Impact and Action
Partners & Resources
JAGGED LITTLE PILL celebrates individuals of all identities who have the courage to speak out and break barriers of silence and fear. For additional support or healing surrounding experiences of sexual assault, harassment, or addiction, please explore the resources and community offered by our partner organizations listed on this page.
The Rape, Abuse and Incest National Network is the nation’s largest anti-sexual violence organization. If you or someone you know has been sexually assaulted, help is available 24/7 through RAINN’s National Sexual Assault Hotline. Call 1-800-656-HOPE (4673) or visit online.rainn.org for free, confidential, anonymous support.
A CALL TO MEN is a violence prevention organization that works to promote a healthy and respectful manhood and shift attitudes and behaviors that devalue women, girls and marginalized groups. www.acalltomen.org/
The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration can help individuals find alcohol, drug, or mental health treatment facilities and programs around the country. If you or someone you know is struggling with substance abuse, call the free, confidential, SAMHSA National Helpline 24/7 at 1-800-662-HELP (4357).
Learn to Cope is a non-profit support network that offers education, resources, peer support and hope for parents and family members coping with a loved one addicted to opiates or other drugs. www.learn2cope.org/
Trans Lifeline is a grassroots hotline and microgrants 501(c)(3) non-profit organization offering direct emotional and financial support to trans people in crisis – for the trans community, by the trans community. To support their work visit http://translifeline.org/donate/.
The Trevor Project is the world’s largest suicide prevention and crisis intervention organization for LGBTQ (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, and questioning) young people. http://www.thetrevorproject.org/resources/
More To Talk About
Meet Our Impact Board of Advisors
The members of our Impact Board of Advisors specialize in the issues we explore in our show — learn more about their work below.
Anurima Bhargava is a civil rights lawyer with extensive experience in various roles advocating for members of underrepresented communities. She serves as an advisor to many films and organizations, including the Broadway Advocacy Coalition. Before founding Anthem of Us, where she currently serves as President, Bhargava was the Chief of the Educational Opportunities Section of the Civil Rights Division at the U.S. Department of Justice, where she led the Division’s efforts to provide equal educational opportunities for all students. Prior to joining the Justice Department in 2010, Bhargava served as the Director of the Education Practice at the NAACP Legal Defense Fund, where she worked to expand educational access and opportunities for students of color. She is currently the U.S. Commissioner for International Religious Freedom.
Areas of Expertise » Sexual harassment / assault response & prevention; LGBTQ rights; Representation of race
Ted Bunch is an educator, activist and lecturer working to end all forms of violence and discrimination against all women and girls. Bunch is Chief Development Officer of A CALL TO MEN and is internationally recognized for his efforts to prevent violence against women while promoting a healthy, respectful manhood. He is a leading voice on male socialization, the intersection of masculinity and violence against women, and healthy, respectful manhood.
Areas of Expertise » Sexual harassment / assault response & prevention (role of men as allies, and bystander intervention)
P. Carl is a Distinguished Artist in Residence, Department of Performing Arts, at Emerson College in Boston. He was awarded a 2017 Art of Change Fellowship from the Ford Foundation, the Berlin Prize fellowship from the American Academy for the Fall of 2018, the Andrew W. Mellon Creative Research Residency at the University of Washington, and the Anschutz Fellowship at Princeton for spring of 2020. His forthcoming memoir, Becoming a Man, will be published by Simon & Schuster in January 2020.
Areas of Expertise » Gender Expression & Sexuality
Carmelyn P. Malalis was appointed Chair and Commissioner of the New York City Commission on Human Rights (the Commission) by Mayor Bill de Blasio in November 2014 following more than a decade in private practice as an advocate for employees’ rights in the workplace. Prior to her appointment, Commissioner Malalis was a partner at Outten & Golden LLP where she co-founded and co-chaired its Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Workplace Rights Practice Group and its Disability and Family Responsibilities Discrimination Practice Group; and successfully represented employees in negotiations, agency proceedings, and litigation involving claims of sexual harassment, retaliation, and discrimination based on race, national origin, sex, gender identity, gender expression, sexual orientation, age, pregnancy, disability, and religion.
Areas of Expertise » Sexual harassment / assault response & prevention; LGBTQ rights; Representation of race
Joanne Peterson is the Founder and ED of Learn to Cope (LTC), a non-profit peer-led support network. Her journey started as a young girl with siblings experiencing issues with mental illness and addiction. Years later when Joanne discovered that her own son’s experimentation with prescription drugs led to an opioid addiction, she was motivated and empowered to use her voice to bring about change. Today her son is in long term recovery. She designed LTC to offer families the support, education, resources and hope that her family would have benefitted from. Joanne has been called upon by high level government officials, law enforcement, and educators to assist in their efforts to combat the opioid epidemic. In 2015 Joanne was one of the recipients of the Advocate for Action award from the Office of National Drug Control Policy and was also Senator Markey’s guest at the State of the Union Address. She was recently invited to the West Wing to participate in a discussion held by Michael Botticelli, the National Drug Control Policy Director, and she currently sits on the Massachusetts Health and Human Services Emergency Department Boarding Work Group, the Governor’s Special Commission to Study Licensed Addiction Treatment Centers and RIZE Massachusetts.
