Today marks the second anniversary of the Murder of George Floyd.
Today is a bittersweet day of simultaneous mourning and hope. It has been two years since the world opened its eyes to the realisation that racial injustice and inequality continues to exist because of the decisions that are chosen by all of us on a daily basis. It is our responsibility to make choices that lead to decisions that have the power for all of us to thrive, but it is evident that we have a very long way to go.
We must never forget that it had to take a pandemic, a moment of collective suffering, discomfort, solitude, uncertainty and chaos. We had to witness the public execution of a Black Male, George Floyd, to step outside of our comfort zones and look inwards and choose to say never again. We had to choose to lean in and listen to the unheard voices of Black people within the creative sector who put themselves at risk by speaking up about their direct experiences of racism, injustice and harm the sector had caused in the West Midlands and we gathered data to evidence the scale of change that was required, we chose to take tangible action.
It's been two years since the communities of individuals who make up the fabric of an organisation chose to write and post statements, sign letters, and make public declarations of standing in solidarity in support of Black Lives Matter, and two years since the birth of More than a Moment.
Yet, we are still here, listening and held accountable to the community we aim to serve, and held responsible for both the joys of enormous progress and the pain of the injustices that are still happening within the West Midlands arts sector, by those who have chosen to continue to perpetuate a world where Black and under-represented people are harmed.
Now more than ever, we must continue to take action. In the last two years there have been countless events of injustice within and beyond the culture sector. We invite you to take a moment to pause and reflect on these cases, and think about the choices you have made in the last two years.
When was the last time you took a moment to think about the impact of the choices that you make on a daily basis?
We must collectively keep choosing to take action. Below are the actions that More Than a Moment have chosen to take:
We recognise that there is still so much more that we need to do.
The 25th of May marks the beginning, the first push beyond the internalised fears and active participation in the process of undoing so that we as a collective can rebuild a sector that is fairer, safer, representative and inclusive and equitable, to make the West Midlands the epicentre of creative excellence for under-served talent in the UK.
Yet we recognise that we are still at the beginning of this process, and progress can only happen if we all stand together and commit to taking action beyond gestures, tokenism and minimal accountability.
Almost 100 organisations have signed the pledge both in full and in principle, and we are calling on the sector to be transparent and share their action plans to show how they are putting the pledge into action within their organisations. You can see the full list of these organisations here.
We are held accountable by the community, and we will be reviewing all organisations who have signed up to the pledge and removing organisations who have chosen to either cause harm, or have not taken any action at all.
We ask all organisations to publish their action plans by 27th June 2022.
Finally, we invite all organisations, freelancers, communities and individuals to join the community and publicly commit to ending inequality and injustice within the sector, by signing up to the pledge.
We will be launching our annual survey on the 1st of July, submit your annual survey response by Friday 30th September.
The next sector learning session will be held on Thursday 14th July, from 10.30am to 12.30pm, on the theme of skills, training and action. Please save the date and we will send details to Pledge organisations nearer the time.
Attend the annual More Than a Moment Summit on Mon 31 October.
The More Than A Moment Working Group