Black Lives Matter

The Jacob Burns Film Center condemns police brutality and the unlawful murders of Trayvon Martin, Breonna Taylor, George Floyd, Danroy “DJ” Henry, and countless other Black Americans and their families suffering injustice every day across our nation.

Systemic racism is pervasive in American society. We stand in solidarity with the Black community and other communities of color as we fight for a more just and equitable world together. We recognize that the JBFC has more work to do to ensure that diversity, equity, and inclusion are fully woven into the fabric of our organization.

We acknowledge that Diversity, Equity & Inclusion (DEI) work is an iterative process that will always be an important part of our mission. Initial steps we have taken and commitments we have made to hold ourselves accountable include:

 

  • We have formed a DEI Committee with our Board’s support and the guidance of The Raben Group, made up of all staff levels, to effect real and sustained change across all areas of our organization.

 

  • We enacted a Code of Conduct in 2019, outlining our expectations for customer and staff behavior to reinforce to our community that discrimination and harassment of any kind will not be tolerated at the JBFC.

 

  • We will invest energy and resources to evaluate our recruitment process, foster a culture of belonging through support channels and professional development opportunities, and identify new communities for outreach.

 

  • We will make a concerted effort to support BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, and People of Color) filmmakers, their work, and the stories from their communities on a scale where not just any one program or series will be responsible for taking up these important initiatives.

 

  • We will refocus our curation to program more films that reflect the full BIPOC experience in the United States and around the world. In the creation of these programs, we will look to offer celebratory and challenging experiences, while being conscious of the fact these programs need to be presented in a way that does not re-traumatize any underrepresented groups.

 

  • We will identify and remediate barriers to access and success in Creative Culture filmmaker fellowships and residencies, and develop all new artist support initiatives, such as the Creative Culture Network, with a conscious and intentional approach to bolster meaningful opportunities for BIPOC and other underrepresented filmmakers. This year, we will also introduce a new residency track for Black filmmakers, curated in conjunction with the ongoing JBFC film series, REMIX: The Black Experience in Film, Media, and Art.

 

  • We will provide virtual and in-person education programs that center films that advance representation on-screen and behind the camera; prioritize accessibility to better support teachers and students from marginalized communities; reach out to communities new to us through a process lead by empathy and mindfulness; and cultivate program pathways within the organization that empowers young audiences to grow into storytellers and leaders shaping the film industry of the future.

 

Through our words and actions, we will continue to demonstrate our commitment to anti-racism.  If you feel we are falling short, please reach out to diversity@burnsfilmcenter.org. We will listen.

We encourage all who can support the Black community and other communities of color through action, support, self-examination, and education. Each of us must participate. We must not be silent. We must not be complicit.

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