Anti-Racism Commitment

Our Commitment to Anti-Racism

We believe that the support and actions of cultural organisations in the fight against racism is essential. It is our responsibility to provide advocacy and allyship to people who experience racism within our sector and our local, national and international communities. We believe that inclusivity in our audiences, workforce, and programme, results in our best work. We embrace our public responsibility to acknowledge and fight systemic racism.

Liverpool Biennial is principally anti-racist; however, we are clear that this is not enough. While we strive to work with a diverse range of partners, artists and communities, we acknowledge that our core team is majority white. Over the past two years the organisation has been reflecting critically on its anti-racism stance and understands that more tangible action is required to dismantle structural inequalities.

In the summer of 2020 Liverpool Biennial formed an Equity, Diversity and Inclusion (ED&I) Working Group initially comprising representatives of every team across the organisation, 2 Trustees and subsequently the Director. Its intention was to review our culture and practices in light of our declared commitment to anti-racism following the murder of George Floyd. We committed to identifying areas of necessary and urgent change, to progress our commitment to being an organisation for everybody and to ensure that we undertook actions that would result in making a difference. We are aware that there is much work still to be done, but the work of the group and the wider organisation has resulted in the following actions:

  • We continue to be committed to a diverse selection of artists for the programme of the Liverpool Biennial with 50% representation of artists from the global majority.
  • The initiation of the ED&I Working Group which meets monthly, reports to the Board of Trustees on a quarterly basis and is held accountable through an annual report of actions to the Board.
  • We have created an Action Plan which addresses our work with communities, the development of our workforce, and diversity across our programme.
  • All members of the Board have undertaken an ED&I away day with a specific focus on future recruitment to the Board. Recruitment of new Trustees was advertised and disseminated with an expanded range of organisations to support a wider range of applicants and ensure more representative leadership of Liverpool Biennial. Successful recruitment has increased diversity on the Board across protected characteristics and expanded the range of experience and expertise.
  • We have undertaken new recruitment procedures with a focus on actively sharing the advertising and dissemination of roles with a wide range of organisations throughout the region and nationally. The current database of organisations is not exhaustive, and staff are encouraged to continually make recommendations to expand it. Diversity and inclusion are highlighted as core values within job applicant packs and at least one question at interview stage asks candidates to comment on these areas in respect to the vacant role.
  • All anonymised data for job applicants is collected. Going forwards this will be reported to, and analysed by, the ED&I Working Group to inform recruitment practices. This will allow us to see if any action is needed to address any issues concerning the diversity of people applying for roles, alongside people who are shortlisted and the appointments made.
  • The meaningful review of annual staff audits has been initiated to allow us examine data against which to measure change and set targets in relation to the diversity of both our recruitment and retainment of staff.
  • All staff have undertaken Unconscious Bias training and further training in relation to anti-racism work is a year-on-year organisational commitment.
  • Every staff member has one target in their personal development plan which relates to ED&I specifically and is allocated time to support this work.
  • Liverpool Biennial has made a commitment to diversifying our pool of freelancers and to changing our procurement policy to ensure that all opportunities are offered to a diverse range of people and companies.
  • The independent evaluation of LB21 and internal data collection interrogated the inclusivity and relevance of our programme, finding that 18% of Liverpool Biennial 2021 audience described their ethnicity as Mixed, Asian/Asian British, Black/Black British or Other. 51% of artists described their ethnicity as Mixed, Asian, Black or Other.

It is our ambition to be a fully inclusive employer and cultural producer in all aspects of our activity. We wish to be representative of our communities in the diversity of our leadership, team and all the people and organisations with which we work. Located in Liverpool and connected to the world we understand that it is part of our fundamental values to actively work to expose the continuing consequences of colonialism and experiences of racism that are pervasive in all areas of our society.

This page was last updated in December 2022