LIGHTHOUSE’S ONGOING COMMITMENT TO ANTI-RACIST ACTION
Latest update: June 2023
(you can view the past version here: March 2023 plan)
Lighthouse’s ongoing commitment to anti-racist action
We do not tolerate racism or discrimination in any form and we expect the people we work with, alongside and for, in every way, also to maintain and uphold these values. We recognise the need to do more, to make real, permanent change in our organisation.
The Lighthouse Board of Trustees and team are committed to dismantling systemic inequality. This document outlines the changes we will be making in our organisation and how we will work in an attempt to drive enduring change in our industry. This is a working plan that we will update and publicly share regularly. We hope this will influence other cultural organisations to make changes too.
As a team, Lighthouse will work more proactively in the South East independently, with our partners and with local community and statutory groups to fight racism and to ensure our actions are complementary to those in the wider region. We want to build a fairer cultural sector for the future, and we recognise the urgent need to align this work locally, nationally and internationally.
We will change the acronyms and address the language we use at Lighthouse. Language is vital within structural adjustment, and we will work to get it right - not just as an organisation, but individually too.
In 2021 we developed new diversity and accessibility policy documents. We will collaborate and pay those that the policy documents are for to update and revise. We believe the best policies come from the heart of the organisation because we truly and genuinely believe in those principles.
Addressing our policy documents will be combined and worked through ongoing critique sessions as a team in open discussion sessions (see below in Further Action).
For example, from recent reading and conversations with our Black (1) peers and collaborators, we understand that the use of ‘BAME’ is a catch-all acronym, a hiding place and offensive to some people; therefore we will no longer be using it. We recognise that terminology can be deeply complex so we will continue to engage proactive consultations with communities and groups to ensure we are aligned.
The Lighthouse building (2)
We will open the Lighthouse building for access to support local creative practice and development. We will offer our space for artists or groups with protected characteristics for monthly meet ups. (3)
The Lighthouse team
We will do the work; we will not expect Black artists, filmmakers, curators or creatives to carry us through this process. We acknowledge that there is ongoing work we need to do in the form of reading and research, unlearning and relearning, making space, stepping aside and listening.
We recognise the cultural nuances of communication and will assess and revise our methods of connection appropriately.
We will not participate in panels that do not represent the cities, towns and industries the events take place in.(4) If this is not addressed, we will not accept the invitation to participate and we will make recommendations for other people to take our place. The team and Board of Trustees will attend courses regularly and refresh on an annual basis. By 2024, Lighthouse will have attended courses (5) that address the following areas:
- The Power of Language
- Responsible Allyship & Becoming Anti-Racist
- Engagement and Retention
- Managing and mitigating bias in the workplace
- Action Planning and Committments
The representation in the Lighthouse team should exceed the proportion of those demographics in the South East region (6). In addition to ethnicity, we will take account of other protected characteristics (7) in the group. We will continue to work to diversify our Board of Trustees and team.
Our priority at Lighthouse is to promote art and digital culture through training, education, commissions and networking, and to bring together new developments in the arts, creative technologies and society. We are committed to artistic excellence and ambition, and aim to offer life and career-defining experiences for our audiences, artists and other creatives. To do this, we will challenge the dominant narratives of digital culture which are almost exclusively white, western, male, cisgender, able-bodied, upper/middle class and heteronormative. In 2023, we increased resources to support further recruitment within the team to create opportunities for Black creatives and thinkers, and we committed to continue to make way for this.
If funding support continues to be challenging to support permanent change, we will address our internal structure to make space in the team. We recognise this is about the redistribution of equity and power.
- We will ensure our recruitment process is inclusive and accessible, we will follow the Disability Confident guidelines. (8)
- We hire Black people, LGBTQIA+ and people with protected characteristics for projects that are not just associated with their identities.
- We pay the people we work with.
- We are a Real Living Wage Employer, the salaries we pay our team always align with other arts charity organisations.
- We pay our interns.
Our Board of Trustees provide their time, specialisms and support in a voluntary capacity and are committing their time to support our work as a charity.
We welcome formal work placements for school pupils, these are in partnership with local secondary schools and are part of the national curriculum for one week only. This is voluntary on all parts.
We welcome services that are offered to our charity on a pro bono basis from companies and organisations who wish to support us in this way.
We will continue to source funding for our programme and residencies which are aimed to increase the diversity of arts leaders and programming by supporting artists, producers and curators to develop their practise embedded within our organisation and our city. (9)
We will continue to programme Black artists as part of the main programme and not tokenistically.
We will ensure each pedagogical project will drive change for our cultural landscape and support Black creators in Sussex.
We will continue to actively research and engage with the work of Black artists, filmmakers, curators and makers through reading, studio visits, and broadening our partnerships to continue our mission as an organisation.
- We will evaluate and publish our performance on our website, please visit the Read, Watch & Listen page for blogs and podcasts.
- We will hold ourselves accountable for this action.
- We ask that people who use our building and interact with our programme also to continue to do the work and to read, learn, listen and respond.
- We will keep talking and sharing and learning. The team are working to educate ourselves, and open to discussions and feedback. Alli Beddoes, CEO & Artistic Director is contactable on: firstname.lastname@example.org
- The Lighthouse team will meet regularly to discuss development.
- These conversations will be open to the public and will be hosted online at points throughout the year. Join us for our monthly Morning Brew sessions, and keep in touch via our newsletter for our regular Communal Lunches/Suppers with creatives.
(1) Following discussions with our Black peers and collaborators together with our reading and research, we define Black as anyone whose heritage includes African or Caribbean descent.
(2) With Covid19 restrictions and regulations currently in place, this will be active when it is safe to do so
(3) We have a dedicated contact form, see here (please can you set this up, Jess?)
(4) Inspired by Hana Walker Brown Equality in Audio Pact - see Hana Walker-Brown
(5) The Diversity Trust has several courses: https://www.diversitytrust.org.uk/
#DoTheWork Course, Rachel Cargle https://mailchi.mp/rachelcargle/dothework-course-all-30days. This course is free, but Rachel has a Patreon which Lighthouse will donate to on behalf of all.
(6) White British 80.5%, White Other 8.6%, Asian 4.1%, Mixed Heritage 3.8%, Black 1.5%, Other 1.5% - taken from Census figures 2021
(7) Including age, disability, gender reassignment, religion or belief, sex and sexual orientation. See here.
(8) We will commit to the Disability Confident accreditation in taking action to improve how we recruit, retain and develop disabled people.