Equity, Diversity, & Inclusion Policy

At Lone Star Circus, a diverse, inclusive, and equitable workplace is one where all contractors, employees, and volunteers, whatever their gender, race, ethnicity, national origin, age, sexual orientation or identity, education, or disability, feels valued and respected. We are committed to a nondiscriminatory approach and provide equal opportunity for employment and advancement in all our productions, shows, classes, programs, and worksites. We respect and value diverse life experiences and heritages and ensure that all voices are valued and heard.

We are committed to modeling diversity and inclusion for the entire arts industry of the nonprofit sector, and to maintaining an inclusive environment with equitable treatment for all.

To provide informed, authentic leadership for cultural equity, Lone Star Circus strives to:

  • See diversity, inclusion, and equity as connected to our mission and critical to ensure the well-being of our staff and the arts communities we serve.

  • Acknowledge and dismantle any inequities within our policies, systems, programs, and services, and continually update and report organization progress.

  • Explore potential underlying, unquestioned assumptions that interfere with inclusiveness.

  • Advocate for and support board-level thinking about how systemic inequities impact our organization’s work, and how best to address that in a way that is consistent with our mission.

  • Help to challenge assumptions about what it takes to be a strong leader at our organization, and who is well-positioned to provide leadership.

  • Practice and encourage transparent communication in all interactions.

  • Commit time and resources to expand more diverse leadership within our board, staff, committee, and advisory bodies.

  • Lead with respect and tolerance. We expect all employees to embrace this notion and to express it in workplace interactions and through everyday practices.

 

Lone Star Circus abides by the following action items to help promote diversity and inclusion in our workplace:

  • Pursue cultural competency throughout our organization by creating substantive learning opportunities and formal, transparent policies.

  • Generate and aggregate quantitative and qualitative research related to equity
    to make incremental, measurable progress toward the visibility of our diversity, inclusion, and equity efforts. Once the content is curated it will be added to our website so others can access.

  • Improve our cultural leadership pipeline by creating and supporting programs and policies that foster leadership that reflects the diversity of American society.

  • Pool resources and expand offerings for underrepresented constituents by connecting with other arts organizations committed to diversity and inclusion efforts.

  • Develop and present sessions on diversity, inclusion, and equity to provide information and resources internally, and to members, the community, and the arts industry.

  • Develop a system for being more intentional and conscious of bias during the hiring, promoting, or evaluating process. Train our hiring team on equitable practices.

  • Include a salary range commensurate with national circus averages.

  • Advocate for public and private-sector policy that promotes diversity, inclusion, and equity. Challenge systems and policies that create inequity, oppression, and disparity.

 

Diversity

Diversity is the presence of difference within a giving setting. In this case the workplace is the setting, and the differences typically refer to identity like race and gender, and sometimes ethnicity, religion, nationality, or sexual orientation. A person is not diverse. They are unique. They can bring diversity to a group though. You are not looking for a diverse candidate. Diversity is about a collective or a group.

 

Inclusion

Inclusion has to do with people with different identities feeling and/or being valued, leveraged, and welcomed within a given setting (whether that is a team, workplace, or industry). Longtime Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion educator, Verna Myers, said: “Diversity is being asked to the party. Inclusion is being asked to dance.” Inclusion is not a natural consequence of diversity. You can have a diverse team of talent, but that does not mean they feel welcomed or valued or are given opportunities to grow.

 

Equity

Equity is an approach that ensures everyone has access to the same opportunities. Equity recognizes that we do not all start from the same place because advantages and barriers exist. It is a process that acknowledges uneven starting places and seeks to correct the imbalance. Diversity and inclusion are both outcomes. Equity is not. It refers to the process an organization engages in to ensure that people with marginalized identities can grow, contribute, and develop.