Since the tragic events that led to anti-racist protests globally in June 2020, WYA holds solidarity with the Black Lives Matter movement. We have paused to reflect on what solidarity with this movement means for Windmill Young Actors and to take an honest look at our make-up and our ways of working. can use our influence to create change.
We want to articulate our commitment to combating racism with renewed energy, with a focus on a clear plan that addresses who we work with, the way we recruit, and the policies that will shape us as an organisation.
As a leader in Youth Theatre, inclusivity is one of our core values. We believe that diversity in all its forms is an essential building block for creativity. We absolutely recognise however that despite our ongoing efforts to increase equality, diversity and inclusion in WYA, the representation of Black teachers and people of colour in our classes, our volunteers, team and board has not been significant enough and we take full responsibility for that.
We recognise that we, and the UK theatre sector as a whole, need to address the structural racism built into the sector. We therefore need to challenge ourselves first in order to dismantle the assumptions and attitudes within our own organisation that might perpetuate these inequalities.
We are committed to being actively anti-racist.
However, we are aware that simply making a statement isn’t enough. This is our Action plan.
- We will continue to look for ways to broaden and diversify our student intake to bring in new voices, broadening our creative vision.
- We follow the Arts Council’s best practice framework for ensuring there is diversity at all levels in the organisation, from the Board of Directors to all freelance staff.
- We are committed to offering free clubs and free places so that we can involve people who have no access to drama because of their economic status.
- Our values underpin our work and drive our decision-making. They are written into our contracts and policies so that neither WYA nor the other organisations we work with do not display behaviour that is unacceptable to our values.
- We are committed to ensuring that all staff have awareness of what diversity means and offering training where appropriate. All staff will undergo training in Summer 2021.
- A full PDF of our Equalities and Diversity statement is available for anyone to read upon request.
We welcome further conversation about this statement.