About Black Lives Matter. Black Stories Matter. Black Voices Matter.


BLACK LIVES MATTER. We will say it again: Black. Lives. Matter. If you have not repeated these words aloud over the past few weeks, we implore you to do so and to do so often. Say these words aloud to yourselves, to your families, to your friends, to your co-workers, to your supervisor, to your neighbors, and in public. These words also gain power when shouted at the top of your lungs, fully embraced.

We stand in solidarity with Black communities and condemn the institutional and systemic racism and abhorrent brutality inflicted upon Black mothers, Black fathers, Black sons, and Black daughters for more than 400 years.


We stand in solidarity with Black communities in uplifting the urgent call for action to dismantle the cruel systems and ideologies which have oppressed Black lives for far too long. Black Lives Matter. Black Stories Matter. Black Voices Matter.

There are many films we could recommend for you to watch to educate yourselves about the causes and effects of individual and institutional racism in the United States and beyond. This email is not that. We encourage you to seek out these stories on your own, prioritizing films written and directed by Black artists. This email is for us to tell you about the work we are doing in our organization to address issues of systemic racism and inequity, how we will push ourselves to do more, and how we will hold ourselves accountable. We will likely make missteps, but not making any steps at all is utterly unacceptable.

We must all take deliberate, immediate, and sustained action to dismantle systemic and institutional racism. IU Cinema has always been committed to inclusion and equity, but we need to do more.

Here are the actions we have begun taking and are committed to continuing in the weeks and months ahead:

We will assess all areas of operations and take action on developing and instituting an IU Cinema Equity and Inclusion Accountability Plan.

  • Embrace and support as professional development IU Cinema staff engagement and participation in anti-racist direct action and efforts toward increasing personal literacy about race, racism, and White supremacy
  • Conduct an organizational audit and develop an action plan utilizing Alliance for Action’s Tools for Addressing and Assessing Institutional Equity
  • Review, assess, and adjust all position descriptions to eliminate unconscious-bias language and qualifications
  • Include a Land Acknowledgment—as guided by First Nations Educational & Cultural Center—on IU Cinema’s website, in pre-show event slides, and in film introductions recognizing our organization was built and operates upon Indigenous land following the forced removal of the Miami, Delaware, Potawatomi, and Shawnee people
  • Collaborate with IU’s Associate Vice Provost of Arts and Humanities and Vice Provost of Diversity and Inclusion to establish an Equity and Inclusion in the Arts and Humanities Task Force, requiring participation by all campus arts and humanities public presenters

We will ensure training in unconscious bias, anti-racism, and equity and inclusion is provided to all IU Cinema staff, volunteers, and board members.

  • Require unconscious-bias training for all full-time staff, part-time staff, volunteers, and IU Cinema Program Advisory Board members, renewed annually
  • Require anti-racism and inclusion training for all supervisory staff and hiring committee members
  • Provide anti-racism and inclusion training for all full-time staff, part-time staff, volunteers, IU Cinema Program Advisory Board members

We will ensure greater access to IU Cinema’s Creative Collaborations Program and membership on the IU Cinema Program Advisory Board.

  • Create and institute nomination process for IU Cinema Program Advisory Board with public call for nominations, including self-nominations
  • Establish board member term limits, reduce terms from three years to two years
  • Review, assess, and adjust IU Cinema’s Creative Collaborations application to ensure no unconscious-bias language or qualifications are included
  • Provide greater accessibility to IU Cinema’s Creative Collaborations Program by hosting community information sessions

We will commit to budget funding for these initiatives as a critical part of IU Cinema’s operations.

  • Reallocate Creative Collaborations fee remissions to prioritize full funding support for two program proposals each semester curated by Black, Indigenous, and People of Color with priority on programs illuminating social justice issues and celebrating BIPOC creativity in filmmaking
  • Commit funding for all action items listed herein
  • Actively seek donor funding to sustain these efforts

Indiana University’s motto is Lux et Veritas, meaning LIGHT AND TRUTH. 

Now is a time for TRUTH—the recognition institutional and systemic racism exists and has flourished far too long.

Now is a time for LIGHT—the illumination of the work we must all undertake in demanding and working to create a more just, equitable, inclusive, and empathetic society.

Now is the time for truth and light in our individual lives and in our institutions. It is imperative institutions like Indiana University continue to renew, expand, and hold themselves accountable to their commitments to equity, inclusion, and anti-racism at every level of their organizations—not only in the services they provide and programs they present, but in the way their organizations are structured and operated. 

We acknowledge Indiana University’s ongoing efforts to address systemic and institutional racial injustice, including the recent establishment of the Pandemic Health Disparities Fund and Racial Justice Research Fund. We look forward to the University’s continued and sustained efforts to make and be held accountable for substantive change.

This work is not optional. Nor is it the work of one leader, one staff member, or one committee within an organization, but of every single person at Indiana University. Each of us at IU Cinema is committed to doing this work. We ask you to please hold us accountable as we continue this work of dismantling institutional and systemic racism and inequity.

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