Black Theatre United, the nonprofit founded to create pathways and opportunities for Black artists, students and industry professionals, has announced a change in leadership.
The new executive leadership committee includes President LaChanze, Vice President Michael McElroy, Secretary Lisa Dawn Cave, Treasurer Norm Lewis and Compliance Officer Tamara Tunie. The committee was appointed for a term of two years.
Members of the previous leadership team included Audra McDonald as president, LaChanze as vice president, Capathia Jenkins as treasurer and Schele Williams as secretary.
The compliance officer is a new role established “to monitor operational processes and procedures to ensure BTU complies with all legal regulations and ethical standards,” BTU’s Executive Director Kettia Ming told Broadway News.
The role of the executive leadership team as a whole is “to establish Black Theatre United as [an] active and engaged thought leader in the Broadway community by focusing on executing BTU’s strategic plans and fulfilling their mission to protect Black people, Black theater and Black lives of all shapes and orientations in communities across the country.”
The change in leadership comes as two significant pledges from BTU’s New Deal for Broadway have been fulfilled. The Shubert and Nederlander organizations pledged to rename at least one of their respective theaters after a Black artist. The Shubert Organization renamed the Cort Theatre as the James Earl Jones Theatre on Sept. 12. Then, on Nov. 1, the Nederlander Organization revealed the new Lena Horne Theatre, formerly known as the Brooks Atkinson. The New Deal was created in August 2021 in partnership with various Broadway theater owners, producers, creatives and unions to honor Black theatre artists.
In August, BTU also announced a partnership with Alexander Consulting Group to create a digital Unconscious Bias and Equity, Diversity, Inclusion, Accessibility & Belonging (EDIAB) training program as part of their New Deal.
“We are proud of the legacy that we are building, and we are grateful for your support as we continue to do the important work to preserve our history and ensure the legacy of Black theatre as American culture,” the BTU executive leadership committee said in a statement.
BTU was founded by Lisa Dawn Cave, Darius de Haas, Carin Ford, Capathia Jenkins, LaChanze, Kenny Leon, Norm Lewis, Audra McDonald, Michael McElroy, Brian Stokes Mitchell, Wendell Pierce, Billy Porter, Anna Deavere Smith, Allyson Tucker, Tamara Tunie, Lillias White, NaTasha Yvette Williams, Schele Williams and Vanessa Williams.