Black Lives Matter
Museums Sheffield stands with people in Sheffield, the UK and throughout the World in our condemnation of racism, inequality and injustice. We are committed to challenging systemic racism and creating spaces that embrace diversity, champion inclusivity and demand equity. Over the past weeks we’ve followed the Black Lives Matter campaign, listening, learning, and reflecting on what our organisation can do to create positive change.
We’re working with our partners to make museums that are more inclusive and representative, but to commit to that with any meaning, we must first acknowledge that we haven’t done enough and that we have a long way to go. Many of Sheffield’s historic collections are rooted in British colonial history and while we cannot undo this injustice, we can speak honestly and openly about it. Our colonial past must be recognised and addressed. We have a responsibility to shine a light on the uncomfortable truths and unacceptable ideologies inherent in the city’s collections, and to make every facet of our past visible. Beyond that, we must look at all areas of our work, from governance, recruitment and audience development to exhibitions, events and new acquisitions, and consider what will do differently and better, and how?
We have much to do. Over the coming months, we will make time to listen to our communities, colleagues, artists, and audiences and identify action for change.
We will work alongside trustees and community partners to root out racism and tackle structural inequality in our organisation and within the cultural and heritage sectors. We will bring people together to review and challenge what we do; from the things we collect and the stories we tell, to the artists whose work we exhibit and our creative and learning programmes. And finally, we will work with our colleagues and trustees to develop the confidence to call out and confront systemic racism, to build our knowledge and understanding and embed mechanisms for change.
Museums can be a lens through which we can each understand our often problematic histories and come to know ourselves better – but more than that, they can be a platform for positive change and a way for us to confront and begin to dismantle the structural inequalities that exists in our society today. And that is what we will work towards.
We are making changes for the future. If you would like to find out more, please contact me here.
Anti-Racist Resources and Information
- You can find a useful list of resources to gain a deeper understanding of racism and think about the actions we can take to be actively anti-racist and support Black Lives Matter here
- To find out more about Black Lives Matter watch here