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.

Read our response to this on our blog here.

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.

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

In 2022 we have :
• Recruited at  three new Board members using our new recruitment guidelines
• Re-built our staff teams using new recruitment guidelines
• Established a format for a new Equality, Diversity and Inclusion Advisory Group 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 group is will be chaired by a new Board member and will bring feedback from the group to Board meetings for discussion and action. Recruitment for the group starts early 2023.
• Continued to prioritise working with artists and artist educators who are ethnically diverse, LGBTQ+, from lower socio-economic communities, those with a disability and those that represent the full diversity of our communities.
• Continued our relationship with The Refugee Buddy Project (Hastings, Rother & Wealden), Project Art Works, Home Live Art, Bexhill Dementia Action Alliance, Afri-Co-Lab, Heart of Sidley, The Parchment Trust and many other key groups, creating space for each other, listening to each other and supporting each other through all our aspects of the organisation.

Natasha Player + Associates have: 

  • Run a series of  workshops throughout the year with all staff exploring unconscious bias and discrimination in the workplace as well as faciliatating specific Gender Awareness training with Gender awareness specialist trainers  Andro & Eve. Specific anti-racist training will take place in January 2023
  •  In consultation with all staff, worked towards a set of principles to reduce discrimination and become more inclusive in the workplace
  • Co-ordinated  regular “Conversations with a Purpose”  for all  staff with the desired outcome of feeling valued and listened to.
  •  Worked with our programmers to create inclusive and anti-racist policies and principles when working with professional and community partners, commissioning   artists or booking acts.
  • Assisted in the setting up of career and personal development programmes, Listening programmes and a Social and Well-being group

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