Central Region independent directors William "Bill" Brown, Frank Galati, Ron "OJ" Parson and Russ Tutterow received the Central Regional Equal Employment Opportunity Committee's 2010 Spirit Recognition Award at Equity's annual observation of Black History Month at the Goodman Theatre on Monday, March 15, 2010. The presentation was part of the Committee's Spirit, a Celebration of Diversity program honoring members of color and Central Region theatres whose mission is to present work that is by, for and about diverse racial and ethnic groups as well as women, seniors, the disabled and the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) communities. Wydetta Carter and Ron Keaton made the presentation in the absence of Committee Co-Chairs Cheryl Lynn Bruce and E. Faye Butler, who were both working out-of-town.
Now co-sponsored by the Goodman, the event also recognized the following theatres: About Face Theatre, Black Ensemble Theatre, Chicago Dramatists, Collaboraction, Court Theatre, Congo Square Theatre Company, Detroit Repertory, Goodman Theatre, Hansberry-Sands, Illinois Theatre Center, Mixed Blood, Penumbra, St. Louis Black Repertory Company, Teatro Vista, Unicorn Theatre, Urban Theatre Company and Victory Gardens.
National EEO Coordinator Luther Goins introduced the new brand, EEO: Once Voice. "Agreed upon in January 2010 at the first National EEO Summit, EEO: One Voice quickly and easily states the mission of Equity's EEO Committees and the ongoing work that needs to be done," said Mr. Goins. "Nationally, it gives Equity a stronger and more powerful presence in the performing arts industry."
The celebration also included introduction of a new song by Butch Steward entitled "One Voice". Performed by the AFTRA Singers (Greta Pope, Paul Zimmerman, Joe Wright and Mark MacLean), "One Voice" states the importance of this annual event, which also brought Equity and AFTRA together for an evening of unity.
"We will not quit, we will not bow down
Until our feet are on solid ground
We will not faint, we will take a stand
Can we unite…oh yes we can".