We, the team at Format, want to take a moment of your time to speak candidly. Like so many, we can no longer be silent and accept the status quo which we are a part of: a long-standing system of oppression that connects the murders of Medgar Evers, Trayvon Martin, Breonna Taylor, George Floyd, and countless others. We have zero tolerance for racism and violence, and we stand against hatred of any kind. We stand in solidarity with the Black community and all people of color in our communities who have been impacted by racial injustice and White privilege for far too long. We firmly believe that Black Lives Matter, and we stand for change, justice, and equality.
We see you, we hear you, and we want to help. While some of us may not have experienced oppression and discrimination firsthand, we will listen, learn and seek to understand. We acknowledge that there is much work to do, and we are committed to take action. We will speak up when we see injustice, and refuse to stand by when we bear witness to the mistreatment of others. We recognize that to be silent is to be complicit. We pledge to use our voice to advance social justice, equality and non-discrimination.
We are committed to using our platform to amplify the work of BIPOC and other marginalized members, along with creating a long-term plan to ensure the voices of our BIPOC and other marginalized community members are heard.
Format has made a donation to Black Lives Matter Global Network to support the fight against violence and systemic racism towards the Black Community. We also commit to the ongoing and sustained financial support of anti-racism initiatives. This is the very least we can do.
Internally we have prioritized the creation of a Diversity and Inclusion Committee and taken immediate action to open real, candid conversations throughout all levels of the organization to educate our teams and ensure we foster an inclusive workplace.
We are committed to increasing diversity and representation at all levels of the organization. We are increasing our knowledge to ensure our hiring and employment processes remove any systemic barriers to BIPOC and other marginalized candidates for all of our current and future team members.
We know this is just a start, and we have a lot of work ahead of us. We also know that together these small actions will lead to big impact.
Supporting the Black Lives Matter Movement
Black Lives Matter is a global movement that deserves your support and attention. The movement has shone a clear light on racialized inequality and injustice around the world. Black Lives Matter began as a social movement in response to state-sanctioned violence and racially motivated injustice towards the Black community. Its intention is to connect Black communities from all over the world who have a shared desire for justice to build local power in their communities. Black Lives Matter continues to combat and eradicate racial inequality, while fighting for collective freedom and justice. We support the Black Lives Matter movement. Together, we pledge to make a difference and encourage positive change.
What you can do.
We acknowledge that this is an ongoing movement to create impact and overcome centuries of systemic injustice and racism. We need to stand in solidarity with the movement and continue to be vocal in supporting racial justice. Below, we’ve gathered some useful resources to help show support and educate ourselves on becoming better allies for the Black community.
There is a lot to be done and here’s how you can get started.
Support Anti-Racism and Allyship in the Creative Community
General Anti-Racism Resources.
“Creating Change through Arts, Culture, and Equitable Development: A Policy and Practice Primer” highlights both promising and proven practices that demonstrate equity-focused arts and culture policies, strategies, and tools.
Neighbourhood Arts Network has practical tools and resources for artists and groups working towards equity in the arts.
BlackSpace challenges architects, planners, urban designers, artists, and all curators of built spaces to unlearn traditional values and rethink Manifesto-based practice.
artEquity provides tools, resources, and training at the intersection of art and activism.
Explore Anti-Racism Resources for the Photography Industry
Antwaun Sargent — The New Black Vanguard: Photography between Art and Fashion opens up the conversation around the role of the black body in the marketplace; the cross-pollination between art, fashion, and culture in constructing an image; and the institutional barriers that have historically been an impediment to black photographers participating more fully in the fashion (and art) industries.
The Photographer’s Guide to Inclusive Photography is a free e-guide from the Authority Collective and PhotoShelter.
The Authority Collective has put together a variety of resources for photographers to promote more thoughtful, conscientious photographic practices, including this full list of resources for photographers and beyond.
Mark Sealy — Decolonising the Camera: Photography in Racial Time examines how Western photographic practice has been used as a tool for creating Eurocentric and violent visual regimes, and demands that we recognize and disrupt the ingrained racist ideologies that have tainted photography since its inception in 1839.
Addressing racism and issues of representation through photography – Written by British Journal of Photography, they use interviews from Carrie Mae Weems, Dana Scruggs, Lola Flash and Mark Sealy to encourage readers to think and act upon injustices of Black people.
Amplify Black Creatives
Diversify Photo is an international online database with resources to discover photographers of color available for assignments and commissions.
Women Photograph is a database of POC women, transgender, and gender non-conforming photographers.
Black Art Futures Fund (BAFF) is a collective of emerging philanthropists promoting the elevation and preservation of Black arts & culture.
Black Artists and Designers Guild is a global platform representing a curated collective of independent Black artists, makers, and designers across various art and design disciplines who are at the top of their respective fields.
The Nia Centre is a Toronto-based not-for-profit organization that supports, showcases and promotes an appreciation of arts from across the African Diaspora.
Brown Art Ink is a nomadic community incubator to support the arts ecosystem for artists, cultural practitioners, and communities of color.
Black Public Media develops, produces, funds, and distributes media content about the African American and global Black experience.
Black Film Allegiance is a non-profit organization united by a commitment to creating visibility for underrepresented creatives. This is a space that provides mentorship, networking opportunities, and promotes independent projects and talented creatives.
HowlRound is a free and open platform for theatre-makers worldwide that amplifies progressive, disruptive ideas about the art form and facilitates the connection between diverse practitioners.
Hire Black Female Creatives is a database of Black female photographers, art directors, illustrators, producers, etc.
Black Disabled Creatives is a database of Black creatives that started in alliance with the disabled community who are tired of being underrepresented and under-appreciated.
Take Action With These Organizations You Can Support
Band Gallery is dedicated to supporting, documenting and showcasing the artistic and cultural contributions of Black artists and cultural workers in Canada and internationally.
Black Visions Collective is an organization dedicated to Black liberation and to collective liberation.
The National Bail Out collective is a Black-led and Black-centered collective of abolitionist organizers, lawyers and activists building a community-based movement to support our folks and end systems of pretrial detention and ultimately mass incarceration.
The Loveland foundation is committed to showing up for communities of color in unique and powerful ways, with a particular focus on Black women and girls.
Unicorn Riot is a decentralized, educational non-profit media organization of artists and journalists.
Campaign Zero encourages policymakers to focus on solutions with the strongest evidence of effectiveness at reducing police violence.
Color of Change creates campaigns powerful enough to end practices that unfairly hold Black people back, and champion solutions that move us all forward.
Autograph shares the work of artists who use photography and film to highlight issues of identity, representation, human rights and social justice.