Actors' Equity Association, the labor union representing more than 51,000 professional theater Actors and Stage Managers, has announced that Nicole S. Smart will be the union's first-ever director of diversity, effective immediately.
"Nicole is a proven leader who will help us build new, forward-looking strategies to help change the stage," said executive director Mary McColl. "We know that if we are going to succeed at making our industry truly diverse and inclusive, we are going to need to engage the entire industry. Nicole is just the person to help us to take these critical steps forward on behalf of Equity's members, and I can't wait for this work to get started!"
As the new diversity director, Smart will be responsible for furthering Equity's goals toward greater inclusion and diversity both within the organization and the broader theater community.
"I look forwarding to working for an organization that has committed from top to bottom to making diversity and inclusion a core part of its mission," said Smart. "I am thrilled to put my experience and involvement on diversity and inclusion to work for Equity's talented members."
With more than 15 years of professional experience, Smart previously served as the associate director of Leadership Development for the NCAA. In addition, she served as legal coordinator for the N.F.L.'s management council, bringing with her extensive knowledge of labor relations. Before the N.F.L., Smart also worked at Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu. She also served in leadership roles to facilitate diversity and inclusion objectives for nonprofit associations.
Smart earned a master of professional studies in industrial and labor relations from Cornell University and a bachelor of science degree from New York University.
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