What does it mean for Brighton Dome & Brighton Festival to be anti-racist? How can we do more, not just to promote equality and diversity within our organisation, but to proactively challenge and eradicate racism in everything we do?
These are just some of the questions our Equality & Diversity Action Group has discussed and reflected on since it was formed internally, and especially since the Black Lives Matter movement so powerfully highlighted our collective complacency towards racism.
We are committed to understanding our roles more fully, both as individuals and as an organisation, to make sustainable change for the benefit of our local communities and the wider arts sector.
Over the next eight months, we will work with colleagues to finalise what our organisational pledges should look like, and we have engaged external experts to help us with this important work.
Brighton Dome & Brighton Festival commitments so far include:
1. Ensuring at least 20% of our staff, including our volunteers, are from ethnically diverse communities and backgrounds by 2023. This figure reflects the local demographic within the city of Brighton & Hove. 13.6% of our staff are currently ethnically diverse.
2. Continuing to use positive action statements in our recruitment to encourage ethnically diverse candidates to apply for jobs and to promote roles through diverse networks and websites. Additionally, we will undertake a wider review of our recruitment strategy and progression routes within the organisation, particularly in departments where there is a lack of diversity.
3. Commissioning anti-racism training for all staff, including the Executive Management Team and Board of Trustees, and we will continue to roll-out Unconscious Bias and Equalities workshops across the organisation.
4. Increasing awareness of and opportunities for our well-established Equality & Diversity Action Group (EDAG), to exchange learnings and suggestions so that the work of this group is shared more widely.
5. Launching an Equality & Diversity Book Club, to support the exchange of knowledge and education around racism, especially from those with lived experience who wish to share.
6. Continuing to amplify under-represented voices through the artistic work we produce and the work we present. This includes our ongoing commitment to programming and supporting the development of work by ethnically diverse artists.
7. Encouraging artists from ethnically diverse backgrounds to apply for opportunities through our In-house Artist scheme, to support and develop creative work that we will then present to our audiences.
8. Continuing to use our annual Black History open day to learn from and focus on the experiences of Black people in our sector.
9. Creating an in-house mentoring scheme for ethnically diverse staff to support their development within the organisation.
10. Signing up to organisations committed to encouraging inclusivity and diversity across our sector, such as Inclusive Arts and StageSight. This will ensure that we are listening to external perspectives and following best practice.
We will continually review and renew these commitments, monitoring and reporting our progress so that we can be held to account if we don’t meet them.