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Anti-Racism Statement

Updated Anti-racism statement from Brighton Dome & Brighton Festival - March 2023

Over the past 12 months, Brighton Dome & Brighton Festival (BDBF) has worked closely with its staff to review our current Equality & Diversity Action Plan and the actions we are working towards in relation to anti-racism to create an anti-racism strategy.

We have reached out to colleagues to learn about their own experiences and understanding of what it means to be anti-racist; have commissioned professional experts to report on the findings; and rolled out a series of training workshops to explore topics such as Allyship, the confidence to challenge and unconscious bias. All staff were invited to attend these workshops.

In addition, our BDBF Equality & Diversity Action Group have been briefed on the findings of this work and tasked with developing a new set of actions to form part of our action plan to address racism and help eliminate this within our area of work.

We remain committed to understanding our roles more fully, both as individuals and as an organisation, and to making sustainable change for the benefit of our local communities and the wider arts sector.

The commitments we have collectively agreed to achieve over the next 12 months are listed below and we will review and adapt these commitments as this work progresses.

Our commitments include:

  1. A target of at least 19.6% of our staff (including volunteers) being from ethnically diverse communities and backgrounds by September 2023. At the moment, 18% of our staff are currently ethnically diverse. We will continue to use positive action statements in our recruitment to encourage ethnically diverse candidates to apply for our jobs and we will continue to promote roles through diverse networks and websites.
  2. Reviewing our recruitment strategy and progression routes within the organisation, particularly in departments where there is a lack of diversity and ensuring that when vacancies arise, we are advertising the roles as widely as possible.
  3. We will continue to commission anti-racism training (including unconscious bias and general equalities workshops) for all staff, including the Executive Management Team and Board of Trustees.
  4. We will continue to hold listening circles for our ethnically diverse staff to attend and facilitated by external experts so that our ethnically diverse colleagues continue to feel they have a voice and can share their own experiences in a safe environment.
  5. Our Equality & Diversity Book Club, ‘Diverse Voices’ will continue to be supported and promoted across the organisation, to help us all exchange knowledge and become better informed, especially by those with lived experience of racism.
  6. We will continue to amplify under-represented voices through the artistic work we produce and present. This includes an ongoing commitment to programming and supporting the development of work by ethnically diverse artists.
  7. We will encourage more people from diverse backgrounds to apply for our In-house Artist scheme. By supporting the development of diverse work from our own artists, we can present a more diverse programme of work to our audiences.
  8. We will continue to use our annual Black History Family Day to learn from and focus on the experiences of Black people in the arts.
  9. We will develop an in-house mentoring scheme for ethnically diverse staff to focus on their development within the organisation, which will be run by allies and ethnically diverse staff.
  10. We continue to explore what other arts organisations are doing in relation to anti-racism to ensure that we keep abreast of best practice so that we embrace a culture of continuous learning/education.
  11. Ensuring that all staff know who our Trustees are by providing a variety of opportunities for staff to either meet them or find out more about them.

I want to thank staff for their input on this work so far in helping us to develop new actions to contribute to this strategy, to ensure that we are the anti-racist organisation we aspire to be. 

Andrew Comben, Chief Executive 

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