External review launched into experiences of racism at Barbican Centre

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The City of London Corporation has today announced that Lewis Silkin LLP will oversee an external review into staff experiences of racism and discrimination at the Barbican Centre.

The employment and equalities law specialists will assist the City Corporation to instruct a Queen’s Counsel who will undertake the review.

The review will consider the experiences of racism and discrimination highlighted by staff at the arts centre in the recent Barbican Stories publication, and work with staff to identify further incidents or matters of concern.

Barbican Stories was written anonymously by current and former Barbican employees from Global Ethnic Majorities who believe the Barbican Centre did not adequately respond to the Black Lives Matter movement and protests of June 2020. Now, a year later, they are being heard.

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The review will make recommendations on the actions the Barbican and City of London Corporation should take with regards to policies and processes and if appropriate, individual conduct.

The review will start this month and report to the City Corporation’s Barbican Centre Board in September.

Chair of the City of London Corporation’s Barbican Centre Board, Tom Sleigh, said: “We take allegations of racism and discrimination extremely seriously and our priority is ensuring that those staff members who have experienced racism are fully supported. 

“We look forward to receiving a thorough and frank report with robust recommendations that will enable tangible and meaningful change to occur.” 

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