What does it mean to be anti-racist, and to be a true ally to Black, Asian and ethnically diverse people? This is something that we have been reflecting on and engaging with at all levels across the organisation.
Our organisation, like many in the arts, is not as representative or as reflective of Wales as we would like. We are doing things to change this, and to ensure that our culture and attitudes are actively anti-racist.
We want Wales Millennium Centre to be a home for all – embracing and involving everyone, irrespective of differences, for who they are as an individual or group.
We strive to tell stories and amplify diverse voices, on our stages and in all parts of our work and culture. We speak about the importance of the arts every day; but we must do more to encourage access to different people from a range of backgrounds to join us.
During 2020 we published our Diversity Action Plan, which outlines the steps we are taking to make our programme, our workplace and our building more inclusive and representative. We pledge to work collectively to dismantle the structural inequality that has meant that we have not always been as welcoming and inclusive as we’d like.
Staff training has been a key part of our action plan to help build an allyship, allowing us as an organisation to be more accessible both as a place of work and as a home of the arts.
Our training sessions have promoted diversity and educated our staff (including senior leaders and Board members) about what diversity and inclusive thinking means to us in our day-to-day interactions with colleagues, customers, visitors and stakeholders.
Through workshops and conversations with Privilege Café and Folk Training, we have discussed themes such as privilege, structural inequality, and being an ally. Our training includes listening to the lived experiences of our colleagues.
Change and growth cannot happen without these real conversations and openness to differing opinions. We must accept the challenge in order to achieve positive change for all.
We have started our journey and will continue to drive an understanding of why we need to have a clear commitment to making this change happen at all levels moving forward. This journey does not stop.
We recognise and endorse Race Alliance Wales’ 10-step Manifesto for an Anti-Racist Wales.
While our focus here is on anti-racism, we recognise the importance of intersectionality and the role that gender, sexuality, class and disability also play in the experience of inequality.
We are in a privileged position and acknowledge our role in leveraging our power every step of the way.
We recognise that this work is only the very beginning, and we have a lot more to do. We will continue to use this space to provide updates on our anti-racism commitments.