LTHJ Global, a leading national Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) firm, embarked on a significant project with Baltimore Center Stage in 2022. This engagement marked a crucial step for the theatre organization in its commitment to institutional anti-racism and equity, a goal that it has been pursuing since 2020.
Recognized for its leadership in anti-oppression organizational support, LTHJ Global was set to enhance Center Stage’s DEI efforts, promoting a workplace where diversity is the norm and each person can bring their best to the table.
And with the LTHJ Global team’s extensive background in arts institutions, it was a natural partnership to support Baltimore Center Stage’s primary goal to serve the community through theatre in all its forms.
LTHJ Global facilitated two key training sessions in this arc, recommended to support Baltimore Center Stage’s in their mission and overall learning arc.
- Building Community-First Nonprofits: This session focused on inspiring a more radically equity-oriented perspective among staff members, promoting a data-centric approach that encourages ‘quick failure’ and agility.
LTHJ Global’s facilitation also aimed to guide the organization in developing teams and systems capable of addressing deep-rooted problems, rather than mere symptoms. An essential part of this training was exploring diverse funding models to align more closely with Baltimore Center Stage’s institutional values.
- Unlearning White Professionalism: The second training facilitated by LTHJ Global was designed to help staff identify dominant workplace culture norms that could harm marginalized groups and reinforce existing power structures.
The session also encouraged participants to scrutinize their relationship with these norms and develop skills to challenge and apply alternatives “White professionalism”. This session was designed to increase freedom of expression and participation for all individuals, whether People of Color or White folks, along their own personal journey with what professionalism can be.
These sessions were met with great enthusiasm, inspiration and requests for further facilitations by LTHJ Global from the Director of Learning and staff.
Today, LTHJ Global continues to collaborate with Baltimore Center Stage in its Learning and Social Accountability program. The anticipated impact is to support an inclusive and equitable workplace prepared to drive positive change, prevent harm, disrupt harmful practices, and promote healing in Baltimore and beyond.
In the words of their Director of Learning, Janal Daniel,
“I think anti-racism trainings in general can make people who coordinate them a little on-edge because you’re unsure of how the staff is going to receive it if they’re going to participate [or] if the work is effective.
But I don’t typically have too much of those doubts with LTHJ Global’s workshops. You know, when you guys come in, I just know that there’s gonna be really wonderful information, a wonderful invitation to people to participate.
And you know, the way that Lindsey facilitates and makes so many people comfortable, that’s big. That’s not always been the case, you know. Those spaces can be very vulnerable. People can be sort of hesitant to participate, and really just afraid of, like — ‘I’m afraid of saying the wrong thing and offending someone.’
But it always feels like a really wonderful learning moment […] that’s the best part.”Janal Daniel, Learning Director at Baltimore Center Stage