If one of us is chained, none of us are free.

This is a moment of collective trauma for our society. We have witnessed citizens of this country cry out for justice while a system that claims to protect and serve them has taken swift and aggressive steps towards silencing those cries as a means of preserving the image of order, and in doing so failing in its responsibility to live up to the promise woven into the fabric of our democracy- “liberty and justice for all”. We have borne witness to another iteration of the seemingly endless cycle of fear, suffering, and death- but we have also glimpsed sparks of hope. 

We see it in the organization, collective action, sharing of knowledge and resources, and refusal of so many to sit on the sidelines while their brothers and sisters suffer. We see it in the public outcries of solidarity, commitments to understanding what it means to be a better ally, and the unifying, unapologetic declaration that in this country, Black Lives Matter, and must be fought for and protected. We have seen this moment of suffering be met with communal love and support. We are humbled and inspired by this, and reminded that, in the words of Solomon Burke, “If one of us is chained, none of us are free.”

Rude Grooms was built on a foundation of collaboration, inclusion, and representation, not just in the classics, but in the theatrical community at large, and in this moment of crisis, we stand firm in honoring that commitment. We stand with our Black brothers and sisters as artists, creators, friends, loved ones, and citizens of this country and say with outstretched throats and full hearts that we see you, we love you, and we will do our part to fight for you. We stand firm in our commitment to combat racism and injustice in all its forms from external sources, as well as our dedication to looking inward so that we may constantly improve our own practices and serve as a better, more complete representation of our Queens and Greater NYC community.

We urge all within our circles to take immediate action. There are numbers of organizations that need your time, financial contributions, and your unique voice. Today, we are using our platform to shine a light on the action coalition Black Lives Matter- Greater NY. Please donate with you can- be it money, resources, or time.

To all our Black brothers and sisters, friends, creators, and artists- we see you, we love you, and we stand unwaveringly by your side today, tomorrow, and for every mile of the long road ahead.

With unflinching love and support,

The Rude Grooms   

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