Eastern Chorus Councilor Candidate
2020 has set the tone— a global pandemic, an economic depression, and a nation built on policies that disproportionately hurt marginalized communities. This cannot be the standard by which we live. We are at a point in time that requires urgency.
I am a proud Cuban American woman, a daughter of an immigrant, a survivor of sexual assault, and a fighter for equity and accountability. I have marched in the heart of racist Southern communities for Black Lives. I have stood outside theaters to protest against sexual predators cast in Broadway shows. I understand that our industry is built upon white comfort and silence embedded into the very fabric of the institution. As a member of Actor’s Equity, I am dedicated to listening to our chorus members and taking action to address their needs. But most of all, I am committed to creating a safer environment for victims of sexual harassment and assault, especially members of the BIPOC community within our union. This is why I am running for Eastern Chorus Councilor as a member of Actor’s Equity.
I have worked professionally in various theatrical environments: cruise ships, regional theaters, national tours, and at the New York City Center. While I deeply understand the joy and privilege of working in an ensemble, I have also felt silenced and ignored by previous management and production teams. I have witnessed the mistreatment and verbal harassment of my Black colleagues and friends, as well as the willfully ignorant non-responses of creative leaders when my peers have spoken up for themselves. I have also witnessed and personally experienced sexual harassment in the workplace. It frustrates me to experience the on-going protection of these perpetrators, as they are rewarded instead of punished for their behavior.
I have written policies that implement mandatory annual training programs, as well as specific work-place rules, to better equip individuals to handle issues surrounding sexual harassment and racism. These are similar to the training requirements of all New York State public employees. Through policies such as these, we can hold our peers and leaders accountable for their actions so we can create a safe, open and inclusive workplace.