Actors' Equity has always been a leader in the area of Civil Rights.
In 1947, when the National Theatre in Washington, D.C. barred black audience members, Equity resolved that its members would not play at the National and the theatre closed. Five years later, the National reopened under different management and with a non-discrimination policy.
In 1961, the League of Theatres and Producers agreed that no actor would be required to perform in any theatre or place of performance where discrimination is practiced against any actor or patron by reason of race, creed or color. This policy has since been extended to prohibit discrimination based on gender, sexual preference or political belief.
Equity has also adopted policies to help increase employment opportunities for actors of color, disabled, senior, and women performers.