Since publishing our commitment to anti-racism in June 2020, we have been working as an organisation to move forward with this work. We have worked with an external agency and are taking forward the recommendations and learnings from that process, and formed a special taskforce made up of eight members of staff from across the Barbican who are empowered to consult and collaborate with all staff to lead us in making change within the organisation.
Our Equality and Inclusion Strategy will be updated in 2021, in response to what we've learned in 2020 and to what emerges from the process that the group is undertaking.
We recognise that this is long term work; it’s an extensive project, and there will be short, medium, and long-term objectives and outcomes. We have much further to go, but there is a new urgency to this work in the organisation and we remain dedicated to achieving the goals we have set ourselves to deliver meaningful and sustainable change. We will update with more detail on our progress throughout next year.
A statement from Sir Nicholas Kenyon, Managing Director of the Barbican
The Black Lives Matter movement has demonstrated the urgent need for us to take action in showing an active commitment to eradicating racism in all its forms.
As part of this, we need to acknowledge that we have not made as much progress as we should have on issues relating to race and to privilege. We’re part of a systemic problem and we haven’t done enough over time to address these issues in our organisation and in our sector. We’re determined to change this now.
These are our initial commitments in taking the first steps to achieving this:
- We commit to being transparent as to how we're delivering change. We will communicate openly how we’re doing this
- We commit to removing institutional barriers and increasing ethnic minority, and particularly black, representation across our workforce and further across our programme
- We will equip ourselves with more knowledge; learning and growing together so that we can remove processes and barriers that sustain systemic racism
- We stand for social justice, recognising the fight against inequality and racial injustice is an ongoing and everyday commitment
- We will publish details of how we’re making changes and holding ourselves accountable
- We will create the space for us to have open conversations with our staff
These initial commitments are just the start, and we know we need to go further and to publish specific actions and deadlines for change. But real change needs to come from across our organisation and, importantly, needs to be informed by the experiences and views of all our staff, artists and those with whom we work.
We’re therefore setting up a special taskforce to agree the steps we need to take to remove processes and barriers in the organisation that sustain systemic racism. This taskforce will involve people across the organisation and will be independently chaired by an external expert in this field who will help develop the brief and methodology.
This will lead to an action plan, which will form part of our next Equality and Inclusion strategy and will be shared with all our staff and published on this website.
We’ll add to this page with updates on this work, meeting our commitment both internally and externally to be transparent as to how we’re removing institutional barriers and holding ourselves accountable.
We are changing.
Sir Nicholas Kenyon
Managing Director, Barbican