Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion at MVCCT
We stand in solidarity with the black community. We believe black lives matter. Though MVCCT has been part of the community for over 40 years, we recognize that we have not consistently served nor been representative of the entire community. We commit to change this.
We have a long overdue responsibility to take part in the process of dismantling systemic racism, starting with identifying and addressing our own internalized biases and updating our core values to ensure that we build an organizational culture that reflects representation.
We will take some time to do the necessary work to self-reflect, educate, and understand how our privilege has impacted our choices and excluded the BIPOC (black, indigenous, and people of color) communities. And we will create a plan for moving our organization forward.
Our commitment for the time being is to do the work we must do in order to consciously stand against racism. We value every child who makes up our community and we will create more intentionality around representation.
Form a DEI committee to develop an MVCCT Mission Statement, Vision, and Core Values approved by the Board - Completed Fall 2020
The DEI Committee will create a DEI Advisory Council to help MVCCT advance the organization’s mission grounded in the core values focused on increasing diversity, equity, and access. The DEI Committee serves as the conduit between the DEI Advisory Council and the MVCCT Board, ensuring consistent and accurate communications so the work can move forward efficiently and effectively for change.
The DEI Advisory Council weeks bi-weekly to further understanding and develop an FY22 DEI Strategic Plan
The DEI Committee will create standing meetings/workshops at 6-8 week intervals for the MVCCT Board of Directors. These workshops are optional for the Board of Directors, and serve as an invitation and space to continue anti-racism work, and to learn with group support. The DEI Council will suggest qualified speakers to present at these meetings to educate/assist in our work as an organization, or may facilitate workshops themselves. MVCCT Board members may also recommend speakers or other materials for anti-racist, equity, inclusion, and access workshops.
June, 2021 to have a Board approved DEI plan for the 2021/2022 Season
Provide different perspectives, experiences, and community connections to help expand who we reach and how we reach them -
Help MVCCT identify barriers and opportunities to overcome existing barriers for reaching youth
Encourage MVCCT to innovate and help hold MVCCT accountable for change
Help MVCCT to not perpetuate harm through commitment to anti-racism and anti-oppression training
DEI Advisory Council Members 2020/21
Dylan Arredondo (he/him) is a DC-based, Mexican-Japanese theatremaker whose primary artistic goal is to reckon with the spatial, social, and creative limits being placed upon him at any given moment in the creative process and to recontextualize them as opportunities to adapt and renew the platform of performance. He attempts to investigate intercultural performance source texts and approaches without appropriating those practices, and to place them in conversation with contemporary technological interfaces and/or ecologically-informed systems, through which to create a lens to adapt less-known stories, make space for oral histories, craft living archives, and work form-first.
JUAN PABLO ECHEVERRÍA
Juan Pablo moved to the United States in 2017 from his home country of Guatemala where he worked in the Public Health and nutrition non profit sector. He also owned an Urban Farm and Restaurant and worked intensely to connect his community to nature, food and agriculture. Since living in Virginia he has continued this work by joining Arcadia The Center for Sustainable Food and Agriculture, where his role as Outreach and Education Coordinator, has connected him to schools and community centers along Richmond Highway.
Kimberly Mott is an educator and shares her life-long love of the arts with her family. She actively participates in diversity, equity, and inclusion work at her school and is committed to the promotion of authentic representations of diversity in children's literature. A native Californian, Kimberly moved to the Washington D.C. area in 2001. She is a wife and mother of theater enthusiasts. She enjoys swimming, of course reading, and going on thrilling adventures.
Ryan Sellers has been a teaching artist, actor, and director in the DC area since 2008. He has worked with MVCCT for 6 years, mentoring and educating youth through theater arts. He writes and directs for Arts on the Horizon, and works as a director for Synetic Theater, Synetic Teen Company, Creative Cauldron, MVCCT, and many local schools. He performs with several companies around the DC area, including Synetic Theater, Shakespeare Theatre Company, Constellation Theatre, Signature Theatre, Arts on the Horizon, Imagination Stage, Adventure Theatre, Studio Theatre, Longarce Lea, and Creative Cauldron. Ryan is an ardent proponent of social justice through the arts and champions young artists to use their voices and tell their stories.
Tori Tolentino is a director, choreographer, adaptor, and performing artist with over a decade of experience. Tori most recently returned to the States after receiving hers Masters degree in arts management and administration at the SDA Bocconi School of Management in Milan, Italy. Currently, Tori is developing Tolentino Visuals a film and photography business alongside her husband while simultaneously developing a consulting firm rooted in diversifying management and staff, boards, talent, and creative content of theatre organizations. EDI work has been a pillar in Tori’s personal and professional life. She is honored to be part of the MVCCT EDI Advisory Board and looks forward to learning and creating positive forward momentum for us all.
Yasmine Bolden is a racial justice community organizer and part-time creative writing coach. She performs in and writes micro-productions for DMV area theatre and is a National Museum of African American History and Culture Young Historians Institute alumna. She is set to serve on Mt. Vernon’s Youth Advisory Council and graduate high school in 2021.
Fredrick is a Nigerian-born man who is an IT professional and active father. He is interested, and involved with video editing, art, politics, gaming and sports. Fredrick believes in the pursuit to increase awareness around disparities in our society. He believes that it is important to have unity in diversity and the Arts are a prime platform to showcase the beauty in diversity and practice inclusion.
Georgette is a family mental health therapist with a strong focus on young children. She is an avid spectator of the arts and loves to draw and paint. Her commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion hones in on the reflective capacity of a community and increasing access to opportunities for marginalized communities.
Dallas has been an actor, mover, choreographer, and teacher in the DC Theater community since 2010. He is an advocate for devised original work and a strong proponent of theatre for social justice. He has worked previously with The Conciliation Project whose mission is “To promote, through active and challenging dramatic work, open and honest dialogue about racism and oppression in America in order to repair its damaging legacy.” He hopes to continue dialogue through creativity and art. He has performed with many DC companies including the Kennedy Center, Imagination Stage, Adventure Theatre, Constellation Theater, Rorschach Theater, Synetic Theater. He is also a company member with Synetic Theater He graduated from Virginia Commonwealth University with a BFA in Theater Performance. Dallas is very excited to be part of this advisory board and he is looking forward to aiding the evolution of our artistic communities towards cultivating a more equitable and just environment.
MVCCT DEI board committee
GIA MARIAM HASAN
Gia Mariam Hasan joined the MVCCT Board in 2017 and has served as the treasurer and producer. Gia works in mindfulness, holistic mind-body wellness, stress management, and unconscious bias for corporations and private clients, and designs trauma-informed programs for at-risk youth.