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CACL Declares Committment to The Equality Pledge

On Friday 7 July at a reception for the Big Weekend, Malavika Anderson gave a speech declaring Cambridge Arts and Cultural Leader’s commitment to the Equality Pledge.  This is what she said:

Thanks Elaine [Midgley]. Good evening everyone and many thanks to Cambridge Live for the opportunity to speak here at the Big Weekend. As Elaine said, my name is Malavika Anderson – I currently work at the University of Cambridge Museums on a very exciting programme called India Unboxed. But today I’m speaking on behalf of the Cambridge Arts and Cultural Leaders. So who are Cambridge Arts and Cultural Leaders? Or CACL, as it is fondly and not very ironically referred to?

In short CACL are a group of individuals drawn from our major arts and cultural organisations who are working together to embed art and culture in the development of Greater Cambridge. CACL is all about working collectively, to think and act strategically, to raise the profile of arts and culture and to demonstrate the vital role that it plays in the shaping of the city and the wider region.

It is in this spirit that today the Cambridge Arts and Cultural Leaders is reaffirming its collective commitment and that of its individual organisations to The Equality Pledge.

The pledge states:

"We believe in the dignity of all people and their right to respect and equality of opportunity. We value the strength that comes with difference and the positive contribution that diversity brings to our community. Our aspiration is for Cambridge and the wider region to be safe, welcoming and inclusive".

Now you may all know that the Equality Pledge is not something new. It is something that many institutions and individuals are already signed up to. However, I personally think especially in times like now – of cultural and political division and isolation and with racism and bigotry attempting to rear its ugly head again, cultural institutions need to be the spaces that can provide compelling counter narratives - that actively celebrate diversity instead of fearing it or even just tolerating it.

Cambridge is a very special place and we have a great record of being a city that thrives on the diversity of our citizens. When I moved here from India several years ago, I felt so very welcomed and included in the city, the community, the University where I worked and the collective spirit of Cambridge.

I should however add, that I am in no way suggesting that everyone shares my very fortunate experience and do know that there is still so much to be done. This is why committing to this pledge cannot be seen as an end in its self and must be the platform on which we continue to work towards a truly inclusive city where everyone feels represented - regardless of race and ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, disability or religion. And we, the Cambridge Arts and Cultural Leaders Group commit to doing just that.

Thank you

Join the dialogue - What actions have you or your organisation made to develop your engagement with more diverse audiences? If you’d like to contribute to this dialogue with your own example, please contact us.

Posted by CAN network on 1st February 2018.