Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Justice at LIMS

Mission of the Committee on Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion

To organize and lead work on addressing the cultural biases and systems of oppression within the field of LBMS, LIMS as an organization, and the pedagogy of the field.

Guiding Principles
  • LBMS is a system that has the potential to transform lives
  • The work of this committee is an act of care, love, respect, and compassion
  • Honest interrogation of previously held norms and structures alongside commitment to growth will lead the way to a more equitable and inclusive future for every level of the LBMS community (systemic, institutional, interpersonal, personal)
Areas of Focus
  • Legacy of Rudolf Laban
  • Manifestation of bias, racism, sexism, etc. in the theoretical framework of Laban/Bartenieff Movement Studies (LBMS) 
  • Structures of Laban/Bartenieff Institute of Movement Studies (LIMS)
  • Pedagogy of LBMS
Founding Committee Members

Name – Location (CMA program and year of graduation)

Natasha Alhadeff-Jones – Geneva, Switzerland (NYC ‘15)

Christina Banalopoulou – (NYC, ‘12)

Nancy Beardall – Massachusetts, USA (NYC ‘83)

Karen Bradley – Nova Scotia, Canada (NYC ‘84)

Cecilia Fontanesi – New York, USA  (NYC ‘11)

Yuko Hashimoto – Tokyo, Japan (NYC ‘13)

Nicole McClam – New York, USA (Maryland ‘15)

Miriam Phillips – Maryland, USA (Los Angeles ‘91)

Nalini Prakash – District of Columbia, USA (Maryland ‘15)

Emma Shockley – Zürich, Switzerland (NYC  ‘19)

Curtis Stedge – New Jersey, USA (Belgium ‘15)

DEIJ at lims

Statement of Solidarity and Action

June 3, 2020

To Our Community, 

“I can’t breathe!”

Contemplating the sobering and painful last words of George Floyd we must remind ourselves that breath is the foundational pattern of all human movement. Where there is no breath there is no movement; where there is no movement there is no life. When our Black colleagues say that they can’t breathe we must attend not only to the surface meaning but also to the subtext; that white supremacy and systemic and institutional racism both literally and figuratively suffocate Black lives. As Ta-Nehisi Coates illuminates, Black bodies undergo daily trauma as they navigate white spaces where they are both unsafe and oftentimes unwelcome. 

We must also recognize that these are not unprecedented times. To declare so would be to ignore the fact that these patterns of oppression and injustice have flourished for over 400 years in this country, serving to uphold white supremacy while causing violent harm to Black lives, communities, and futures.

To paraphrase Buckminster Fuller, if we are to change this reality we must find new patterns rather than hope to fight against the existing ones. In patterning or re-patterning, as our founder Irmgard Bartenieff once said, one must deal first with the breath. 

And so we reorganize by acknowledging our negligence in addressing our painful past and by drawing in a new breath.

We take to heart concerns and issues of privilege and supremacy, particularly the problematic writings of Rudolf Laban and the impact of his racism on the work itself; the ways in which analysis can be used to diminish, marginalize, or denigrate certain body types or dance forms; and the privileges given to certain types of movement to the exclusion or diminishment of others by a system developed through the observation and analysis of the movement patterns of white Europeans.

We stand with Black Lives Matter.  We stand with our Black colleagues, Black communities, Black people.  We stand with other organizations to support Black Lives Matter and commit to deep and sustainable organizational and communal shifts in regards to the acknowledged issues above. Black Lives Matter, they always have and they always will. 

As we seek to create new patterns we will:

  • Investigate, understand, and undo the ways in which we are complicit in perpetuating systems of oppression, and systemic and institutionalized racism.
  • Dismantle the white supremist and Eurocentric structures that permeate our organization, curriculum, and pedagogy. 
  • Create and hold space for our BIPOC colleagues, and listen with the intent to understand their grievances and take corrective and reparative action.

Immediate action that LIMS will take:

  • All staff and faculty will undergo training through The People’s Institute for Survival and Beyond, on Undoing Racism. 
  • A committee is forming on Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion which will organize and lead work on addressing the cultural biases of our curriculum and pedagogy.
  • We are developing a bibliography of Black authors in the field of movement studies; on the Black experience; and on anti-racism, which will be made available to our community. 

We understand that the challenging yet necessary work ahead will require an approach integrating inner and outer, part and whole. We will engage our community in this work as much as we engage internally, finding stability in our resolve in order to mobilize authentic and lasting change. 

In solidarity and action,

Curtis W. Stedge MFA, CMA

Executive Director 

Laban/Bartenieff Institute of Movement Studies


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Resources & Support

Click on the links below for various DEIJ resources.