Anti-Racist Action Plan – June 2022

This Anti-Racist Action Plan is a working document that has been prompted by our commitment to the More Than a Moment pledge. It offers a good opportunity to share work we have been doing and intend to do as we consider how Spectra, which is founded on principles of radical inclusion, actively contributes to dismantling racist systems and structures. It is important to us that this is a working document so that it is regularly tended and in our minds – and so that it is able to be responsive to new learning, understanding and current events.

The idea of radical inclusion is critical to our work and our approach to making change. To us, this means that we are not seeking to include people who have been excluded and underserved into the current imbalanced, inequitable and ill system. Instead, we seek to work in coalition to create a new and different system that is not only equitable, but celebrates the innovation that only truly diverse collaboration can manifest.

Accountability

We recognise that many of the actions described herein contain an element of flexibility, which is to say that they are not measurable because they have not been pinned to specific statistics. We think deeply about this work and want to be transparent: this plan is where our work to date has brought us. We are eager to be more specific in measuring our progress towards our goals and will be able to do so in a meaningful way by the end of September 2022. 

We have begun work on adapting the More Than a Moment Tracker provided by Birmingham Hippodrome to suit our organisation. This work has been challenging. We pledge to complete this work and update this Action Plan with more readily measurable goals by the end of September 2022.

Learning

We recognise the importance of developing our understanding of racism and how best to combat it. As a neurodiverse organisation, we aim to ensure knowledge is shared across the organisation so that decision making is authentically egalitarian – our anti-racist work is no exception. For 19 months we have been running an Anti-Racism Forum with Open Theatre that explores concepts in an accessible way such as generational trauma, toxic positivity, issues with white feminism, etc. This group will continue, with plans for consultation over the summer about what forum attendees want to gain a deeper understanding of and what will best support the shift from discussion to action. We look forward to welcoming an external facilitator in the autumn, who will focus on helping us achieve the goals that consultation sets out. 

We value the quarterly learning sessions run by More Than a Moment and the opportunity to connect with peers provided therein. The content from these sessions is shared and discussed at Board Meetings.

The ripple effect of this learning underpins all we do. 

Recruitment

We have undertaken a significant amount of recruitment recently and are pleased that our workforce has been diversified in several different ways. That said, we acknowledge that our workforce still does not reflect the wonderful racial diversity of our local area. We are keen to analyse data from this recruitment to assess where we can do better at reaching and engaging under-represented people. We will also be researching examples of recruitment processes that have successfully diversified workforces. 

We will be recruiting for a new Chair of our Board over the summer and early autumn. We are determined that this new leadership role will be filled by a member of the global majority.

We are currently seeking funding for a new touring production; should we be successful, 50% of the cast for that show will represent the global majority.

Working Culture

We acknowledge that a crucial part of improving the diversity of our workforce is ensuring that our company is a safe and welcoming place for all people to work. Inspired by Ort Gallery, we will create a Warmth Policy that sets out the culture of care, openness, authenticity and empowerment we curate for those we engage with, internally and externally. This policy will address how we manage conflict, provide safe spaces, and challenge harassment. We will have this policy in place by Jan 2023.

Community Work

Our work includes engagement with the wider community as participants, co-creators, and audience members. The line of enquiry we follow in this work is, ‘How do we create inclusive spaces that encourage play for everybody?’ In seeking to ensure that the everybody in that question includes people who are not currently served well by publicly funded culture, we map the local area before each project to identify communities to whom this applies and with whom we are not yet engaging. We seek to develop mutually beneficial relationships with connected creatives and organisations embedded in under-served communities, seeking to better understand communities’ needs, wishes and barriers to their involvement.

Anecdotal evidence demonstrates that this approach has had some success. As part of our evaluative process for our current project, Abundance, we will analyse statistical and qualitative data about this aspect of our work and set specific targets based on that analysis by 30 September 2022.

With forward movement in mind, we are eager to discuss our work on anti-racism and related ideas. Please contact kate@wearespectra.co.uk to start a conversation.