Spike Island is pro-equality and committed to being an anti-racist organisation. We believe Black Lives Matter and stand in full support of Black communities in the UK and elsewhere at this time, as well as anyone suffering from racism, oppression, discrimination or social injustice. We also express our solidarity with, and support for, the Black Lives Matter movement.
What recent events make so painfully clear however is that words are not enough: we must do better and be held to account for our actions. We believe that all organisations should be anti-racist and pro-equality, and so we commit to working hard to dismantle the ways in which our organisation and our sector perpetuate white privilege and Black discrimination every day. Our complicity needs to be challenged in practical ways. To this end, we will invest time and resources into learning more about, and actively confronting, the systemic issues and barriers that cause and maintain structural inequality. In doing so, we hope to better demonstrate, and advocate for, the need for urgent and lasting change.
Spike Island is a place for sharing ideas and engaging in critical dialogue. We continue to champion, collaborate with, support and give voice to a diverse range of artists – including Black artists and others who are underrepresented within the sector – as part of our ongoing commitment to social justice and anti-racism. But there is much more to do, and so we will continue to listen to and learn from others in order to further tackle any barriers to entry or collaboration.
We also recognise that we need to hold a mirror up to ourselves. Although we consider ourselves allies, there is no doubt that we can be better allies. As with many arts organisations, our commitment to diversity is well demonstrated by our artistic programme, and yet we fall short when it comes to our governance, staffing and engagement with our communities. We therefore commit to transforming our working culture, HR practices and consultation processes in order to make our organisation more representative of our city.
We make this statement in the knowledge that being an anti-racist organisation that actively challenges social injustice requires ongoing work that never stops. With this in mind, we will continue to discuss and consult on these issues with our staff, board and external advisors, updating and adding to short- and long-term actions detailed below as they continue to develop.
We will continue to publish our work on anti-racism and in support of Black Lives Matter via this page. We encourage you to join our mailing list to receive our monthly newsletter and notifications of updates.
Please also contact us if you have ideas or comments.
This statement was posted on 14 July 2020.