What can creative companies do to support anti-racism?

Photo by Ehimetalor Akhere Unuabona on Unsplash

Like many of you, here at Yellow Cat we support the Black Lives Matter movement. Since the tragic killing of George Floyd in the US, anger at police brutality and a broken justice-system has triggered a wave of protests around the world. Like many others we feel it’s an important and pivotal moment to voice our solidarity with Black Lives Matter.

Whilst more and more brands and companies are voicing their support to the movement, recent controversies prove that we still have a way to go…so what can we do, as recruiters within the creative industry do to not just support the cause, but actively evoke change? How can we take responsibility to challenge the micro-aggressions, the imbalances, and the lack of diversity within senior roles in the creative and advertising arena within our remit of Production, Post Production and VFX?

A recent study from UK Screen Alliance concluded that The Animation, VFX and Post-Production Industries all need to take action to increase the number of people from Black and Minority Ethnic groups in Senior Management roles. Although in recent years companies have been actively working to remedy the lack of diversity in the industry, we still have a lot of work to do to ensure that our companies are safe places to work and are supporting and nurturing diverse talent setting an example to the brands and organisations we work with.

At Yellow Cat, we don’t profess to know it all so we’re actively learning by reading articles to further our education on the issue and are following and supporting organisations who are campaigning for diversity, networks of POC creatives, and charitable groups that are creating opportunities for people to get into the industry.  We would like to share these resources with you, so have included links below.

Books
Here are some books you can read up on to give you a better insight into institutional racism and how to tackle it:

  • The Hollywood Jim Crow: the racial politics of the movie industry (Maryann Erigha)
  • Black wealth/white wealth (Thomas Shapiro)
  • How to be less stupid about race: on racism, white supremacy and the racial divide (Crystal Fleming)
  • Racism without racists: colour blind racists and persistence of racial equality in the United States (Eduardo Bonilla-Silva)
  • So you want to talk about race (Ijeoma Oluo)
  • Me and my white supremacy: Combat Racism, Change the World, and Become a Good Ancestor (Layla F Saad)
  • Why I’m No Longer Talking to White People About Race (Reni Eddo-Lodge)
  • White fragility – why is it so hard to talk about race (Robin DiAngelo)
  • The new Jim Crow: mass incarceration in the age of colourblindness (Michelle Alexander)

Articles

Anti-Racist Petitions to Sign and Share with your Team

  • Campaign for an enquiry into BAME deaths: MP Diane Abbott and Stand Up To Racism are campaigning for an independent public inquiry into the disproportionate number of BAME deaths due to Covid-19. The campaign is calling for: A public inquiry into the disproportionate impact of the coronavirus on BAME communities. The recording of the ethnic background of all Covid-19 patients as recommended by the British Medical Association. No end to the lockdown until it is safe to do so. Click here to sign
  • Write to your MP: Human rights organisations such as Amnesty International are calling for the UK government to halt the sale and export of tear gas, rubber bullets and riot shields – which are being used against protesters – to the US. One way of adding weight to that call is by writing personally to your MP demanding the immediate suspension of exports, being sure to include your full name and address so they can see you are an actual constituent. Find your local MP at writetothem.com
  • Sign up to become a member of Race on the Agenda (ROTA), one of Britain’s leading social policy think-tanks focusing on issues that affect Black, Asian and minority ethnic (BAME) communities.

Organisation that are working to create positive change in the creative industry which you can promote, donate to and support:

  • We Are POCC – A members collective and community of creative, like-minded people working in advertising, media, fashion, arts, film and photography, with a mission to accelerate equality and positively change the experiences of people of colour within these industries, both today and for future generations.
  • Show Racism The Red Card – There are plenty of ways to get involved including booking an equality training session or offering your services as a regular volunteer.
  • Access VFX – A global, industry-led, non-profit comprised of 40 leading companies, industry bodies and educational establishments in the VFX, animation and games industries. It focuses on actively pursuing and encouraging inclusion, diversity, awareness and opportunity under its four pillars of Inspiration, Education, Mentoring and Recruitment.
  • MAMA Youth Project – Dedicated to changing the lives of young people by providing relevant industry training and opening doors to the TV & Film industry.
  • CREATE Arts Charity – The UK’s leading charity empowering lives through the creative arts.

If you would like to join the conversation, or if you wish to add any further links or resources to this article, we would love to hear from you. Please get in touch via info@yellowcat.london

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