September 30, 2016

Black Lives Matter

In May 2015, the NADTA published a Black Lives Matter Position Statement sharing our grief, anger and pain regarding the deaths and daily violence experienced by communities of color at the hands of police. Since this time over 390 Black people have been killed by the police. In the past few days the families, friends and many communities mourn the loss of 

Douglas Rainey, 32
Alfred Olango, 30
Keith Lamont Scott, 43
Tawon Boyd, 21
Terence Crutcher, 40, 
And the many other Black men who have been killed by police.

Diverse communities across North America are finding different ways to respond to this continued violence, grieving together, making visible systemic oppression by taking to the streets, writing, praying, and learning more about the Black Lives Matter movement, amongst other forms of advocacy.

What can the North American Drama Therapy Association and its members do?

As an organization we are implicated in the struggle for social justice and equality.

Our Guidelines on Cultural Response/ ability encourage us as drama therapists to get involved in playing our part to address social injustice and to support the growth of the NADTA as a culturally responsive and responsible organization. 

We stand with our members who experience the trauma of racism and intersection oppressions. And we call on our community as a whole to bring your experience, critical thinking, research, and artful approaches to creating spaces where we can extend our understanding of the impact of racism and other forms of social injustice on health and well-being.

Towards this end, the NADTA will continue to engage in a number of initiatives:

The NADTA Diversity Committee continues to host Diversity Calls community conference calls on the topic of racism and other intersecting equity issues such as homophobia, transphobia, ableism and other social justice inequities.  These calls give members opportunities to dialogue about social justice topics of concern to everyone.

The next call will focus on addressing racism, colonization and our own biases as therapists.

Facilitated by Carmen White & Kamran Afary 

Addressing Outside World: Drama Therapeutic Conversations about Racism & Black Lives Matters 

Wednesday October 19th, 2016  8PM EST, 7PM CST, 5PM PST

This call will last 1 hour and it will end right before the presidential debate for those of you who will be watching.

Please e-mail Jessica Bleuer at to sign up for this call and to receive call details.

The NADTA diversity committee and Creative Arts Therapists of Color (CATs of Colour) are in discussions about ways in which we may collaboratively hold space for creatives arts therapists to address Black Lives Matters. These spaces will be shaped by those who attend, and may include vigils and areas for collective mourning, praying, strategy building, Black spaces, spaces for therapists of colour, ally building spaces  ... 

In the words of art therapist Dan Hockoy (2007), "There is no possibility to end psychological suffering until we work on the social disparities that result in 'intrapsychic trauma,' and, no matter how much political activism and community service we do, there is no possibility for social justice until we come to terms with the forces of marginalization within our own psyches" (p.37). 

The Diversity Committee

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