The Irish Writers Centre would like to offer our solidarity with the #BlackLivesMatter movement.
It is vital that when we address racism in Ireland, we also address the racial inequality across the literature sector in Ireland. We recognise that as the national resource centre for Irish writers, we have a responsibility to ensure that Black voices are uplifted, that Black writers are supported across the island of Ireland.
We commit to listening to the voices of Black people and people of colour. We will critically reflect on our programmes, our physical spaces and our actions, and work to identify and confront racism and unconscious bias. We commit to identifying our own shortcomings and blind spots. We will prioritise anti-racism research and training, and examine the ways in which the Irish Writers Centre can meet the needs of marginalised writers through our work. We have a lot of work to do.
We would like to use this platform to highlight some of the organisations, activist groups, and publishers who have been working to combat racism in Ireland:
Black Pride Ireland: @blackprideire
Skein Press: skeinpress.com
Pavee Point: paveepoint.ie
Origins Eile: @originseile
We will be educating ourselves on how to move from statements of solidarity to tangible and meaningful action. We encourage listening and learning, following and supporting, and paying for the work of black people and people of colour.
Here are just a few resources on combating racial inequality in the arts and beyond:
UCD Library Special Collections: Are We Doing Diversity Justice? Challenging Homogeneity in Irish literary Spaces: An evening of readings, discussions and songs.
Anti-racism resources for white people: bit.ly/ANTIRACISMRESOURCES
Racial Equity Tools, information for arts and culture organisations: https://www.racialequitytools.org/act/strategies/arts-and-culture
Racial Equity Tools, Art and Organizing, Art as Organizing https://www.racialequitytools.org/resourcefiles/SBUTeachingCase10.pdf
Black Lives Matter Reading list: https://blacklivesmatters.carrd.co