Like you, all of us at Blaze have been shocked and saddened by the recent murder of George Floyd.
We not only stand together in condemning such horrific, racial violence, but we also stand in solidarity with the Black community and the fight to end systematic racial injustice.
At Blaze, we exist to support young people from all backgrounds to access leadership opportunities in the arts, supporting a national movement of supporting diverse new voices, bringing the noise from the margins to the core.
We support young people to invent tomorrow and create new culture for themselves as the world continues to evolve. We support young people to imagine, innovate, build and create.
Our programmes work to increase the diversity of the sector by bringing fresh perspectives and voices to the decision-making table at all levels of the arts and cultural sector.
Since becoming a charity, we have always ensured our board is at least 40% BAME and that all of our projects rightfully represent the diaspora of Lancashire.
But we realise this is not enough.
We must listen, learn and educate ourselves and others. We must hold ourselves and others accountable, examine our own privilege and facilitate uncomfortable conversations. We must raise awareness and take action to address systemic racism.
We stand to bring about change in our thinking and actions as an organisation to fight racial injustice, working with more BAME led partners and artists and using our platform to shine a light on black voices.
In the coming weeks we will act to build on this statement with concrete steps and actions to demonstrate our on-going support to the Black Lives Matter movement and our commitment to bringing about real change.
We are committed to making effective systematic change from the ground up. And throughout the process, we’ll be sharing our resources and practices with the sector to support and encourage each other in taking continuous action.
If there’s anything you think we could be doing, please do let us know. This is an open dialogue and your thoughts and feedback are, as always, invaluable. Contact our Programme Producer, Hannah Whitlow at Hannah@blazearts.co.uk.