STATEMENT FROM THE CHAIR OF BADA AND THE PRESIDENT OF AFBADA
On the death of George Floyd in 2020 at the hands of police, and in response to the rise of Black Lives Matter, we, the Board of BADA, publicly affirmed our commitment to anti-racism and pledged a rigorous and comprehensive review of all aspects of our academy.
In keeping with our promise to drive and monitor change in a transparent and accountable way, we would like to update you on the progress we have made since our last report in 2021.
- As a direct result of a review of our curriculum offer, we have launched a new four-week progam – Black British Theatre – which explores contemporary Black British theatre and performance. Developed and led by playwright and director Oladipo Agboluaje, the course analyses play texts by major Black British writers framed by theories of identity, representation, nationalism, race, gender, sexuality and class.
- Progress continues with our ambitious fundraising targets to provide scholarships for underprivileged and historically under-represented students to study at BADA. A new fundraising committee at board level has been created to step up these efforts to realise those targets and widen access.
- In a continuing effort to diversify our board of trustees, we have conducted a further recruitment round, led by an EDI expert. As a result, we have appointed four new trustees. Together with the resignation of three long-standing trustees, we now have a significantly younger and more diverse and representative board steering BADA.
- The Covid-enforced pause in our face-to-face training provided an opportunity to revisit our staffing structure and the makeup of our faculty. Using best practice recruitment methods, we have successfully increased diversity and representation among staff, faculty and visiting speakers.
- Our mandatory unconscious bias and diversity training for trustees, staff and faculty is ongoing. Delivered by a leading Black theatre company, all newcomers to BADA are required to complete the training.
- The work of BADA’s Diversity Action Group continues bringing together faculty, staff and alumni to provide an open space for discussion of all Justice, Equality, Diversity and Inclusion (JEDI) matters in the academy.
- Last, but not least, we continue to strive to improve the diversity of our student intake. Members of our diverse alumni cohort use social media to encourage potential students to study abroad in the vibrant, multicultural city of London.
We recognize there is still much work to be done but we are proud to deliver our broader curriculum and pleased the processes we have introduced are beginning to be fully embedded into our ways of working.