CSA BIPOC ALLIANCE
About the Alliance
The CSA BIPOC Alliance was formed to aid and assist our Black, Indigenous, and casting professionals of color and their visibility in our industry through our CSA/CSC programs, training and education, social media and more, where historically BIPOC casting professionals have felt excluded from participation or unable to qualify for membership. Working closely with the CSA Board of Directors and its programs and initiatives, we are focusing on the greatest needs of our community and organization, to address the issues in “our house” and shine a light and elevate BIPOC casting professionals and their contribution to the craft of casting. The CSA BIPOC Alliance is actively reviewing our organization's practices and advising our Board of Directors, Board of Governors and all chairs of committees on how we can continue to enact a more equitable and inclusive CSA. If you are a member of the BIPOC community and would like to join the CSA BIPOC Alliance, please connect.
Angela Mickey, Mayank Bhatter, Angelique Midthunder, Caroline Liem, Cesar Rocha, Destiny Lilly, Erica Hart, Julia Kim, Kim Coleman, Kim Hardin, Leah Daniels-Butler, Nicole Hilliard-Forde, Sarah Raoufpur, Stephanie Yankwitt, Tracy Twinkie Byrd, Victor Vazquez, Zora DeHorter
CSA Actionable Goals
This is a moment of accountability like no other that needs to be managed with integrity. These conversations may be challenging, but they are overdue. There is a strong opinion about how slowly the organization has moved historically. “What are we doing for our membership?” by non-members and current members. While we give so much of ourselves to actors, and volunteer with organizations through CSC, what are we doing as a vital and dynamic board, to provide a sense of community and resources and support for our Black, Indigenous, and all casting professionals of Color in our house? The CSA Actionable Goals provide a path toward equity for our organization; to address the systemic issues and make the overdue changes we all wish to see.
25% BIPOC & Diverse (Gender, Disabilities) in next 2 years
50% BIPOC & Diverse (Gender, Disabilities) in next 4 years
25% BIPOC CD/Associate CD membership in next 4 years
50% BIPOC CD/Associate CD membership in next 6 years
PROMOTING CAREERS OF BIPOC MEMBERS
1-2 yearly membership events for CSA BIPOC members with network/studio execs & high-level CDs
CSA Casting Exec Members will be highly encouraged to take at least 10 meetings yearly with BIPOC casting professionals (CDs and Associates) they have not met.
Best Practices for CSA membership published on CSA website by March 20, 2021
Best Practices for interacting with Actors of Color published by CSA by March 20, 2021
Code of Conduct for CSA members within 2 years
Immediate adjustment & expansion of BIPOC representation/images/stories on all social media
Adjust leadership images to represent how they currently look (in color, headshot or lifestyle photo)
25% of every panel discussion, townhall or fireside chat sponsored or co-sponsored by CSA to include BIPOC casting professionals.
For film festivals, award ceremonies and other high-level events to which CSA is asked to provide members to participate, 25% of those invited will be BIPOC CSA members.
Continue to support & elevate the CSA BIPOC Alliance Mentorship program for a minimum of 10 years
EDUCATION - CASTING SOCIETY CARES
50% BIPOC class members participate in the CSC Training & Education program within 2 years
50% BIPOC Teachers trained & teaching within 2 years
BIPOC Casting Professional Listing, sponsored by the BIPOC Alliance
In response to the inquiries received about creating visibility and outreach; identifying the number of casting professionals across all mediums and levels; and creating awareness within the community, the Alliance created this voluntary list. It is available as a resource. Participation is optional.
If you’re interested in being part of this list, please share your information here.
If you are an industry professional and wish to receive a copy of the list email your request to BIPOCAlliance@castingsociety.com. Please allow 12-24 hours to vet all requests as a private link will be provided.
- The Alliance formed.
- The Alliance held 8 small group conversations with member and non-member BIPOC casting professionals, including casting executives, casting directors, associate casting directors and assistants, to allow them to speak freely and openly about the issues they have faced throughout their careers and as they continue to navigate in their profession. This safe space helped to create actionable steps for the CSA as we move forward with our goal of creating equity for our members.
- The CSA BIPOC Alliance Mentorship Program launched on September 2 to lay a stronger foundation for the future of casting directors of all backgrounds in our industry. The mentorship program prioritized BIPOC mentees and encouraged them to be specific in what they were looking for in a mentor, especially gender and cultural background.
- In collaboration with the Casting Society Cares Training & Education Program and CSA’s Equity In Entertainment, we are creating bridges with HBCU’s and high school arts programs to spread the word about the casting profession and its value to the industry.
- We are working with the CSA Board of Directors and its Officers on actionable goals, and code of conduct to change the culture and structure of the organization.
- Launched Closer to Equity (C2E), a series of virtual conversations designed to amplify BIPOC CSA members and non-members in the casting industry. With the intent of meaningful dialogue, we look forward to bringing you Spotlight conversations designed for understanding, belonging, and how we can all start to create and propel actionable change in our community.
- Our first conversation, CLOSER TO EQUITY: Spotlight on BIPOC Casting Professionals was held on October 15. The panel discussion looked at the experience of BIPOC Casting Directors in the industry across all mediums and levels. The need for this panel was made abundantly clear after several small group discussions coordinated by the CSA BIPOC Alliance for BIPOC casting professionals to share their experiences and discuss the hurdles they have faced throughout their careers.
Dr. Darnisa Amante-Jackson moderated this panel discussion. An educational and racial equity strategist who is deeply committed to the study of culture, innovation, and adult development, Dr. Amante-Jackson’s work with the Disruptive Equity Education Project (DEEP) “creates space and experiences that foster conversations around equity and dismantling systemic oppression and racism in pursuit of advancing equitable outcomes for ALL.”
Panelists for this event included Angelique Midthunder (Casting Director, Big Kill), Erica Jensen (Casting Director, Broadway shows A Raisin In The Sun, Hedwig), Kim Montelibano Heil (Producer & Casting Director, San Diego Repertory Theatre), Kim M Williams (Vice President, Casting,Touchstone Television), Margie Vargas (Casting Associate, Kidding, Blindspotting), Xavier Rubiano (Casting Associate, Broadway shows Dear Evan Hansen, Phantom of the Opera), and Zora DeHorter (Casting Director, 12 to Midnight, Shadow Wolves).
Attendance for this virtual event: 585 casting professionals.
- Announcement of CSA Board of Directors commitment to Actionable Goals to provide a path toward equity for our organization; to address the systemic issues and make the overdue changes we all wish to see. View the Actionable Goals HERE.
- Encore presentation of CLOSER TO EQUITY: Spotlight on BIPOC Casting Professionals was streamed over a 3 day period with viewership numbering 20% of virtual attendees.
- Announcement. Dr. Darnisa Amante-Jackson will present her Keynote this December.
- In collaboration with Casting Society Cares we welcome back Dr. Darnisa Amante-Jackson for her keynote address, A DEEP DIVE INTO CASTING: How To Be Better Co-conspirators to Marginalized Communities. This keynote address follows our recent panel and encore viewings of CLOSER TO EQUITY: Spotlight on BIPOC Casting Professionals moderated by Dr. Amante- Jackson. This vital conversation takes a look at issues “currently affecting the diversity, belonging, equity and inclusion for BIPOC actors and casting professionals”.
- In support of the CSA Initiative for underrepresented actors we are collaborating with the CSA and Equity In Entertainment in the planning of our next Townhall and Open Call for Black Actors. Look for the official announcement with details soon.