The Trustees of the National Jazz Archive have agreed a diversity policy that recognises the linkage between diversity, equality and inclusion. This policy provides the guidelines for our organisation and is at the heart of our decision making.
Overarching this policy is our statement of inclusion, which is outlined below and provides the basis of our approach and how we measure success.
We are grateful to the Jazz Promotion Network and Black Lives in Music for the work they have undertaken in improving inclusion and for providing us with their inclusion statements as the inspiration for our own version. This is what inclusion means to us:
Our mission and approach
Archives play a vital role in preserving our collective cultural memory and in protecting stories of the past and present for future generations. They can help us understand identity and can help to foster a sense of belonging, visibility and validation. We believe the National Jazz Archive has an important role to play in preserving, protecting and celebrating the experiences of a fully representative community.
The mission of the National Jazz Archive is Working for the past, present and future of Jazz. In fulfilling this mission, we recognise the rich and diverse jazz family, and wish to champion and support involvement with, and engagement by a wide and representative community. As an archive, this includes the retrospective representation of an historic community.
The National Jazz Archive wishes to support and engender values that promote the virtues and importance of an inclusive community for this art form that represent the United Kingdom demographic as it is in the 21st century. We believe that the successful embedding of these values will see impactful demographic change in all areas and at all levels in the UK Jazz community.
To be a successful part of this drive for change, we will use diversity data and accepted UK national statistics to inform ourselves of our own efforts to make change, both within the National Jazz Archive and in our work supporting the wider UK Jazz community.
To help develop a more equal and diverse archive, we have collaborated with the team at Women in Jazz Media. The first stage of this project led to the introduction of works to our online collection by the music photographers Tatiana Gorilovsky and Monika S. Jakubowska.
Photograph of award-winning vocalist, violinist, songwriter and composer Alice Zawadski, Copyright © Monika S.Jakubowska.
Being an advocate
The National Jazz Archive wishes to drive change in representation within its own organisation, talent showcase, archive sources and supporting initiatives. As an organisation with a UK perspective, we wish to be an exemplar for inclusive practice and an advocate for the values of inclusion and representation in all areas and at all levels of the UK Jazz community.
We will be an exemplar by acting as a beacon of best practice with regard to our own internal workings, processes and mechanisms. We will support the wider UK Jazz and archive community in our efforts to become meaningfully representative by:
Promoting values of equality, diversity and inclusion within our archival material, amongst our supporters, volunteers and, where practical, by providing learning resource support.
Working tirelessly to support, build and promote the interests of an inclusive community. We will do this by advocating for a more representative Jazz community. By community we include but are not limited to National Jazz Archive stakeholders such as
- Our volunteers, workforce and trustees
- Visitors and researchers
- Artists and those that we promote
- Audiences to our events
- Our partners and supply chain
The benefits of diversity are numerous and should be held as crucial to the survival and thriving existence of the genre amongst the entirety of the UK Jazz society. To achieve these benefits we commit to undertake continuous improvements including
Examining and understanding the meaning of belonging and, in the process, supporting our stakeholders (both as individuals and organisations) in becoming both inclusive and welcoming. In turn, these embedded values will enable individuals from underrepresented groups to feel they belong and can move within the space with equity.
Continuously reviewing and improving our communications to ensure all feel welcomed and belong to the UK Jazz community.
Our core beliefs
We believe that it is vital to the issue of inclusivity that we lead as an exemplar and an ally. To this effect, the National Jazz Archive commits to the following core beliefs and principled actions:
We oppose all forms of discrimination and will assume a role as ambassador and advocate in addressing bias and discrimination in the archive, Jazz and improvised music communities;
We recognise individual differences and value the contributions of all. We will both promote and encourage the wider community to recognise and value the diverse contributions of those from the wider Jazz and improvised music groups;
We support the fair treatment of all those involved in our various stakeholder communities;
The National Jazz Archive will not tolerate any form of intimidation, bullying or harassment. Where any such incidents cannot be resolved, we reserve the right to review the involvement of any such offending individual or organisation;
We wish to challenge and dispel any thinking that the act of diversifying across the perspective of protected characteristics will compromise the excellence of a project or activity. Instead, we wholeheartedly endorse and advocate for diversity as a real and positive means to bring added value to the archive as well as UK Jazz and improvised music sectors;
We understand and value the currency of data and reporting and will undertake equal opportunity monitoring for all areas of recruitment and volunteering to ensure we not only select people appropriately but also reach new, wider and more diverse communities;
The National Jazz Archive will develop a better understanding of the challenges and barriers to participation and engagement progressively in its projects while taking proactive steps to remove systemic inequalities. This will be to the benefit of our own work and also as an exemplar of best practice to our stakeholders;
All of the Archive's projects and activities will be accessible and appropriate to the needs of all underrepresented groups. The values of inclusion and diversity will be embedded into all project structures and processes and explicit positive action will be implemented to mitigate the risk of bias at all times;
Equality, diversity and inclusion is the responsibility of all individuals working or volunteering for and on behalf of the the National Jazz Archive and affiliated stakeholder organisations. This work is fully supported and embraced by the Board of Trustees.
Learning through listening
We will encourage feedback and listen to the views of any from within and outside of the National Jazz Archive. For us this means recognising the need to respond to any changing needs.
Subsequently, the Trustees of the National Jazz Archive reserves the right to review this statement and our related policies, to evaluate their efficacy and change any of them when needed.
Find out more about the National Jazz Archive