Areas of Expertise » Opioid addiction prevention, response & recovery
Angela Tucker is the Founder of The Adopted Life, an adoption consulting firm. She is also the Director of post-adoption services for a Seattle-based not-for-profit. She is a nationally-recognized thought leader on transracial adoption and is an advocate for adoptee rights and was recently named “Seattle’s Smartest Global Women.” At the age of 26, Angela’s personal story of adoption and search for her birth-parents was featured in the groundbreaking documentary, CLOSURE. Angela’s work has catapulted her into becoming a sought after keynote speaker and she has been interviewed and quoted by CNN’s Anderson Cooper, Slate, Huffington Post, New York Times and Washington Post. Angela lives with her husband and Emmy-award winning filmmaker, Bryan Tucker in Seattle, Washington.
Areas of Expertise » Transracial adoption; Representation of race
Jamia Wilson is an American writer, commentator, and feminist activist based in New York City. She is the Executive Director and Publisher of the Feminist Press at CUNY. Wilson is the youngest director in the Press’s 47-year history, as well as the first woman of color to head the organization. Prior to joining the Feminist Press, Wilson was the Executive Director of Women, Action, and the Media and a staff writer at Rookie magazine.
Areas of Expertise » Feminist activism; Inter-generational activism; Sexual harassment / assault response & prevention
Statement on the Broadway Production from the Lead Producers of Jagged Little Pill
September 17, 2021
Broadway is back. Rehearsals for Jagged Little Pill are starting and our cast, our crew and our entire company are filled with excitement and anticipation.
The past year and a half have been the toughest in living memory — tough for the whole world, and in a specific and existentially unsettling way for our cast and company who were shut down only short weeks after we had started. The relief we feel in knowing we will all be together again is palpable and heart-bursting.
But before we reconvene, there are some things we need to say:
We want to recognize the reasonable and deeply felt upset around the issues of transparency and accountability and the character of Jo.
We are thankful and grateful to those who have spoken up on this subject, both within our company and in our audience. We owe you a response in both words and actions. It has taken a moment to put in place the actions, so we also apologize for the delay in these words. We recognized the importance of the work and decided that doing it well was more important than doing it quickly.
In Jo, we set out to portray a character on a gender expansive journey without a known outcome. Throughout the creative process, as the character evolved and changed, between Boston & Broadway, we made mistakes in how we handled this evolution. In a process designed to clarify and streamline, many of the lines that signaled Jo as gender non-conforming, and with them, something vital and integral, got removed from Jo’s character journey.
Compounding our mistake, we then stated publicly and categorically that Jo was never written or conceived as non-binary. That discounted and dismissed what people saw and felt in this character’s journey. We should not have done that.
We should have, instead, engaged in an open discussion about nuance and gender spectrum.
We should have protected and celebrated the fact that the non-binary audience members saw in Jo a bold, defiant, complex, and vibrant representation of their community.
For all of this we are deeply sorry.
As leaders of this very special enterprise, we should have done better and recognize our failure and its consequences. We put our cast and our fans in a difficult position. Torn between their love for the show we created and their hurt and disappointment around this issue and with our words (and then with our silence).
Jagged Little Pill addresses many topics: opiate addiction, transracial adoption, sexual assault, gender identity, marriage crisis, and mental health. Many times, we were told “this is too much” – but always, encouraged by the bravery of our creative team, most of all by Alanis, we persevered.
We are very proud of the show we made and its transformative power. It is precisely because we have made this show about these charged and nuanced issues–a show about radical empathy and truth-telling, about protest and vulnerability–we have to hold ourselves to a higher standard. We owe it to the show we made, the extraordinary people we have made it with, and to you our audience, to keep striving through our imperfection. As a start to that on-going process, we have undertaken the below actions:
- We have hired a new dramaturgical team (which includes non-binary, transgender, and BIPOC representation), to revisit and deepen the script. In particular, we commit to clarity and integrity in the telling of Jo’s story. The story of a gender nonconforming teen who is on an open-ended journey with regard to their queerness and gender identity.
- We have instituted practices that intentionally broaden the casting of all roles to artists of all gender identities. We already have and will continue to make it explicit in all future casting that the character of Jo is on a gender journey and prioritize auditioning actors for the role who are on gender journeys or understand that experience personally – including artists who are non-binary, gender fluid, gender-expansive — or otherwise fall under the trans community umbrella.
- We will cultivate a more participative, responsive, safe, and equitable working culture, specifically for our returning and newly hired non-binary, trans, queer, and BIPOC company members. This work includes listening and learning sessions, bias training related to transphobia and anti-racism, and continuous avenues for measurable allyship and advocacy. To support this work, we have brought into our senior leadership team a Director of People & Culture, who will be an ongoing source of support, training, and advocacy for the company and crew.
- We are putting in place partnerships with The Trevor Project and Trans Lifeline in order to help amplify their voices and bring much needed attention to the important work they are doing. These relationships will build over time – starting with an initial donation – to a broad range of fundraising and policy initiatives.
We do these things not to quell debate around these issues. We are humbled by, and grateful for, the critical conversations that continue to occur. We welcome all who would be constructive in this enterprise. Broadway has much work to do. We have much work to do. We look forward to doing it together.
Vivek J. Tiwary, Arvind Ethan David, Eva Price —
Lead Producers, Jagged Little Pill
September 17, 2021