Anti-Racism/Accountability | The Orchard Project
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Orchard Project Anti Racism // Milestone // Accountability Statement

The Orchard Project opposes systemic racism and racist behaviors. We fully acknowledge the magnitude of pain and distrust inflicted on others due to racism, even unintentional. We are committed to listening, learning, and acting to eliminate racism, and commit to ongoing organizational evolution in order to be inclusive and welcoming, supporting the development of stories and artists from every possible background and point of view.

Creating an Anti-Racism Ethos

The Orchard Project is an ongoing effort to help accelerate and lift up artistic voices, and in enumerating these following values and goals to guide our present and future practices, we must also acknowledge that we have not always lived up to these values. We hold ourselves accountable for our past and current actions and commit to learning, listening, and doing better. To that end, the Orchard Project commits itself to:

  • Communicating the anti-racist ethos of our organization in the mission statement, strategic plans, job descriptions, employee handbook, artist code of conduct, organization's reports, publications, newsletters etc. 

  • Awareness-raising and training on racism and anti-racist practice for our board, management and staff (paid and unpaid) and in our relationships with third parties (e.g. host orgnazations and sponsors). Training will focus on developing a shared understanding and vocabulary about the fundamentals of antiracism and how to identify racist practices and ideas within a creative context, and establishing a common set of protocols in order to disrupt harmful words and actions when they happen. This training will allow ongoing examination of our own ethos so that anti-racism is central to our mission and the assumptions that underlie our work are proofed against racism. 

  • Providing tools related to this vocabulary to our artists that is included in the materials they “on-board” with before beginning any programs, allowing them to understand how to hold the organization accountable and to be active stakeholders.

  • Understanding that providing the time and space for creative acts requires acknowledging the history of that space, and thus acknowledging the tribal land that we utilize and occupy and the Native peoples who have lived and continue to live on that land. Land acknowledgement will appear on our website, in our programs, and at the top of our residency processes. 

 

To ensure our application, programming, and decision-making procedures are anti-racist through: 

  • Creation of an Orchard Project Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Committee (DEIC) will provide opportunities for Orchard Project staff, board, and artistic community members to get involved in and support the work for organizational DEI change at the Orchard Project. The committee, reporting to the Board and trained by an external DEI consultancy, will lead ongoing protocol development, staff training, and institutional assessment to ensure that the Orchard Project consistently evaluates operational impact on racism and ensure positive outcomes for BIPOC members of the Orchard Project community.

  • Increased representation of BIPOC members of our community in a new application process, increased BIPOC representation on our staff, and increased BIPOC representation on our board.

  • Networking and partnering with organizations articulating the interests of underrepresented and BIPOC communities.

 

To pursue our role as employer in an anti-racist manner through: 

  • The manner in which jobs are advertised and recruited

  • Recruitment and interviewing practices

  • Creating of advisory and feedback mechanisms that encourage transparency and communication amongst our small but growing staff

Goals and Milestones

The Orchard Project is establishing the following goals with the overarching goal of becoming an institution that reflects the demographics of the United States in all areas: staff, board, and artists.

  1. Beginning in 2021, annually publish EDI stats for leadership, staff, board and all lead artists of Orchard Project programs to demonstrate the Orchard Project’s commitment to consistently supporting work that not only pushes form, but also reflects its goal of creating work that is of, by, and for the creative fields at large.
  2. By 2021, invest in EDI training to provide our growing staff and board with a shared understanding and vocabulary about the fundamentals of antiracism and how to identify racist practices and ideas within a creative context, and establishing a common set of protocols in order to enable the disruption of harmful words and actions when they happen 
  3. By 2021, create structure and implementation strategy for annual internal feedback mechanisms including but not limited to:
    1. bi-annual gathering of stakeholders to learn, listen and evaluate opportunities for future training and evolution of our AR practices and ethos.
    2. Creation of BIPOC affinity space across programs for staff, board and artists to convene
  4. By 2021, review and improve the following HR processes to ensure EDI values and goals are prioritized and supported:        
    1. standardize the following HR processes for employees: onboarding, recruitment, promotions and succession planning, merit based raises;
    2. Retention or engagement of a representative outside of staff to serve staff and artists alike as unbiased external advisor      
    3. establish the following HR policies to create a more inclusive workplace: work from home policy, caretaking policy, and mentoring / sponsorship opportunities.
  5. By 2021, adjust and streamline our program application procedures so that
    1. Cost is no longer a barrier to participate
    2. Our application timeline and process is pre-published and completes at least 2 months before commencement of any of our programs
    3. A diverse screening committee for each lab is selected to both help select artists and advocate for the programs;
  6. By 2022, establish clear goals and ethical parameters for all our educational and apprenticeship programs as well as community centered activity (i.e. community-facing programs, partnerships and more) that are aligned with the larger Orchard Project mission and put priority on access. For our apprenticeship program, we will create a recruitment process and scholarship opportunities that break apart barriers which exclude BIPOC and other under-represented candidates.
  7. By 2023, create a board and staff that each better represents the demographics of New York City and the United States.
    1. At least 30% people of color
    2. Maintain no more than 50% cisgender male (currently achieved)
  8. By 2023, establish and begin to implement a plan for creating an inclusive organization for audiences, artists and staff with disabilities (inclusive of all types of disability not limited to physical disability).
  9. By 2023, establish and begin to implement a holistic organizational language plan inclusive of languages other than English.