Elena Chang | Breakout Session
About the session: In the 1990s, critical race theorist Mari Matsuda challenged activists and progressives to "ask the other question" when trying to "understand the interconnection of all forms of subordination." For instance, Matsuda writes, "When I see something that looks racist, I ask ‘Where is the patriarchy in this?’ When I see something that looks sexist, I ask ‘Where is the heterosexism in this?’” In our approach to truly equitable theatre leadership, this practice is essential. How are we reinscribing harmful systems of oppression in our hiring and recruitment, org charts, and professional development? Are we recreating the old familiar hierarchical power structures that were present in our first jobs or our academic experience? And how might we move past or transcend this thinking, creating new leadership and organizational models that embrace our field's full spectrum of humanity? This panel of thought leaders will discuss how they're approaching or would approach this charge, and will lead a full group discussion in which we will collectively envision a new truly inclusive future for the American theatre.
Elena Chang is the Associate Director of Equity, Diversity & Inclusion (ED&I) at TCG. There she supports TCG’s Equity, Diversity & Inclusion Initiative including work with Theatres of Color, facilitating conversations within the ED&I national Institute, and co-organizing screenings around the Legacy Leaders of Color Video Project. Previously, Chang served as program director of the Asian American Arts Alliance, where she was responsible for the development, design/communications, and management of all artist-focused programs. Elena is a dedicated arts administrator and arts activist having spearheaded multiple film, theatre, and visual arts projects advocating for social change by exploring the intersections between art, culture, and activism. She was honored for her arts and LGBTQ advocacy work with Asian Pride Project by the White House Asian American and Pacific Islander Champions of Change Initiative. She received a BFA in Theatre from Rutgers University, Mason Gross School of the Arts.