Anti-Racism Commitment

Our Commitment to Anti-Racism

We believe that the support and actions of cultural organisations in the fight against racism is essential. It is our responsibility to provide allyship to people of colour within our sector and our local, national and international communities. We embrace our public responsibility to acknowledge and fight systemic racism.

Liverpool Biennial is anti-racist in principle, however we are clear that this is not enough. While we strive to work with a diverse range of partners, artists and communities, we acknowledge that our core team is majority white. Over the past year the organisation has been reflecting critically on its anti-racism stance and understands that more tangible action is required to dismantle structural inequalities.

In the summer of 2020 Liverpool Biennial formed an Equity, Diversity and Inclusion Working Group comprising representatives of every team across the organisation, 2 trustees and subsequently the Director. Its intention was to review our culture and practices in light of our declared commitment to anti-racism following the murder of George Floyd. We committed to identifying areas of necessary and urgent change, to progress our commitment to being an organisation for everybody and to ensure that we undertook actions that would result in making a difference. We are aware that there is much work still to be done, but the work of the group and the wider organisation has resulted in the following actions:

  • The initiation of the Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Group which meets monthly, reports into the Board of Trustees on a quarterly basis and is held internally accountable through an annual report of actions to the Board.
  • All members of the Board have undertaken a Diversity, Equity and Inclusion away day with a specific focus on future recruitment to the Board. Recruitment of new trustees has been advertised and disseminated with an expanded range of organisations to support a wide range of applicants and ensure more representative leadership of Liverpool Biennial.
  • We have undertaken new recruitment procedures with a focus on actively sharing the advertising and dissemination of roles with a wide range of organisations throughout the region and nationally. The current database of organisations is not exhaustive and staff are encouraged to continually make recommendations to expand it.
  • All anonymised data for job applicants is collected. Going forwards this will be reported to, and analysed by, the Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Group to inform recruitment drives, allowing us see if roles are being shared and disseminated effectively.
  • The meaningful review of annual staff audits has been initiated to allow us examine data against which to measure change and set targets in relation to the diversity of both our recruitment and retainment of staff.
  • All staff have undertaken Unconscious Bias training. There is a commitment to continuing training in anti-racism with all staff over the next year.
  • Every staff member has one target in their personal development plan which relates to DE&I specifically and is allocated time to support this work.
  • Liverpool Biennial has made a commitment to diversifying our pool of freelancers and to changing our procurement policy to ensure that all opportunities are offered to a diverse range of people and companies.
  • We have confirmed a continued commitment to 50% representation of Black and ethnically diverse artists in the programme of the Liverpool Biennial.
  • The Stomach and the Port in 2021 saw us work with a selection of artists from over 30 countries, with over 50% describing their ethnicity as Asian, Black, Latin American, Mixed or Other. For the first time, our communications around our exhibition sites included references to the context of colonial and Transatlantic Slave Trade histories which many artists responded to. 18% of audiences described their ethnicity as Mixed, Asian/Asian British, Black/Black British or Other.

It is our ambition to be a fully inclusive employer and cultural producer in all aspects of our activity. We wish to be representative of our communities in the diversity of our leadership, team and all the people and organisations with which we work. Located in Liverpool and connected to the world we understand that it is part of our fundamental values to actively work to expose the continuing consequences of colonialism and experiences of racism that are pervasive in all areas of our society.

Last updated: December 2021