Below is Highly Sprung’s statement on our commitment to Equity, Diversity & Inclusion (EDI). It will be regularly updated as we develop as an organisation. This statement was last updated on 1st July 2021 and will be reviewed on 1st August 2021.
It is fundamental that we take action against any form of racism, encountered in any circumstance. Highly Sprung have a zero-tolerance stance on racial discrimination in the workplace as per the Equality Act 2010, and the charity’s employees, partners, freelance workforce, and suppliers must comply with this stance.
As a charity, Equity, Diversity and Inclusion is central to the work of Highly Sprung Performance. We are aware that we have work to do and improvements to make. We are committed to undertaking this, to create a space that is welcoming and inclusive for all, in consideration of race & ethnicity, nationality, gender, disability, neurodivergence, sexuality or socioeconomic background. We take a holistic approach to this work; this means being holistic in recognising all areas of equity, inclusion and diversity, and also in the need for a holistic approach to change in our organisation – interrogating what change is required within every single aspect and level of our work. Highly Sprung approaches this work with an ethos of openness, willingness to learn, and accountability.
Our Commitment to Anti-Racism
Highly Sprung is committed to being an anti-racist organisation. This statement lays out the tangible actions Highly Sprung are taking to ensure that every aspect of our organisation is undergoing review, to be inclusive and reflective of society, with a specific focus on our commitment to anti-racism. This comes in response to events over the last year, with an urgent call for change from Black Creatives in the arts and cultural sector.
Highly Sprung recognise that racism is a systemic issue in society, maintained by discrimination and prejudice. Whilst workplace inclusion across all protected characteristics is essential, racism needs to be expressly addressed, given the long-standing lack of progress on race equality in our society and workplaces. It needs to be named and consciously addressed, alongside – and separate to – our overarching commitment to inclusion. As a charity dedicated to the empowerment of young people, as a team who work passionately to promote equity and inclusion, we recognise the need for change, to challenge the racism that saturates every area of our lives, now. Our aim is to act, to enable and accelerate real and long-term change; to achieve this, we recognise it will be a process of listening, learning, and of holding our staff, funders, and peers to account.
What Action Are We Taking?
Highly Sprung have established a working group for Equity, Diversity and Inclusion (EDI). This is led by team member Emily Robertson, along with 2 board members Amanda Campbell and Tony Carroll. We are working to expand this group, ensuring it is reflective of the West Midlands’ arts and cultural sector. We are in the process of expanding the number of members of our board, with the explicit aim to diversify our senior team. It is important that our change begins at the top of the company, and that our Equity, Diversity and Inclusion work is guided from a perspective of lived experience. Therefore the leadership of the EDI Board Committee will be transferred to one of our newly recruited Trustees.
We are devising a 5-year action plan to make the company as equitable, inclusive, accessible and reflective of society as possible. This plan extends to all areas and levels of our organisation and of our work – from our overarching policies, to our artistic vision, to individual accountability of every team and board member. Key priorities within this include (but are not limited to):
- Regularly reviewing our roadmap for change, with tangible targets and markers of our progress.
- Organisation-wide training for all team and board members to increase understanding and awareness of Equity, Diversity, Inclusion and Anti-Racism.
- Recruitment for 2 new Trustees who identify as being from underrepresented backgrounds
- Undertaking a publicly accessible diversity audit, and taking the required action to rectify the findings.
- Working with an EDI consultant to support, challenge and verify our EDI strategy and performance.
- Investigate funding opportunities to support and further our commitment to this action.
Once created and confirmed this year, the action plan will be publicly available.
We have signed the More Than a Moment pledge of action creating change for and with black creatives. This lays out key principles of anti-racist work and is instrumental in supporting us to has establish key targets and be held accountable. View the pledge here . We are also signatories of Inc Arts’ Unlock the Arts Anti-Racism Toolkit, which can be viewed at this link , and the Race At Work Charter, available here.
A key commitment from the More Than a Moment pledge is to “ensure safe spaces for all in this process: encouraging sharing, active listening, non-defensiveness, generosity, curious questions, learning, adaptation and accountability; recognising that this is difficult work and we won’t always get it right.” At Highly Sprung, we are always aiming to improve and grow. If any of our audiences have feedback that they feel comfortable sharing, we are keen to hear from you.