The Covid lockdown has provided an opportunity to reflect on a number of issues, and one of these has been our position and policy on equality, diversity and inclusion at the Criterion. We have always prided ourselves on the way in which we aim to be open and welcoming to everyone who comes through our doors. However, the recent demand for change, born of George Floyd’s murder and the wider Black Lives Matter movement has provided a particular catalyst for serious reflection.
As a Board of Trustees, we have therefore worked to put together an Anti-Racism Reflective Statement that sets out our position and is not only a provocation to ourselves, but also a set of aspirations and a call to action to make real change and progress on equality, diversity and inclusion within our theatre.
Accompanying this, we have taken the opportunity to update our Equality, Diversity and Inclusion Policy Statement. We think it is important to proudly state our position, what we currently do, and what we plan to do to make improvements in the future around EDI issues.
In order to move this agenda forward, we will produce a 2020-21 EDI Action plan which will include positive targets and review points and will be a subject of discussion at our Company AGM in September. We are asking all our members, volunteers and stakeholders to sign up to an ethos of equality, diversity and inclusion, and to commit to furthering diversity within our company and beyond it into the wider theatre and arts arena. We will also set up an EDI working group, and would welcome contact from any individual who feels they would like to be a part of this to firstname.lastname@example.org. We are also pleased to be involved in consultation with the Diversity in Theatre Group set up recently involving members from local amateur theatres.
In the uncertain times ahead, we can look to move forward in a way that is driven by a core aspiration for the Criterion Theatre to be a demonstrable place of opportunity for all with diverse and brilliant plays on stage and inclusive company and membership.