Over the past week, the Belkin has received criticism on social media. Due to confidentiality and privacy considerations, we are unable to comment on the ongoing process indicated in the complaint that initiated this response.
We are committed to the ongoing work of centring decolonization, reconciliation and equitable and inclusive representation at the Belkin through training, planning and implementation. At present, our staff training incorporates Equity, Diversity and Inclusion (EDI) workshops offered through UBC as well as through contracted external Indigenous, Black and People of Colour (IBPOC)-run organizations. We also continue our efforts in improving upon a cultural safety plan that supports artists and cultural workers. Additionally, we are working towards the implementation of recommendations brought forward from the Belkin’s EDI committee, the Belkin’s accessibility audit and cultural belongings protocols.
Since 2020, we have adopted a strategy to broaden artist representation by using 100% of the acquisition budget to purchase only works by women-identified artists, including self-identifying LGBTQ+ artists, with a priority given to IBPOC artists.
The Belkin is currently working with UBC’s Equity and Inclusion Office to compile resources, advice and tools to help the Belkin support IBPOC and LGBTQ+ students and artists to feel safe, supported and heard. This means using processes by which we can enforce anti-racist policies, establishing shared language and expectations, and undertaking ongoing training and competencies.
We are committed to ensuring the principles of social justice, equity and inclusion are present at every stage of the work we do.