In 2020 the work of Black Lives Matter, the murder of George Floyd and the global pandemic exposed some of the horrific inequalities and systemic racism that currently exists in our society. These events initiated a call to action in the cultural sector about what its role is and what it can be in the fight against racism and what contribution it can make in creating a more fair and equal society.

At DLWP we wanted explore our role in creating a more equal society, particularly in the communities in which we live. We contracted Natasha Player & Associates to support us on that journey.

Importantly, we want our team and the people we work with to feel that the Pavilion is a place that listens and takes action against any form of racial injustice and discrimination – be that across our programmes, within our working environment or towards our audiences and communities. We understand we are on a journey to improve our anti-racist work and are committed to being actively anti-racist across all areas of the organisation.

We are determined that all of this work will lead to long-term culture change at the De La Warr Pavilion by embedding Equality, Diversity and Inclusion in everything we do.

As we move forward, we are committed to sharing our progress, providing greater transparency, and being held more accountable for our actions to continually improve.

In 2021, Natasha Player & Associates worked with us to :
• Provide a space for staff to speak out especially with regard to difficult customer service and staff situations
• Understand our differences and each other’s contributions to the organisation
• Provide guidance regarding inclusive Board and staff recruitment, working up this principle which now appears on all our recruitment advertising:
We are committed to ensuring we hire people that reflect the South East in its broadest form and we are taking action to improve representation from Black, Asian and ethnically diverse, LGBTQ+ and lower socio-economic communities and those with a disability.
• Write a new Equality, Diversity and Inclusion Strategy and Action plan for implementation across the organisation that focuses on inequalities in our community and try to address those inequalities in everything we do.

In 2022 we have started to :
• Recruit at least three new Board members using our new recruitment guidelines
• Re-build our staff teams using new recruitment guidelines
• Establish a new Diversity and Inclusion Sub-Committee of the Board, comprising key members of our community who represent our ethnically diverse, LGBTQ+ and lower socio-economic communities and those with a disability. This Sub-committee will be chaired by a new Trustee and will bring feedback from the group to Board meetings for discussion and action.
• Take practical action in making our Board meetings more inclusive depending on the diverse needs of members
• Continue to prioritise working with artists who are ethnically diverse, LGBTQ+, from lower socio-economic communities and those with a disability and those that represent the full diversity of our communities.
• Continue our relationship with The Refugee Buddy Project (Hastings, Rother & Wealden) and Project Art Works, creating space for each other, listening to each other and supporting each other through all our aspects of the organisation.

We will continue to work with Natasha Player who will:
• Run a series of  workshops throughout the year with all staff exploring unconcscious bias and discrimination in the workplace
• Work towards a set of principles or manifesto to reduce discrimination in the workplace
• Support and facilitate the setting up and running of the Diversity and Inclusion Board Sub-Committee
• Set up regular “Listening Spaces” for our staff with the desired outcome of feeling valued and listened to.
• Work with our programmers to create inclusive and anti-racist policies and principles when working with professional and community partners, commissioning artists or booking acts.

You can read our Equality, Diversity and Inclusion strategy  for 2022-25 here

Read our blog  by Dan Scales and Katie Lineker about our first workshop on Unconscious Bias and the start of the Listening Spaces