DACP was founded by Kathy Coleman, Erik Ferguson, and Jody Ramey in January of 2005 as a way to support and expand upon a number of inclusive and mixed-abilities dance events that have been occurring in Portland since 2002.
DACP makes all efforts to support an anti-oppressive environment.
What Is Oppression?
We understand oppression to be any behavior that marginalizes, threatens, harms or silences an individual or group, with the support of cultural or institutional force. Oppressive behavior comes in a wide variety of forms, from seemingly harmless jokes to threats of violence, from interrupting to verbal abuse, from unwanted touching to rape, from hitting to murder. Some forms of oppression are more extreme and irreparable than others, but all serve to reinforce and enact a narrative in which a targeted group is less-than-human.
This is what distinguishes oppression from other forms of discrimination. Oppression is a systematic phenomenon that operates through power and privilege. An individual who experiences discrimination while in a position of power is not oppressed because society grants that individual both the expectation and capacity for recourse. Those who are oppressed, on the other hand, experience discrimination within a context of culturally imposed powerlessness. This may lead to situations in which they do not even see their own oppression, creating a culture of stigma, shame and social acceptance.
(See http://www.firestorm.coop/anti-oppression.html )
Oppression can occur in art in many forms. It can include: using language that is offensive to a marginalized group, reinforcing stereotypes, making broad statements about a particular group, jokes from groups you do not identify with, racial slurs, stories that do not include input from the marginalized groups that the story is about, putting down people in a marginalized group because they are “not trying hard enough,” microaggressions, exceptionalism of yourself or a specific person, etc..
We ask that all participants in our programming, including artists, commit to creating an anti-oppressive environment.