Why do we ask for you to identify your race on surveys?
Since some people have wondered why we ask this question, we provide this context. All demographic questions we ask on surveys help us to better understand who we are serving and whether there are disparities in that service. We ask about race, specifically, for those reasons.
We recognize that the lived experiences of Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC) have been negatively impacted by systemic racism, including by predominantly-white institutions like Trinity Rep. As part of our commitment to being an anti-racist organization, we are working toward making Trinity Rep a more welcoming and inclusive organization for people who have not felt at-home here in the past, including BIPOC audience members, students, and community members. In order to accomplish that goal, we need to make sure that we are listening to their voices.
For example, if 90% of our audience thinks we are doing a great job at customer service, we might pat ourselves on the back and then see how we might move that number a little higher. However, if the 10% of people who don’t think we are doing a great job at providing customer service are disproportionately members of the BIPOC community, we would know that we have a lot more work to do in creating an equitable experience.
These demographic survey questions also help us to measure progress toward our goal of increasing representation from historically underserved populations. In the spirit of the adage “that which gets measured gets done,” this survey question is one of the tools that we use to determine the effectiveness of our outreach and community engagement efforts. It also helps dispel myths like “Black audiences only come to the theater for Black plays.”
We hope this provides more clarity around why this information is important to collect.
We appreciate the information provided by respondents, although all demographic questions on our surveys are optional. If you have any question or comments, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.