Anti-Racism Pledge - Camden Art Centre

Camden Art Centre is committed to achieving diversity across our staff, board, programmes and audiences, reflecting our community in North London and internationally

We want aim to be an open and progressive organisation with equity and social justice at the forefront of our work. We proactively seek to include diverse and under-represented voices and Camden Art Centre operates a zero tolerance of discrimination. We know that creating a truly inclusive culture is a journey, and we are deeply committed to this journey, including by ensuring there is appropriate training and meaningful dialogue across all staff and board members to support commitment.

On 1st June 2020 we made a public statement in solidarity with the Black Lives Matter movement, and we updated this with an initial pledge setting out our first steps to actively combat racism at Camden Art Centre.

We now want to update you on our progress, thinking and learning to date, and how we will continue to evolve and embed this work into our future plans for the organisation.

This will be a process of listening, learning, and of holding our staff, funders and peers to account.  It is an ongoing process and we know we have a long way to go.  Our aim is to take action, to enable and accelerate real and long-term change. We affirm our core commitment to becoming an anti-racist organisation.

If you have any questions or comments, please contact us at [email protected]

Updated May 2021

Anti-Racism Pledge

Anti-Racism Pledge

  • Discussed Anti-Racism and our commitments at our Board Away Day, and held this as a regular agenda item for board meetings in order that it remains an issue of importance at governance level.
  • Created a new Anti-Racism Working Group, which includes staff, trustees, artists, and external stakeholders. This group will meet frequently initially in order to connect and push forward our plans, and then meet quarterly on an on-going basis.
  • Developed the first stage of an Anti-Racism Action plan, which sits alongside and interlinks with our existing Equality and Diversity Action plan. This contains specific actions to interrogate our institutional and interpersonal structures, and will support us in embedding anti-racism within organisational policy and culture. This will continue to be reviewed and updated and is therefore never a ‘finished document’.  It will be regularly shared with the broader staff team and trustees.
  • Senior management have participated in specific learning and dialogue sessions with external providers around anti-racism and inclusion, and resources for learning have been shared with staff.
  • We have run unconscious bias training for our staff team and board, and will be working on possible next steps for the organisation that were identified through this. We will review how this training can be continuously rolled out for new members of staff.
  • Secured funding for a new programme ‘Open Up’ delivered autumn 2021, a dynamic season of public facing live art and events programming for Camden Art Centre’s physical and digital spaces. It is devised and delivered in collaboration with artists with a focus on platforming diverse and under-represented communities and voices, and seeks to engage and pilot ways of working to support and attract a new and diverse community of artists, participants, and audiences.
  • Seek ways for our Anti-Racism Working Group to engage more closely and deeply, recognising the need for this group to have more extended open discussions if we are to really enable long-term change, working with facilitators where appropriate.
  • Continue to educate ourselves as an institution on anti-racism, with continued learning across our staff team and trustee board. This is planned through a series of sessions with invited speakers to open dialogue within the broader staff team, and create connection to the work of the Anti-Racism Working Group and broaden momentum. The aim is for this to create a culture of challenge, reflection, and continued dialogue over a period of months and years.
  • As part of our business and programme planning for 21-23, and under the changed operational and financial climate, we are working towards new programme strands building on the achievements we have made to date within our learning and public programmes. This will open up greater opportunity for local participation and partnerships, expand employment opportunities and allow for increased flexibility to respond to need and opportunities. It will be a priority to strengthen opportunities for Black people and people of colour, and connect with partners with which we can share expertise, connections and resources to provide targeted support.
  • We will continue to commission and recruit Black people and people of colour within our residencies, exhibitions, learning and public programmes. We will increase representation across all of these strands, ensuring opportunities for individual voices to be amplified through our communications and platforms.
  • As part of our long-term business and programme plans we are considering how we can use our spaces and assets more radically, making our facilities, equipment and expertise available to Black-led groups or individuals in need of support or resource.
  • We will further interrogate our recruitment processes to understand why Black people are under-represented in our workforce, and what we must to do to address this. We are committed to increasing the representation of Black people and people of colour across every aspect of our organisation. We will be seeking funding for new developmental roles within the organisation.
  • We will further review our induction and appraisal processes, in order to encourage continued reflection on anti-racism learning and progress across the organisation. We will hold any person not supporting this agenda to account.