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Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion at Boston Ballet

Learn about our commitment to this important institution-wide work in progress.

Boston Ballet is deeply committed to diversity, equity, and inclusion at all levels of the organization in order to realize our vision of a company, school, and community that is truly welcoming to all.

Land Acknowledgement

Boston Ballet acknowledges that we gather on the traditional lands of Indigenous peoples, namely the Pawtucket, the Massachusett, and their neighbors the Wampanoag, and Nipmuc Peoples. We give our gratitude to the land itself and the people who have stewarded it throughout the generations. We acknowledge the painful history of genocide and forced removal from this territory, and we honor and respect the many diverse Indigenous peoples still connected to this land on which we gather. We recognize this as a part of our core belief in the transformative power of dance and our commitment to educating, enriching, and healing our community.

For information on resources and services provided by the Commission on Indian Affairs of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, please visit the Commission on Indian Affairs, State of MA.

Definition of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion

Diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) is central to realizing Boston Ballet’s mission to inspire, empower, and deepen community through dance. Our goal is to be relevant to and reflective of the community we serve; recognize value in all voices; create welcoming experiences that connect, inspire, and enrich our community; communicate with honesty, clarity and transparency; and listen carefully to one another in order to honor our varying perspectives and lived experiences. 

At Boston Ballet, diversity is respecting the intersection of varied differences and identities in our society, including but not limited to: race, ethnicity, physical ability, sexual orientation, gender identity, age, religion, nationality, culture, socio-economic status, and parental status. We define equity as the quality of being just, impartial, transparent, and fair to ensure everyone has equal opportunity in all levels of the organization—on and off stage. Inclusion means building a culture of belonging by engaging all voices in our organization and community.
 

Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Action Plan

Boston Ballet is committed to creating internal organizational systems, processes, structures, and cultures that are diverse, equitable, and inclusive. We believe in taking intentional and actionable steps to address systemic racism, elitism, and exclusion in our organization, our industry, and our community.

Organizational change is ongoing and iterative. Following a ten-week period of organization-wide conversations and learnings, Boston Ballet is forming cross-functional teams who will help implement and sustain recommended actions as well as future iterations and improvements. Focusing on four critical areas, priorities include the following:

Employee Infrastructure

  • Develop a new, institution-wide DEI training plan in order to level-set all internal constituents.

  • Implement Intercultural Development Inventory (IDI) assessments for all Senior Leaders.

  • Revise existing code of conduct and protocol for reporting breaches and deploy a new “Take 5” process for immediately and transparently addressing issues that arise in the rehearsal studio.


Communications and Engagement

  • Continue full-organization town halls as an ongoing opportunity for two-way dialogue and engagement. 

  • Determine opportunities for foreign language translation to support multi-lingual internal and external communications.


Governance

  • More clearly articulate role for all Board Committees in DEI ambitions and goals, including Trusteeship, which plays a critical role in recruiting leaders for Board service. 

  • Convene ad-hoc board committee to help develop a new, human capital dashboard for the organization.


Vision, Values, and Strategic Planning

  • Collect feedback, questions, and input on a new version of Boston Ballet’s Vision and Values Statement at all upcoming Board and organizational meetings. 

  • Develop strategic ways to make Education & Community Initiative programming more inclusive by more closely aligning with Artistic canon.

Additional Resources

Boston Ballet’s Education and Community Initiatives (ECI) department has created the ECI Toolbox highlighting educational materials on racial equity and justice in dance and our communities. 

A collection compiled by Memoirs of Blacks in Ballet (MOB Ballet) and The Equity Project is also available.

Our artist/athletes are always pushing themselves to the edge. That passion and energy is what makes watching them so exhilarating.

Mikko Nissinen, Artistic Director
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