New Board Leaders Reflect Diversity Efforts For Educational Theatre Association

Election results support the organization's focus on building racial equity in its mission of shaping lives through theatre education.

New Board Leaders Reflect Diversity Efforts For Educational Theatre Association

The Educational Theatre Association (EdTA), an international nonprofit dedicated to supporting theatre teachers, honoring student achievement, and expanding access to theatre education, will increase the diversity of its board leadership following an election where members voiced their support for EdTA's racial equity focus.

Richard Frazier of Warner Robins, Ga., will become the organization's first Black board president in 2025, after serving two years as vice president starting July 1.

Frazier is the artistic/executive director of Theatre Macon and works with iTheatrics as a contract artist and liaison for the Educational Theatre Foundation's JumpStart Theatre program.

Members also elected Cheryl Williams, a Black educator and theatre professional from Smithfield, Va., to a board director seat. Williams serves as a teaching artist for EdTA and was project manager for its grant-funded program that developed technical theatre curriculum for middle schools in partnership with pre-service teachers of color at Morgan State University.

A second board director seat will be filled by Jeff Hall of Portland, Ore., a longtime EdTA volunteer and board member of EdTA's Oregon chapter. Hall is fine arts director of Jesuit High School, where he's worked for the past 32 years.

Additionally, EdTA members approved two code changes to add inclusion-focused language to the organization's code of regulations.

In recent months, EdTA board, staff, and foundation and chapter leadership have been developing a racial equity action plan that deepens the organization's commitment as an anti-racist organization actively striving toward inclusion and belonging for all. Members will be invited to share feedback on the plan in April.

This election helps move initiatives in the action plan forward, including a goal to have equal BIPOC representation on the board.

The Educational Theatre Association, home to the Educational Theatre Foundation and International Thespian Society, is an international nonprofit whose mission is shaping lives through theatre education. The foundation provides essential financial support to enhance theatre education, expand access, and foster racial equity. The International Thespian Society, an Honor Society active in nearly 5,000 schools, has inducted 2.4 million students since 1929. Visit schooltheatre.org to learn how EdTA honors students, supports teachers, and influences public opinion that theatre education is essential for building life skills.


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