Diversity, Equity, Accessibility, and Inclusion

What does Diversity, Equity, Accessibility, and Inclusion mean to KDO? It’s all about the children. This relentless focus on the children consistently guides KDO’s mission, business model, and growth. It dictates a strong commitment to respecting high standards, excellence, and stewardship every step of the way. Diversity, equity, accessibility, and inclusion have been embedded in KDO’s mission from the start.

KDO offers its programs to school-age children in Indianapolis public and charter schools. These schools are made up of 70.3% minorities, including immigrant populations. More than 80% of the students are on the free/reduced meal program. Our KDO Dancers with Disabilities program reaches children with developmental disabilities. In all, more than 2,000 children participate in KDO’s programs every year.

Our Action Plan

Within our small staff, 36% identify as a minority. Yet, with a lens on diversity, equity, and accessibility for all, we strive to do more and do better. Here are some of the actions we are taking:

    • Using our platform, programs, and resources to uplift and advocate for removing barriers to instill self-confidence in the children we teach.
    • Engaging a group of existing and new friends of KDO to serve as our Advisors to help expand our networks, test our thinking, and hold us accountable.
    • Identifying, creating, and sharing resources that will educate and influence the KDO team about race and racism and best diversity, equity, accessibility, and inclusion practices.
    • Undertaking ongoing equity training, particularly on racial equity and disability justice, for the KDO team.
    • Proactively enhancing our hiring outreach and strategies to intentionally increase the number of qualified Teaching Artists and Musicians of color and, once hired, provide mentorship and professional development training to retain.
    • Continuing to identify, build relationships, and recruit more Board members of color who share our passion and commitment to the children we serve.
    • Creating more opportunities for children in KDO’s programs to be exposed to professionally produced work allows for representations.
    • This plan will be reviewed yearly to ensure accountability and up to date progress and revisions.

We firmly believe and have witnessed the power of the Arts as a catalyst for change. Together, we will continue to seek innovative ways to effect change in our community and the world through our mission and strive to be part of that change.

Thank you to our Diversity, Equity, Accessibility, and Inclusion Advisors!