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Theatre professor Tawnya Pettiford-Wates featured in Commonwealth Times

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Tawnya Pettiford-Wates gestures in front of a presentation screen

The Commonwealth Times recently featured VCUarts theatre professor Tawnya Pettiford-Wates as part of the publication’s Black History Month coverage.

They spoke to Pettiford-Wates about the Conciliation Project, a nonprofit social justice organization dedicated to the process of racial conciliation, that she founded in 2001. The idea for the Conciliation Project originated with an assignment she gave her students at Seattle Central College, where she was then head of the drama department. When she came to VCUarts in 2004, the project—and several students—followed.

Today, Pettiford-Wates leads the production of original plays and workshops to promote open dialogue about race and oppression in America. The Conciliation Project is merging with the Theatre Lab, a Richmond theatre group that specializes in “unexpected and evocative” productions, to broaden its reach. The new venture will be called the Conciliation Lab.