Anti-Racism at RADA
We recognise that RADA has been responsible for maintaining structures that are systemically racist. We are aware that RADA has been and currently is institutionally racist. We are profoundly sorry for the role we have played in the traumatic and oppressive experiences of our current and past Black students, graduates and staff.
We are sorry for our inadequate response to The Black Lives Matter movement. The movement has brought action against racism into the foreground and we recognise the need for urgent and fundamental learning and change.
Changes to improve culture, curriculum, processes, complaints procedures and structures at RADA have not been far-reaching or effective enough, and not fast enough. We apologise unreservedly for failings of action, leadership and our systems in making RADA a safe and inclusive environment for Black staff and students.
RADA needs radical change and must work together as a community to achieve it. We are committed to working with students, staff, graduates and the industry to create an anti-racist culture and institution.
We have introduced an independent consultant to manage current student complaints. We are fully reviewing our complaints handling system by September 2020. We will do this in a way that is sensitive to the fact that revisiting traumatic experiences can be retraumatizing for those involved.
During the last weeks we have heard from students, staff and graduates about their experiences of racism at RADA. We acknowledge and apologise for those experiences and their impact. We are establishing a process for historic feedback and reporting and specialist support in managing this process. We ask anyone who wants to share their experiences with us to do so, please email email@example.com
On Monday 29 June, students presented a Student Body Anti-Racism Action Plan to Council, the leadership team and members of RADA staff. Students request that their plan takes priority in any work we do next, and we have agreed it will be central to the continued work on the Academy’s anti-racism action plan. We are reviewing all issues and recommendations raised. The process to take it forward will be agreed with students this week.
Staff have already been actively engaged in creating an action plan and implementing changes across the Academy, and we will bring together all work done across the Academy.
We are forming a dedicated Anti-Racism Steering Group (of students, staff and Council) that will work with independent advisors to establish the next steps in both immediate change and a root and branch structural reform to end institutional racism at RADA. We will report regularly on our progress against our plan and be transparent about how we’re holding ourselves accountable, internally and externally.
- Make the Student Body Anti-Racism Action Plan a priority in work we do next, and agree a process with students to ensure their full involvement in shaping and implementing the plan and holding RADA to account on its implementation.
- Fully review our complaints handling system to create a procedure that is robust, transparent and accountable and easy for students to access and use by September 2020.
- Invite tenders from specialist consultants to conduct a root and branch structural reform to end institutional racism at RADA, advising, challenging and holding RADA to account on the work, to begin work by August 2020.
- Provide empowerment and equality training for all students so they feel confident to speak out at RADA and the industry.
- Support students to establish a union to ensure their voice is heard and included in decision-making.
- Decolonise the curriculum and pedagogy to implement new approaches to conservatoire training for the 21st century, with work starting this summer.
- Increase the numbers of Black people and People of Colour (lay and professional) on Council, Senior Leadership, teaching faculty, visiting professionals and professional services staff during the next year and beyond, and report on progress.
- Ensure the right organizational structures are in place to ensure equity and inclusion at all levels.
- Train our teachers, staff, visiting professionals, leadership and management in inclusive teaching, anti-racism, understanding White privilege, equality and racial literacy.
- Train our students in inclusive practice, anti-racism, understanding White privilege, equality and racial literacy.
- Explore the history of RADA to acknowledge and understand its past and re-assess it for the future.
- Research and address and share ethical concerns regarding sources of income and historic relationships.
- Audit RADA’s media planning against the Conscious Advertising Network’s Diversity and Hate Speech manifestos.
- Create a new Equality, Diversity and Inclusion strategy.
- Commit to embedding reflection, research, training, understanding and action to create an anti-racist and inclusive environment and culture within RADA.
- Establish measures for all activity – including benchmarks and timelines, with clear accountability, monitoring and evaluation.
These commitments are the beginning of the process and we will share progress on the work regularly.