Update on RADA's Anti-Racism project from the Senior Leadership Team
Last year we promised to keep you updated about our work to make RADA an anti-racist institution. As we return to in-person teaching this spring we wanted to let you know about progress so far.
We are committed to institution-wide change to create an anti-racist and inclusive culture, where everyone feels safe and is able to speak up.
A review of all our policies is underway, and we have adopted a zero tolerance approach to any form of racism, discrimination, bullying and harassment. We have created an anonymised reporting system that allows anyone to report a concern.
We recognise that discrimination affects people adversely, and that radical change is needed to create a culture in which everyone has the same opportunities to learn and be heard. We recognise that we must strengthen trust between students and graduates and their Academy. We apologise unreservedly to any of our community, past and present, who have been hurt, marginalised, or experienced any form of discrimination at RADA.
In July 2020 we set out our approach to creating change; in August 2020, we published an update on the work of the Anti-Racism Steering Group; and in November 2020, we announced the appointment of Leeds Beckett University as RADA's anti-racism consultants. We have been sharing regular progress updates on the work happening across the Academy with students, staff and graduates since July.
We are creating the foundations for change, with the recommendations of the Student Action Plan at the centre of an Academy-wide action plan that will cover several years and have phases to implement immediate priorities and embed long-term change, and will investigate significant shifts through a (Re)framing the Future: Decolonising Actor and Technical Training Committee, to enrich the curriculum and culture. The work involves collaboration and consultation with a wide range of students, staff, graduates, RADA Council, industry colleagues and external consultants. Teams across RADA are working actively to embed anti-racism in their learning and practice as a priority. We have established an Accountability Panel comprising staff and graduates, to monitor the progress and implementation of the action plan.
RADA Council supports the need for change and has created a Council Anti-Racism Group that will champion the work at all levels in the institution.
An Academy-wide training programme was launched in the autumn term 2020 and continues to be delivered and refined. All staff and students are required to take part in the training, including members of Council and the audition panels. This has allowed us to begin establishing a shared framework and language. Training sessions so far have covered anti-racism, allyship, fragility and understanding the mechanisms of racism; sessions for Black and Global Majority students and staff only; positionality, history, policy and an introduction to Critical Race Theory; consent, power and healthy relationships; inclusive dialogue and conflict resolution; and safeguarding. Future sessions will look at LGBTQ+ allyship training and training that examines class and disability.
The Senior Leadership Team is establishing a multi-year anti-racism project, framework, and leadership structure. An Anti-Racism Project Group, which includes members of the Senior Leadership Team and staff from across the Academy, is currently working to focus the vision and strategy for anti-racism at RADA, as well as developing the milestones and project plan. The plan will include RADA’s vision, values and resource commitments to underpin the work.