to find a seat for everyone, and we believe in that charge now more than ever. We must acknowledge, though, that it’s not enough for us to operate on the understanding that “everyone” implicitly includes people of color. Sadly, and all too often, it doesn’t. We must act to ensure that Black and Brown people are an active and intentionally included part of every conversation we lead.
In this time of uncertainty and complete upheaval, we are being called upon to rise up and speak the truth in the face of systemic silencing. We at TodayTix have several truths to own.
- We’re a company comprised largely of people with privilege and who contribute to an industry that’s actively failing Black and Brown people. We have a voice, and we want to use that voice to help protect, uplift, amplify, and support the Black and Brown artists who have been trying, since commercial theater has existed, to make this industry better.
- While we’ve given a lot of thought to it over the past week, we’re still figuring it out, just like the rest of us. We’re thinking about our privilege, our platform, the way we function in our industry, and how, in comparison to what’s at stake for our Black and Brown citizens, we have little to lose in raising our voices higher. We need to step up to the plate and become a company that does what it can to foster change, not just says what it thinks is the right thing in the face of revolution.
We can’t completely change TodayTix or the theater industry over night, but we can take steps and make promises that will, hopefully, change the way we all think about theater—from audiences to creators and leaders on Broadway, the West End, and beyond.
We can help make sure we bring voices of color at every level to every table by hiring more intentionally in our own organization. We can ensure representation by hiring more freelancers of color to write and create content for our channels, by telling more stories on our social platforms about people of color, by conducting more direct, in depth, and candid interviews on our editorial sites, and by making sure that, as we sell tickets to shows that feature Black and Brown stories, we’re doing right by the community behind those stories by producing our own original, inclusive programming through our TodayTix Presents platform.
We also took some time this week, as a staff of individuals and as a business, to think about our past behavior and values. We’re all too late to the conversation, and we can’t change that. But we can change what we do going forward. Part of why we’ve gone somewhat silent is to ensure other voices are heard, and that we’re not taking up space that could be better served with more crucial messaging. We’ve also been listening. We’ve been thinking about ways to be actively anti-racist. We’ve been working to create a space in our company and in our industry that feels reflective of the world we want to see: a space where Black Lives Matter, and Black voices are just as loud as anyone else’s.
As we move forward, we’re committed to educating ourselves and working with friends and collaborators to ensure our next steps are helpful, functional, intentional, and are in service of a community that has been historically and systematically underserved. Right now, we’re making several promises, and we’ll be sharing more details with you in the coming weeks.
- We will use our platforms to amplify Black and Brown voices, to educate, and to continue to listen.
- We will work to forge industry partnerships with the explicit intention of distributing and amplifying the reach of art created by and for Black and Brown creators.
- We will launch an employee learning agenda for anti-racist education to dismantle systemic behaviors and ways of thinking that have contributed unknowingly to every day racism that keeps Black voices suppressed.
- We will introduce an employee donation-matching program this month to offer more robust support for organizations that support racial justice and equality.
- We will expand our base of paid collaborators to more meaningfully include and increase diversity of perspectives.
- We will review and revise our hiring practices to mitigate bias, and to proactively expand diversity on our own team.
- From this point forward, we will honor June 19th as a company-wide holiday, shutting down TodayTix offices in solidarity and support. We will ask our employees to use this time to reflect, to read, to seek out educational resources, and to uplift.
Above all, we will use this next act to listen, to learn, to aspire to earn active ally status, and to reflect on what we are not doing, what we can do, and what comes next.
As we work to enact these changes in the coming weeks, months, and years, we hope you’ll keep us accountable. We believe the only way to be a trustworthy partner to those who need us is to be able to listen and learn, and we ask that you put your faith in us to do so. If you’d like to ask questions, share thoughts, or suggest action items, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
CEO and Cofounder