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Update on Black Lives Matter Commitments (May 2022)

Update on Black Lives Matter Commitments

In August 2020 Glasgow Film made a series of commitments in support of Black Lives Matter (BLM). We updated those commitments and shared our progress in April 2021.

Since August 2020 we have spent, and will continue to spend, time learning and working together as a team to develop a shared understanding of what it means to be an actively anti-racist organisation, and the responsibility every member of the team has in embracing anti-racist actions and imbedding an intersectional, inclusive approach.

We still consider ourselves to be at the start of this process, we know we won’t always get everything right and there will be stumbling blocks along the way. Our progress and activities delivered so far are summarised below, followed by a specific update on our original BLM commitments.

Since our last update in April 2021 we have:

  • Completed an Anti-Racism Audit, Health Check and Training programme;
  • Established our Staff Diversity Commitment Committee (3 meetings so far);
  • Written our Anti-Racism and Equalities Pledge;
  • Created new and regular opportunities for staff and volunteers to continue to participate in discussions around inclusion and anti-racism;
  • Continued to further develop and prioritise programming partnerships with Black and POC film programmers;
  • Surpassed diversity targets in our industry activities for new film talent.

The Audit and Training process facilitated by consultants Iffat Shahnaz and Talat Yaqoob created a space for staff, volunteers and trustees to learn together and collaborate on identifying areas for improvement. It also created a space for frank discussions about the investment, time and recourses needed to maintain this work and make lasting change to the way we think and the way we work.

Nearly 60 members of the team participated in the Audit process. The Audit has resulted in a series of recommendations that the majority of our current team contributed to. These recommendations will inform our new Anti-Racism and Equalities Strategy as well as our new three-year business plan and strategic priorities (completion date August 2022). All departments will have actions to progress and over the next three years we will work towards imbedding best practice within all areas of delivery.

The main recommendations were grouped under the following headings in the audit report. Each heading had a series of suggested actions co-created with the team and our consultants:

1. Moving from ‘not being racist’ to being proactively anti-racist.

2. Investing in co-production, outreach and the redistribution of power.

3. Real anti-racist co-production.

4. Taking action on systemic inequality and barriers.

5. Being a good-practice employer.

6. Investing in the development of a learning cycle approach.

7. Taking an intersectional approach.

The full audit report can be read in the PDF below. Further updates on the progression of our BLM commitments and the Audit recommendations will be now shared on an annual basis as part of our new Anti-Racism and Equalities Strategy.

Update on existing BLM commitments

Appoint external consultant by July 2021

Status: Completed

Original Commitments:

1. This commitment originally stated that we would appoint an Agent for Change. However on reflection we felt that it was essential to carry out an Audit/Health Check before embarking on more public facing, participatory activity that had not yet been informed by co-production or consultation with Black or POC people and communities. This was changed to ‘appoint external consultant’.

  • Read the full Audit report in the PDF above.
  • Next steps: Many actions are being progressed already but the findings of the report are being used to shape our new Anti-Racism and Equalities Strategy.


Status: Mostly on track

Original Commitments:

1. Review recruitment processes to understand our failure to reach, attract and recruit Black people and people of colour, and address this for future vacancies.

  • Our recruitment processes and support structures were discussed as part of our Audit process and initial suggestions made for improvements which included a formal review of our recruitment journey to understand the different barriers through an intersectional lens.
  • We have started to make efforts to widen our recruitment reach (trying out new portals, building a network of supporters to help share our opportunities, planning recruitment open days for Front of House (FOH) staff and Volunteers, adding new Anti-Racism and EDI information to our recruitment packs, and small improvements to the overall inclusivity of process from an intersectional perspective).
  • Next steps: We will review the inclusivity of recruitment processes and continue to monitor progress and make improvements.

2. We will increase the diversity of our Board membership.

  • A successful recruitment process took place in August 2021 for most recent positions. Current demographics can be viewed below.
  • Next steps: We will continue efforts to attract applications from as diverse a pool of candidates as possible and maintain diversity.

