From all of us at Theatre in the Mill, we mourn with you. We are unrelentingly furious that the Black communities in the US and here in the UK face this violence, dehumanisation, and degradation. That you face this fear daily, and are met with silence. We will not be complicit in that silence.
Theatre in the Mill’s core principles are representation, inclusion and innovation. We recognise that these would be impossible principles to uphold without the creativity, collaboration and paid efforts of Black artists. We are grateful to work with many brilliant Black creatives and to have started relationships with more since lockdown. Lipservice and empty rhetoric is never enough, and is disrespectful if it’s not backed up by action. In the coming year, as we rebuild Theatre in the Mill’s programme and start to present work in our studios once more, we commit to paying and centring Black artists, and to doing the daily work of allyship.
Solidarity with protesters marching in the streets and activists making a difference from home. And all the love to Black people here and across the world who are hurting and struggling during this time. We see you, we respect you, we value you so much. Allies are obligated to act, and we will strive to ensure our actions meet our rhetoric. We will still be active after the spotlight has moved on.
Love and solidarity, from all of us at Theatre in the Mill
PS We’ve put together some suggestions of places to start if you want to learn more about racism, anti-Blackness and your role in it, and support organisations doing brilliant work. This list is nowhere near exhaustive, and we recommend following Black activists and artists online to find out more.
Some learning resources for you to look at:
- Let’s Talk About Race – a panel discussion hosted by Brunel University, to discuss experiences of racism, white privilege, learning the ‘codes of behaviour’ and how we can ever make universities ‘anti-racist’.
- Tone Policing – check out this comic if you think BLM protesters should explain their concerns more calmly
- White Privilege – check out this comic if you’re white but don’t think that necessarily affords you privilege
- White Privilege – check this article out if you’re still unsure, and want some more examples
- Arrest Rates – if you’re a stats person, have a look at these UK arrest rates
- Stop and Search Rates – more info for stats people on police targeting in the UK
- Fines for Breach of Lockdown – read about racial bias by police specifically for lockdown (plus an article on London specifically, and national stats on fines)
Some book recommendations:
Some nonprofits and charities to donate to:
- Global – Take a look at the Black Lives Matter website for more information about them, and click here for their donation page.
- USA – Check out the Black Futures Lab, which transforms Black communities into constituencies that change the way power operates – locally, statewide and nationally. Their donation form is here.
- USA – The Movement for Black People is a space for Black organizations across the country to debate and discuss the current political conditions and assess what political interventions are necessary. Their donation form is here.
- UK – Inquest is the only UK charity providing expertise on state related deaths and their investigation to bereaved people, lawyers, advice and support agencies, the media and parliamentarians. Their work includes inquests into deaths in police and prison custody, immigration detention, and the Grenfell Tower fire. You can donate to them here.
- UK – Have a look at Stop Hate UK, who tackle Hate Crime and discrimination, encourage reporting and support the individuals and communities it affects. Click here to donate to their work.
- UK – The Stephen Lawrence Charitable Trust, named after the teenage boy murdered in London in 1993, tackles the barriers that hold back Black and Brown people. Donate to them here.
- UK – Follow Black Lives Matter UK on your social media to keep up to date with their activity and how to support, including protests. They’ve also got a GoFundMe to deliver some excellent work, so click here for that.