(Social Justice Theater)
The Scarlet Sock Foundation was created to share Laura’s love for theater and compassion for all people by supporting local social justice theater projects for children and young adults.
What is Social Justice Theater?
Social justice theater is a tool for promoting awareness of socially relevant topics. It is a platform for expression of individual differences and a catalyst for much needed discussions among community members who feel marginalized or stigmatized. As a result, it fosters inclusion and strengthens the bonds within diverse communities. Simply providing theater opportunities to under-served communities and minority populations can achieve this goal regardless of the subject of the production.
Why is Social Justice Theater Important?
According to the American Alliance for Theatre and Education (AATE), students involved in drama outscore their peers on standardized tests. Drama improves reading comprehension, verbal and nonverbal communications skills and reduces high school drop out rates. It can be specifically helpful for students with learning differences. Theater improves self-esteem and can bridge the achievement gap between students of varying abilities, socioeconomic status and geographies.
Statistics available through Americans for the Arts reveal that adults, teens, and children who have participated in community arts projects walk away with a stronger sense of self and deeper empathy for others. They have more diverse friend-groups and are less likely to use racially insensitive language. Also striking is that between 2000-2010, low-income and highly disadvantaged communities saw a 75% decrease in income disparity when arts organizations were introduced into their neighborhoods. Social justice theater aims to empower its participants and raises the voices of marginalized individuals and communities.