A Circus For All: Equality, Diversity and Inclusion (EDI) at Galway Community Circus
“Diversity is strength. Difference is a teacher. Fear difference and we learn nothing.” -Hannah Gadsby
We believe that diversity means representation across a wide range of traits, backgrounds, and experiences. Inclusion within our organisation translates to that of a sense of belonging and equality for all those who engage with us.
We believe that circus is for everyone, and equality, diversity and inclusion are at the heart of circus practice. ‘Circus for All’ is an international movement with a network that supports one another and works together to drive change on a local, national and international level.
EDI values are embedded in each strand of our organisation: our circus school, community programmes, artists and artform development programmes, organisational structure and our Board of Directors. EDI principles inform our staffing, programme, and decision-making at a board level. As part of our new strategic plan 2023-2027, EDI is included as its own development area.
The purpose of Galway Community Circus’s Equality, Diversity and Inclusion Policy is to ensure that:
- We are a place where everyone, irrespective of their age, ethnicity, culture, gender identity, religion, language, sexual orientation, ability, disability or social circumstances, feels safe, feels a sense of belonging, is respected and valued and has their individual needs understood and met as far as our resources allow.
- Children and young people who are insufficiently or inadequately represented are represented throughout our community.
- Equality of opportunity remains an integral part of all planning and decision making, that our planning embraces the needs of our staff and membership, working to deliver an inclusive and accessible environment for all.
- We provide opportunities that develop children’s sense of personal and group identity so that they can become confident, open to difference, receptive to change and respectful towards other identities.
- We enable children and staff members to have the confidence and skills to challenge instances of prejudice and discrimination.
- We operate inclusive recruitment, training and development practices.
- Our EDI actions are not performative nor tokenistic and that we are held accountable for the commitments we make within this policy.
We have a detailed action plan to implement and maintain EDI across our organisation. Some of the actions we are currently taking are:
- Our Access Award Scheme ensures that young people with financial constraints can attend our activities free of charge or heavily subsidised.
- Our annual programme always includes public events that are free or heavily subsidised.
- We actively develop partnerships and secure funding to bring outreach programmes to schools and/or community settings with disadvantaged, at-risk and vulnerable groups.
- We have appointed an Inclusion Coordinator from our staff. The role of EDI coordinator is a shared responsibility across our team and the role holder will change every 6 months.
- We continuously provide training for our staff in Equality, Diversity and Inclusion.
- We are committed to listening to children and young people and including their voices and views in how we run our organisation and programmes.
- We are developing inclusive recruitment strategies, event policies, pedagogy evaluation, inclusive communications strategies and working on clear representation of our members and community.