Our anti-racism pledge

Thursday, 02 July 2020

In early June, Create released a public statement in support of the Black Lives Matter movement and the campaign to end systemic racism and inequality against Black people. We recognise that a statement of solidarity is not enough, and that as an organisation we need to act now in order to bring about significant and long-term change. 

Social justice and working for equality are central to our values and we are committed to being an anti-racist organisation. We recognise that we have much more work to do to challenge structural racism and to pursue greater diversity and equality in all we do. This means reflecting on who we are as an organisation, how we work, who we work with and the projects we deliver. We acknowledge it has taken the global Black Lives Matter protests to make ending structural racism a top priority and that we could, and should, have acted sooner.

We will accelerate positive change on a structural level, and in this process, we include our board, our senior leadership team and our working and employment practices. We acknowledge the need to redress the underrepresentation of Black people as well as other minority ethnic groups across our staff,  leadership team and board.  We recognise this is not acceptable and we are now taking urgent action to improve representation across every aspect of our organisation.

By the end of July 2020, we will appoint an independent consultant to work with our staff and board to review our current practices and policies, as well as to highlight and respond to the specific barriers that Black people and other minority ethnic groups face in our sector. We recognise that we need support and expertise in making change and taking positive action against racism. With guidance and with the engagement of our board and team, we will develop and publish a detailed plan that will be based on a clear set of measurable actions, accountabilities and timescales against which we will be judged.

We are already implementing change and we will publish our plan after further examination of our structures, policies and practices. We will outline how we will undertake further work with our many community partners and stakeholders to build on this plan. We commit to reporting back on our progress in October 2020, and every six months thereafter.

This review will examine and agree recommendations that will include, but are not limited to, the following: 

  1. Establishing an anti-racism working group, spanning our staff and board.
  2. Anti-racism will be a standing agenda item for board and team meetings.  
  3. Changes to the make-up of our board and senior leadership team over the next 18 months. We recognise we need to transform as an organisation to reflect the communities we serve in terms of ethnicity.  
  4. Support for all staff and board to engage in anti-racist learning. For staff, this will be within working hours and resources and space for discussion will be provided. 
  5. Reviewing the nature and frequency of mandatory training in unconscious bias for staff and board.
  6. Strengthening and changing existing recruitment measures to improve representation, development and pathways for staff.
  7. Addressing how to build greater provision for Black-led and grass-roots organisations into future fundraising. 
  8. Formalising our curatorial policies in regard to providing more opportunities for Black and other minority ethnic artists and creative practices.
  9. Amplifying and expanding our project initiation process to ensure that our critical and ethical voice underpins all our work.
  10. Establishing a new fundraising and partnership policy that ensures we only work with funders and partner organisations who share our values and have a firm stance on anti-racism and anti-discrimination.

We recognise this pledge is only the beginning, and that we have significant work to do. Our pledge and intentions are part of a global systemic change in how we can achieve greater equality. We will ensure our work has meaningful impact as part of this movement. 

We welcome your questions or comments as part of this process. Please contact us on change@createlondon.org