Black Lives Matter Commitment

Posted on 11/06/2020

Since the Black Lives Matter global action following the murder of George Floyd in Minneapolis on 25 May, I feel that it is important to share the steps we have begun to take in further addressing racial inequality in our team, the artists we programme and the works we acquire into our Collection.

We have set up a task force made up of Towner Trustees, staff and volunteers from across the organisation to produce a clear set of actions to proactively address this issue within our organisation. We will publish this initial action plan before the end of the year and this group will remain as a key part of our charity governance structure, continuing to develop Towner’s role in our community.

When it is again safe to hold events in the building, we will invite people to an open forum discussion to debate issues around racism in Eastbourne and Sussex. Our local councillors and MP will be invited to join in, and it will be a chance for people to share personal experiences, to listen and talk about ways in which we can all combat racism in our town.

We feel passionately that Towner should be a place for challenging conversations, where everyone can debate difficult issues. We also want to ensure that all our communities feel valued, enjoy equal opportunities and share a common sense of belonging.

I regret it has taken this tragedy to accelerate our work on these vital steps, but in making this statement publicly, I hope it will ensure we are held accountable for our actions by our community and colleagues.

As a resident of Eastbourne, I want to live in a community that is diverse and inclusive, and one that proactively counters racism and all other forms of inequality. I will do everything I can to make sure Towner is contributing to this goal.

Thank you

Joe Hill