Theater Professor DeSoto-Jackson Co-Facilitates Workshop at Summit Against Racism

Posted on 1/24/2018 2:52:58 PM

Theater and Dance faculty member Rachel DeSoto-Jackson co-facilitated the workshop “Rehearsing Racial Justice: Using Theatre of the Oppressed as a Tool for Enacting Change in Our Daily Lives” at the 20th annual Summit Against Racism, held in Pittsburgh on Saturday, January 20, 2018.

The Summit Against Racism is a leading educational and skills-building gathering centered on racial justice in the Pittsburgh region. The Summit, in its 20th year, serves as a forum for learning, connecting, and visioning for a more just Pittsburgh and world with the aim of assessing the current needs of the community while developing strategies to combat racism in the coming year.

The “Rehearsing Racial Justice” workshop was presented by group of educators, facilitators, artists, and activists who are striving to create a better world using theater: April Daras, Evans Malkin, Hannah du Plessis, Liz Foster-Shaner, Mary C. Parker, and Rachel DeSoto-Jackson. In the workshop, participants were introduced to August Boal’s Theatre of the Oppressed, which utilizes theater as a language—using bodies, voices, and lived experiences as primary tools—to explore themes and rehearse strategies to combat racism in our daily lives. This theatrical form empowers people to be active participants in overcoming oppression by raising awareness around oppressive systems, providing opportunities to envision action, and rehearsing positive change. By the end of the workshop, participants created original collaborative forums used to combat racism.

This workshop will be featured again at the Pedagogy and Theatre of the Oppressed conference being hosted by IUP June 7–10, 2018. For more information on how to get involved in this conference, please contact co-conference planners Rachel DeSoto-Jackson,, or Rick Kemp,

Department of Theater and Dance