dot-art is committed playing our part in the fight against racism and all forms of discrimination. As an organisation we aims to offer equality of opportunity to everyone working with us, using our services or engaging in any way. We recognise that certain people are discriminated against in our society. dot-art opposes all discrimination, whether it be based on race, gender, sexuality, disability, age, class, health, responsibility for dependants, political activity, nationality or religion. dot-art believes in working with people from all communities and backgrounds.
In May 2020, the cry for racial justice was amplified. Many came together to demand change following the murder of George Floyd. The words Black Lives Matter were echoed globally, and people of Liverpool were galvanised to commit to the work of ensuring that Black lives/communities, and the experiences of all those within our diverse communities were fully valued and included. The urgency of this global human right had never been greater, and has been a catalyst for cultural organisations to go through a necessary process of self-assessment and change.
Black Lives Matter called for action that would bring about real structural change, not just words or performative social media posts. We are therefore working with the wider cultural sector of Liverpool to reflect on our own practices and policies of equality, diversity and inclusion. We acknowledge that harm has been done by previous failings and inaction, and as a sector we are working towards a more inclusive and representative future.
What have we done?
- We offered 20 free level 3 artist memberships, specifically targetted at artists of colour, to help increase the diversity of the artists we work with.
- We launched Flag It Up, our new issue based public art platform in Liverpool’s business district, with a commission for a black artist to respond to the Black Lives Matter movement, as part of Black History Month 2020. Local artist Sumayya Khader produced a powerful work entitled “Black, We Exist” which flew from 1 Dale Street for 6 months.
- We have signed up for IncArts Unlock, which offers a practical step-by-step process to think about what anti-racist action you can take in your workplace.
- We carried out equal opportunity monitoring on our artist membership & found that around 5% are from a BAME background, 15% describe themselves as disabled & 12% are LGBTQIA+. We will monitor this annually and track our progress in increasing these figures
- We broadened the membership of our dot-art Schools judging panel to be more diverse and will continue to do this annually.
- We set up a staff bookshelf of anti-racist and allyship books to continue the self-education process.
What are we going to do?
We will continually review our practices and policies, working through the IncArts Unlock process, identifying specific actions we can take and increasing the diversity of our artists, audiences and staff.
We are a very small team, but when vacancies do arise, we will actively attempt to create a representative & diverse workforce by:
- Explicitly state we are an equal opportunities employer.
- Remove higher level qualifications as pre-requisites, acknowledging people gain skills & experience in different ways.
- Place adverts in a wide range of places, accessed by a diverse range of communities & socio-economic backgrounds.
- Nurture an inclusive, anti-discriminatory culture.
- Operate a flexible working policy.
- Actively seek applications from suitable candidates in underrepresented groups.