LIFT is committed to becoming an anti-racist organisation. ‘Becoming’, because we recognise that this is continuous work, and this is what we are committing to. George Floyd’s murder highlighted that racism is structural and systemic, rather than being just about individual prejudice.
For LIFT, being anti-racist means acknowledging the wider societal context of deeply embedded structural racism in which the organisation was founded and continues to operate. It means working to actively counteract historic and contemporary, intentional and unintentional exclusion in all parts of our work.
LIFT aspires to use our privilege to dismantle the racist structures around us. This will affect every area of our work, from our culture and team, our programme, and how we support artists and communities, to how we travel to see work. We want a team and board that reflect the diversity of London, a programme that makes space for strong but often under-acknowledged voices, and an industry that corrects the power and access imbalance underscored by centuries of racism.
In aspiring to be an anti-racist organisation, we commit to approaching everything we do through a lens of anti-discrimination, equity and social justice. We will work together as a team, with artists and communities, to ensure that our work is impactful, relevant and available to everyone.
We must do this work to be true to our organisational mission. We cannot be bold and relevant without being anti-racist. Nor can we champion international perspectives or challenge conventions. This work is essential for LIFT.
This statement is one of intent. We will keep learning, keep moving forward, and keep growing. Transparency is important to us: as we get further along in our journey, we will revisit this statement to add details of our actions, goals and measures.
Calling Tree, LIFT Tottenham, by Oliver Rudkin