After the terrorist attack in Buffalo

By Teresa Eyring posted 05-16-2022 13:54

The following message was sent to Buffalo-area theare-makers on 5/16/22.

Dear colleague,

I’m writing to you today filled with grief and anger over the act of white supremacist terrorism at the Tops Friendly Markets in Buffalo. We’re writing to all of our members in the Buffalo region to say that we are with you as you mourn. To our Black colleagues, in particular, you are seen, we know you’re exhausted, and our theatre field must play a crucial role in ending anti-Blackness and all forms of racism. 

This act of white supremacist terrorism was catalyzed by “the great replacement” conspiracy theory that has a long history in this country, and which has been given renewed attention by some prominent conservative politicians and media figures. We condemn this theory in the strongest possible terms. It is foundationally antisemitic, Islamophobic, xenophobic, racist, misogynist, and transphobic. It is propaganda used to radicalize people toward violence and the support of oppressive policies. It works hand-in-hand with the demonization of critical race theory to ban any discussion of racism in education. And it is disturbingly effective: a recent Associated Press poll found that one in three U.S. adults now believe some version of this conspiracy theory.

As theatre-makers, we have a vital role to play in countering these narratives and fostering spaces where justice is present and all are welcome. We have a responsibility to our colleagues who are most impacted by this violence to prioritize their safety and wellness. For right now, we’re hoping that those who need to take time to care for themselves and their communities are supported in taking that time. 

Please let us know how you’re doing and how we can support you. If there’s anything we can communicate to the field on your behalf through my Weekly Briefing, American Theatre magazine, or any of our channels, please let us know. Please know that you are not alone, and our field of theatre-makers stands ready to support you. Anti-Blackness and the great replacement conspiracy theory must be uprooted, and we look forward to working with all theatre people to use our power as culture-makers to end them.

Teresa Eyring on behalf of TCG Board of Directors & Staff 

Added on 5/24/22, sourced from UCI and Anti-Racism Daily:

 Here is a list of Black-led organizations in Buffalo that you can support:

  • Ujima Company Inc. (UCI) is a multi-ethnic and multicultural professional theatre whose primary purpose is the preservation, perpetuation, and performance of African American theatre by providing working opportunities for established artists and training experience for aspiring artists. Donate here
  • The Fruit Belt Community Land Trust is committed to acquiring local property and selling it at low cost to residents, creating community spaces, and building accessible commercial spaces. Currently, they are committing funds to cover three months' rent for victims of the shooting. Donate here
  • Black Love Resists in the Rust is a member-led, abolitionist organization committed to addressing the harms of white supremacy in Buffalo and creating spaces for Black people and other people of color to heal. Right now they’re raising funds for mental health support for those impacted. Donate here
  • Rooted in Love is a nonprofit organization that supports those unhoused and disadvantaged within the Western New York Area. They’re raising funds to provide fresh produce, nonperishable foods, and hygiene products to those impacted. Donate here
  • Buffalo Community Fridges is a volunteer-led network of community fridges dedicated to giving Buffalo communities access to fresh & healthy food. This mutual aid project works to build community bonds, eliminate food waste, address food insecurity & inequality in Buffalo. Get involved