Our evolving statement on diversity and inclusion

Tue, 07/28/2020

Where We Stand

Solas Nua affirms our commitment to recognizing and addressing all forms of racist and ethnic oppression. We stand in solidarity with Black artists, audience members, neighbors, and friends throughout this on-going struggle for justice. We recognize and deplore the murders, the systemic violence, and the injustices that Black people in this country have long faced, and we recognize also the suffering of all those who have faced discrimination and violence because of their race or ethnicity. Black, indigenous, and people of color (BIPOC) communities deserve to be able to live safely and to thrive.

Solas Nua has, since its foundation, deeply valued the diversity of the artists and communities with whom we work, and has sought to amplify the voices of BIPOC artists in particular. This work is and always will be ongoing. We commit ourselves continually to seek out ways that Solas Nua can take an even greater part in the struggle against injustice and violence. We commit ourselves to listening to and supporting BIPOC stakeholders and making their work and their ideas ever more visible. And we commit ourselves to undertaking meaningful anti-racist programming and action, and to examining our practices to ensure that they live up to the ideals of anti-racism. These commitments will be regularly revisited and updated as we continue to evaluate how we can take meaningful action to ensure a better future. Our work in this area is based on three fundamental principles:

  • As an arts organization, we are aware of the crucial importance of representation in changing the way our audience members and partners see and think about the world. 

  • As an arts organization dedicated to showcasing the best of contemporary Irish Arts, we acknowledge a special charge to ensure that we represent the full diversity of a country often considered culturally homogeneous, and a country that is itself struggling to come to terms with the full reality of racism.

  • And as an arts organization based in DC we value the opportunity to offer a complex representation of Irish arts to one of the most diverse audiences of any city in the US. We dedicate ourselves to presenting an array of Irish programming that will engage all of the people of the DC region.

Over the last few months many organizations in DC and in Ireland have collected and made public excellent resources that have helped us think through issues of race and anti-racism. Those that we have found most useful, and that we recommend to our community, include the following:

https://nmaahc.si.edu/learn/talking-about-race (a useful guide to learning to talk openly about racism)

https://inar.ie/racism-in-ireland/learn-about-racism/ (resources specific to racism in Ireland)

https://www.politics-prose.com/ (some links to purchase books on anti-racism)

More resources will be added as appropriate

– Solas Nua Board of Directors