The Serpentine supports the fight against racial injustice taking place around the world. We are committed to building an anti-racist organisation in the service of artists and audiences.
We thank everyone in our community who has spoken with us and challenged us to do more. For all that we have accomplished already, we have not accomplished enough. We recognise that it is essential not only to take action quickly, but also to ensure that action is continuous and sustained.
Anti-racism will be a core component of our decision-making going forward. This starts with the formation of a task force to implement transformative change at the Serpentine. We will also introduce an apprenticeship and career advancement programme for underrepresented groups as the first step in an expanded recruitment effort, and provide enhanced unconscious bias and anti-racism training across the organisation. We are committed to developing and delivering an anti-racism plan to create an inclusive and equitable space for all.
We will be updating specific actions regularly on our website as our anti-racism plan develops.
Update 17 September 2020
In June 2020 we began a programme of change at the Serpentine. This includes training and support for staff at all levels over a six-month period with coach-consultants Mel Larsen and Ishreen Bradley.
The purpose of this phase of work is to:
- Develop a structured approach to monitoring our progress and accountability in becoming anti-racist at the Serpentine
- Listen to the opinions and experience of all our staff
- Build capacity of all staff in the natural and authentic use of inclusive behaviours, language and leadership
The anti-racism programme includes:
- Scoping and preparatory work: one-on-one interviews, staff survey, listening circles with all staff
- Coaching, consulting and communications support with Directors and Senior Management Team and any advisory groups developed along the way
- A series of training modules beginning September 2020 for all staff, focusing on the following areas:
- Racist ideologies, structural racism, unconscious bias and their impact
- Gaps in our culture, privilege, learning and growth needs, action planning
- Releasing old emotions and habits, strategies for resolution, a new future
In September 2020 we established The Progress Project, a diverse and inclusive collective of staff at the Serpentine who have come together to ensure the voices of People of Colour are included in the Serpentine’s transformation into an anti-racist organisation.
The Progress Project’s work will include:
- Ensuring that the voice of People of Colour is heard and integrated into the transformation process
- Developing, contributing to and leading a number of staff working groups to focus on specific areas of change
- Supporting the Serpentine’s internal and external communications strategy
- Improving accessibility for audiences around Serpentine programming
In November 2020 the Serpentine plans to hire a Project Management apprentice. We are working with WhiteHat to access a pool of diverse talent and recruitment will commence shortly.
Update May 2021
Serpentine has pledged to promote anti-racism in all that we do: the content of our programmes, the culture of our workplace, the diversity of our staff and the experiences of our audiences. In 2020 we began our work with diversity and inclusion consultants who are leading a programme of change that involves staff and leadership at all levels of the organisation and will be sustained for the foreseeable future.
Since October 2020, nine Race Resolutions Teams have been established at Serpentine. Made up of members of staff at all levels, these teams are responsible for meeting monthly to address our anti-racism culture across different areas of the organisation:
o Vision and direction
o Attracting and recruiting a diverse talent pool
o HR policies and procedures
o Nurturing and developing diverse talent
o Changing attitudes and behaviours
o Maintaining a diverse, artist-led programme
o Diverse audience development
o Visibility and reputation; and
o Ensuring a successful transformation process
Serpentine is continuing its programme of training and support for staff at all levels.