Black History Month provides an opportunity for reflection. This year has thrown a light on diversity like never before; it has provided Orchestras Live with a timely reminder that we should be doing more to be a truly inclusive organisation and employer.
We signed up to the first cohort of the I’m In campaign in the summer and have started the process of interrogating our current organisational culture, practices and communications. This is a large and complex piece of work that will take time and will be difficult and uncomfortable for us, but it vital and our staff and trustees are 100% committed to it.
The easy thing for us to do this Black History Month would be to flood our communications channels with stories and images of all the work we currently do, to support black musicians, music leaders and communities. This feels tokenistic to us. The work we do with these individuals and communities is important to us year-round and should be spoken about throughout the year and not only highlighted in October.
We are using Black History Month as a starting point for reviewing our communications strategy and concentrating our energy and focus on ensuring the voices of all our stakeholders and beneficiaries are told fairly and equally.