We are saddened to announce that our folk dance family has lost Chuck Roth, a long-time member of and leader in Austin International Folk Dancers (AIFD) and Texas International Folk Dancers (TIFD), who passed away on Wednesday, August 24. His funeral service will be held on Tuesday, September 6, at 2:00 PM at Covenant Presbyterian Church, 3003 Northland Drive, in Austin.
Just as the #MeToo movement sparked a national conversation about sexual harassment, so, too, have the deaths of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery and others prompted us to examine the effects of systemic racism in our communities.Â Â We on the board of Texas International Folk Dancers join with many other folk dance groups across the nation when we affirm:
Black Lives Matter.
In 2017, TIFD instituted a Code of Conduct, formalizing our commitment to creating a safe, welcoming environment for all dancers. This includes freedom from discrimination based on gender, age, physical appearance, sexual orientation, race, ethnicity, country of origin, religion, or physical or mental capability. Â Whether meeting in person or online, we welcome everyone to our events, including individuals who identify as Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC).
It goes without saying that TIFD values and celebrates cultures from around the world.Â Their traditional music, dances, and clothing have contributed to the rich and vibrant experiences enjoyed at our events for over 72 years. And yet, as the society in which TIFD resides shifts, it is important to take this moment to explicitly affirm our commitment to inclusivity, actively invite people of all races and backgrounds to join us in our celebration of folk dancing, and effectively do all that we can to make our spaces as safe and welcoming as possible.