3. We will actively seek employees/volunteers/Board members from under-represented groups and put in place support structures to achieve and sustain racial diversity in the workplace.

  • To improve support structures and sustain employment we have so far focussed on making improvements to our internal staff culture. We have made efforts to ensure that our commitment to inclusion is actually visible and tangible to all staff, volunteers and customers. To do this we have established our staff diversity commitment committee, updated our website with Anti-Racism and EDI information, added more information on our work in this area to our recruitment packs, and added anti-racism/inclusion as a rolling agenda point to our quarterly all staff sessions. Senior managers now also discuss our progress on fortnightly basis.
  • Next Steps: We will continue to look at how we can share our inclusion and anti-racism commitments/progress more widely and consistently with staff and customers. We will monitor progress and make improvements as needed.

4. We aim to reflect Scotland’s diversity by 2022 and Glasgow’s diversity by 2024, and we will publish the demographics of our Board, staff and volunteer teams each year.

  • We now collate and publish full demographics on an annual basis. See current demographics below.
  • Next Steps: Continue to publish annually.


Status: Completed and Ongoing

Original Commitments:

1. Ensure that Equalities, Diversity and Inclusion training, including anti-racism and Unconscious Bias training, is offered to all senior staff and rolled out across the organisation to all current staff and volunteers, and then as part of the induction process to all new staff and volunteers. The training should take place by summer 2021 and then be incorporated into the Induction Training by late Autumn 2021.

  • Nearly 60 members of the team participated in our Anti-Racism training and action planning during 2021/2022.
  • Anti-Racism training has been added to the induction pack for all new FOH staff.
  • Next Steps: Any new permanent members of staff will be booked on external Anti-Racism Training. Further bespoke training in applying intersectional thinking to delivery and inclusion work is being planned during 2022/2023. An introduction to our EDI and Anti-Racism commitments will be added to inductions for all office-based staff.


Status: Completed and Ongoing

Original Commitment:

1. We will actively seek to collaborate with Black people and people of colour-led organisations to ensure our programmes are authentically driven, curated and that we amplify the voices excluded or marginalised by institutional racism.

2. We will add a Black Lives Matter element to our ongoing programming (from January 2021 or sooner depending on cinema restrictions changing). This commitment was changed in 2021 to ‘Continue to regularly create space in GFT’s general programme for contributions from Black curators and programmers of colour’.

The audit process reinforced the need for year-round programming partnerships and investment in longer term outreach with Black and POC communities. Since April 2021 co-produced programme actions include:

  • Welcome to the Afrofuture, a season of films and events programmed with Natasha Ruwona and Tomiwa Folorunso and supported by BFI Film Feels.
  • A screening of Mandabi, accompanied by a recorded Q&A with Liz Chege, director of Africa in Motion.
  • Two screenings with We Are Parable: Night of the Kings with a recorded director introduction and a live storyteller, and Foresight, a collection of new shorts by Black and Brown filmmakers with a recorded Q&A. This partnership continued into Glasgow Film Festival 2022 (GFF22) and we will develop it further in 2022/2023.
  • Black Histories on Film, a season of films and events during Black History Month in partnership with the Coalition for Racial Equality and Rights. You can read more about it here.
  • What Stories Shall We Tell was a programme of films during GFF22 with a focus on Black cinema, filmmakers and history, programmed with Natasha Ruwona and Tomiwa Folorunso. Discounted tickets were shared with community groups and organisations including Ubelong.
  • African Stories was a season of films during GFF22 co-produced with Liz Chege, Director of Africa in Motion, that celebrated the rich diversity of life in countries across Africa.
  • We co-hosted a Bollywood Night at The Pyramid in Anderson with food, dance workshops and screened Bollywood film Happy Bhag Jayegi.

Below is our staff demographic for 2021/2022.

Description of image
Staff demographic 2021/2022
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