Yesterday, like many of the communities we serve, we observed #BlackoutTuesday.
As Black and Brown women leaders in the city of Leeds, we are no strangers to the systemic and structural issues of racism, sexism and inequality in our society. Our own personal experiences mean we know first-hand the impact racism can have on us as individuals, on our families and friends, and on our wider society.
For all of us, our work and practice represent our commitment and pledge to fight racism and injustice in all its forms. We do so in the organisations we lead, and now we do so as a united voice, with and for the people of Leeds and our region.
Over many years, as female leaders in the creative sector, we have actively sought, in overt and discreet ways, to change the damaging cultural narratives that dominate. Through our creative practice we have made work that reveals the stories and lives of our diverse communities, our rich heritage, our unseen talent and our passion for life.
Recent events do not deter or alter our course of action, indeed it has made us even more resolute. We will continue to ensure the voices and experiences of our communities are cherished and celebrated in the work we create. Working together, in peaceful creative protest, we will collaborate with all the communities we serve to find a better day, encouraging all cultural leaders, politicians and fellow decision makers to do the same.
Like many of you out there we carry huge hurt and sadness. We are with you in solidarity, and with an open heart.
We send our condolences to George Floyd’s friends and family at this time and demand justice for his community.
Ways to support: https://blacklivesmatters.carrd.co
Together in solidarity
Amanda Huxtable, Artistic Director & CEO Eclipse Theatre
Kully Thiarai, Creative Director & CEO Leeds 2023
Keranjeet Kaur Virdee, Artistic Director & CEO SAA-UK
Sharon Watson, CEO &Principal of Northern School of Contemporary Dance
Kathy Williams, OLY Director RJC Dance