Black Lives Matter: Equality and Diversity in Wales
Recent events in America – and across the world – have reinforced the need for change, for greater awareness of privilege and bias, and for the need to speak out against racism and discrimination in all its forms. These events have highlighted issues of systemic racism and called attention to the need for all of us to work harder to ensure that everyone receives the respect and opportunities they deserve.
We strongly believe that there is no place for prejudice or discrimination in today’s society. However, it is clear that the way we operate, and some of the decisions we have made, have not always reflected this principle.
Theatr Genedlaethol Cymru’s Responsibility
It is everyone’s responsibility to challenge racism whenever and wherever we encounter it. As a society, we must be mindful of structural and systemic racism. As Wales’s Welsh-medium national theatre company, we need to hold ourselves accountable and do everything within our ability to create a truly diverse organisation. We must now – more than ever – discuss challenges openly and grapple with inequality wherever we find it. We are grateful to those who have brought specific examples to our attention, allowing us to scrutinise our actions; we will learn from these experiences.
The events of the last few weeks have motivated all of us to make changes in our own lives, within our organisation and within our ways of working. While the steps we have taken so far, we believe, have been in the right direction, we know we have not moved fast enough. To ensure that this momentum continues, and that fundamental changes happen faster, we have established a new group from among our trustees and company staff to scrutinise every aspect of our work and our organisation – and to create an inclusion plan with clear and decisive actions for both the short and long term.
We intend to educate our staff and trustees on issues relating to institutional racism and unconscious bias. We will listen, and invite new and diverse voices to the conversation. We will analyse our processes for creating new creative content, and explore ways to better reflect and include the diverse communities of Wales in our work. We will aim to identify any barriers that prevent people from approaching us as an organisation or from engaging with us as artists, creatives, participants and audience members and we will strive to overcome these barriers. We will share our inclusion plan so that we are transparent and can be held accountable.
While these are just words noting our intention, we will prove our commitment through our actions. This will not happen overnight, but we commit to take action urgently. And in a year’s time we hope to look back at this moment and clearly see the transformation that has taken place.
11 June 2020