Over the last few years, we have matured into an integral part of our community infrastructure. We are a conduit for myriad community voices. We built our reputation on creative partnerships amplifying the work of diverse artists while providing a range of programs to our community. Because of this philosophy of inclusivity, we believed that everyone had equitable access to AVFS and the programs we provide. However, we now understand that our approach has been based on economic, educational, and socio-political systems that treat white people as the norm and people of color as “other.” As a result, we unwittingly perpetuated and reinforced racial inequities in our programs, audiences, and leadership. In order to truly become an organization that welcomes everyone and offers equitable access to our films and programs, we must shift to a proactive, equity-centered approach in all aspects of our work.
We should and will do better. In order to do this successfully, diversity, equity, belonging, and access must be core values of our organization.
AVFS will be an anti-racist organization, where we have full participation from and shared power with people of all races, ethnicities, gender identities, sexual orientation, immigration status, and socio-economic status in determining each aspect of our work. We understand that many people hold multiple marginalized identities, and we strive for an intersectional approach in our equity work.
Here are the goals and actions we will take in the short, mid and long term:
- Become more diverse and equitable, increasing belonging and access as an organization so that we are more credible in addressing these same issues in the community.
- Strive to partner only with individuals and organizations that value collaboration as key to dismantling racism, ableism, sexism, xenophobia, homophobia, and transphobia within our organization and the broader society.
- Collaborate with organizations and individuals in the community who successfully lead efforts in diversity, equity, and belonging.
- Acknowledge that we are on unceded Pomo land and work with Native-led groups on how best to represent that through our programs.
- Attract and retain job candidates, volunteers, board members, filmmakers, vendors, suppliers, and business partners from diverse backgrounds.
- Assess and proactively design programs and events with diversity, equity, belonging, and access in mind.
- Integrate diversity, equity, belonging, and access educational opportunities into our public events so that our audiences may deepen their own understanding.
- Amplify the art of marginalized communities by centering films and filmmakers from marginalized communities and paying them fairly for their work.
- Disallow hate speech within our programs and within our spaces.
- Work with equity facilitators to inform our ongoing work, providing board and staff engagement, and training and compensating staff for their energy and time in this work.
- Complete an organization-wide equity audit during 2021.
- Reassess our internal and partner policies through a racial equity lens.
- Create better methodologies for receiving feedback from our partners and community members.
AVFS asks for active collaboration with our community, and our commitment to racial, cultural, ethnic, gender, and disabled equity is no different. We ask you to come with us on this journey and invite you to reach out to us with feedback and ideas, and to hold us accountable to these values. Please e-mail us at info[at]avfilmsociety.org.
We consider this to be a living document; we welcome and encourage feedback.
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