Dear Circle Cinema community,

Last summer we began the hard work of reflecting on how Circle Cinema can address our organization towards the important goal of affecting real change for Black, Indigenous, and persons of color. While the journey cannot be minimized by a few gestures, the following commitments now guide our institution as we more inclusively align with our mission: to use film to foster understanding and appreciation of the diversity of the human experience and create community among the viewers in the restored historic Circle Cinema.

Like many across our industry and as challenged by the YWCA Tulsa Triumphs initiative and the Arts in Color Pledge, we commit to eliminate racism.

We commit to listen. As an organization with white leadership, it is most important that we first open our ears, sit back, and listen to the perspectives of Black, Indigenous, and persons of color. We will actively solicit feedback from Black, Indigenous, and persons of color and also create an advisory board of diverse voices to ensure we have expanded perspective moving forward.

We commit to a diverse board and staff and inclusive workplace culture. Last summer as our nation grappled with the truth about the Black experience, we identified board diversification as an immediate and ongoing issue and currently have four new Black, Indigenous, and persons of color on our board and will continue to diversity with each board appointment.

As hiring resumes post-pandemic, we commit to transparency in hiring, development, and the promotion of the Circle Cinema team to ensure more diverse staff representation at all levels. Furthermore, we commit to listen to our staff and create safe spaces for ongoing feedback related to workplace culture to ensure an inclusive culture at all levels.

We commit to equitable pay. We commit to audit our pay structures for all persons (staff or contract) and organizations associated with Circle Cinema to ensure that we offer equitable pay for services rendered.

We commit to diversifying our sphere of influence. We commit to transparently working with more and diverse voices to guide our programming, events, and relationships to ensure that we represent and serve Black, Indigenous, and persons of color equitably.

We commit to transparency and accountability. Semiannually we will publicly report on our website demographic data associated with Circle Cinema board and staff, as well as artists, moderators, panelists, and films relating to Circle Cinema programming. An initial report will be released in March 2021.

We commit to diversity, equity, and inclusion training. Circle Cinema leadership and staff began initial diversity, equity, and inclusion training in late 2020. Moving forward, Circle Cinema staff, volunteers, board, and contractors will receive regular training on diversity, equity, and inclusion.

In addition to these ongoing initiatives, we commit to the following during to the 2021 Sundance Film Festival:

As part of the 2021 Sundance Film Festival Satellite Screens program, Circle Cinema is participating in the Sundance Institute’s Safety & Belonging Initiatives, set up by the Festival to create a safe and inclusive experience for all participants. This includes a required component for all frontline staff and volunteers at Circle Cinema venues for the Festival in Tulsa, and optional training and resources for hosts and moderators of talks and events programmed by Circle Cinema for the 2021 Festival.

We commit to offer equity based ticketing to all 2021 Sundance Film Festival satellite Tulsa screenings. Circle Cinema has partnered with various local organizations serving Black, Indigenous, and people of color to enable access to Sundance Film Festival 2021 Tulsa satellite screenings.

We commit to donate 100% of the Sundance Film Festival 2021 Tulsa satellite ticket sale proceeds to the Tulsa Race Massacre Centennial Commission. The Commission works to expand knowledge of the Black Wall Street community, create economic and entrepreneurial opportunities for African Americans, and promote community-wide reconciliation in Tulsa. We are grateful to be in a position to support their important work.

These steps are just the beginning. We have a long way to go and do not want to minimize the scope of that journey. We invite all reading this commitment to reflect on how they too can work to eliminate racism in their sphere of influence.

Together we can.

Thank you,
Clark Wiens
President and Co-Founder, Circle Cinema