As a diverse corridor we wanted to share a useful resource from DENVER’S EQUITY, DIVERSITY AND INCLUSION INITIATIVE.
Inspired by IMAGINE 2020, Denver Arts & Venues (A&V) is excited to announce the agency’s Equity, Diversity and Inclusion Initiative (EDI). A&V is committed to these core values in all our programs, initiatives and processes. As an agency priority, the Equity, Diversity and Inclusioninitiative will continue to evolve with our steadfast dedication to all our residents, as Denver is a city where everyone matters, and everyone matters in the arts.
Equity: The fair treatment, access, opportunity, and advancement for all people, while at the same time identifying and eliminating barriers that have prevented the full participation of some groups. Improving equity involves increasing justice and fairness within the protocols, processes, practices and policies of institutions or systems, as well as in their distribution of resources. Confronting and tackling equity issues requires an understanding of the root causes of disparities within our society. Equity is closely tied to actions and results to address historical disparities.
Diversity: (Who’s at the table?) Recognition and representation of individual or group differences encompassing race, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, country of origin, ability, socioeconomic status, age, religion, and other areas of identity.
Inclusion: Embracing differences by creating environments in which any individual or group can feel welcomed, respected, supported, and valued to fully participate. While an inclusive group is by definition diverse, a diverse group isn’t always inclusive. To achieve inclusiveness, recognition of implicit or unconscious bias is necessary.
Multilingual efforts include:
Arts & Venues conducted an assessment of international symbols used on signage at all agency venues. Results will guide an implementation plan to incorporate universal signage at our premier public venues to facilitate navigation and wayfinding. This project also supports the city’s international efforts.
Art exhibitions at McNichols Civic Center Building and Civic Center Park focus on themes of diversity, equity and inclusiveness. Informational wall panel and associated collateral for all exhibitions is bilingual in Spanish and English. Visit McNicholsBuilding.com for a full list of upcoming, current and past exhibitions.
Valuing racial equity requires examining how our organizational practices can support equitable outcomes by assessing/addressing racial disparities and inequity. The panel process for selecting artists and arts organizations involves a system of often unquestioned activities—assumed to be inherently impartial —that directly impact funding or arts participation outcomes.
To address racial equity in the panel process, we must actively investigate who has access to opportunities and who doesn’t. Put another way, anti-racist grantmakers must design and implement systems and protocols that increase access and decrease barriers for historically under-resourced groups.
Denver Arts & Venues, in partnership with the Agency for Human Rights and Community Partnerships and the Office of the Mayor, hosted Denver Talks: an in-depth discussion with author and educator Jennifer Harvey. Harvey, a professor at Drake University, is a writer, educator and public speaker. Her work focuses on the encounter between religion and ethics, race, gender, activism, politics and spirituality in the U.S. Her greatest passions are racial justice and white anti-racism.