BLM statement from our co-founder, Borrie
Seeing the outpouring of grief, anger and activism from within our community this week has been overwhelming. Like many of you, it’s made me pause and reflect on the kind of world I want to live in, whilst generating lots of discussion within Pirate about how best we can support issues that affect our community and industry.
First and foremost, this reflection across the last few days has strengthened our collective resolve to continue on with Pirate’s mission to break down barriers to creativity.
We know these creative barriers for the black community come in many different forms; social, economic, geographical and political. Each one has its own unique set of challenges, but we all believe that Pirate has a role to play in helping to break them down.
Much like the music so many of you create, our space always has been, and always will be accessible to everyone. No matter your ethnicity, sexuality, socioeconomic status or gender, our doors are open. Creativity is a force for good, and our aim is to help more of it get out into the world.
But, what this movement has demonstrated is that we all need to do more to address the problems highlighted by the tragic death of George Floyd. I cannot pretend to have the answers, but I believe we all, within the industries we work, have a responsibility to tackle the issues that have gone largely ignored up till now. I’ll be the first to hold my hands up and say we have not done enough. It deserves proper time and attention, and that’s something we’ll be dedicating over the coming weeks, months and years - looking for solutions to issues that are affecting current and future members of our community.
So what can we do together with you to start addressing these issues?
One thing all of us at Pirate believe, is that truly impactful change has to happen at a grassroots level. We’re privileged to be part of many of your communities, and we want to do more to open up our spaces to those who need it most.
At the start of this year we kicked off an initiative in Bristol where we gave away our frequently unused studio hours free to charities for disadvantaged youths. So one idea we would like to explore with you is rolling this scheme out to other locations, taking suggestions from all of you in our community about charities and initiatives that you believe could use free studio hours to support issues within our black communities.
We can’t promise to help everyone - there’s only so much space we have to offer - but we do see this as a good first step for Pirate and something we can build upon as we continue to think of ways that we can support change.
So if you have charities or initiatives in mind that are supporting issues in black communities and would benefit from free studio hours, reply to this email with your suggestions. We’ll also be setting up an official channel for you to put forward suggestions - keep an eye on our socials for further details in the coming days.
We want to be completely transparent about who we’ve chosen, which is why we’ll be detailing the outcome of this initiative in future newsletters.
Finally, I know a majority of you have probably seen these links many times across your social channels already, but I thought it was worth sharing again in case any of you have the means to support:
- Stephen Lawrence Charitable Trust: https://www.stephenlawrence.org.uk/support-us/donate/
- Inquest - supporting truth, justice and accountability: https://www.inquest.org.uk/donate/make-donation/5/credit-card
- Justice for Belly Mujinga: http://chng.it/wBbsYLz8xj
- Support US activists' bail funds: https://minnesotafreedomfund.org/
- Justice for George Floyd: https://www.gofundme.com/f/georgefloyd
- Justice for Breonna Taylor: https://justiceforbreonna.org/
- General info on how you can help: https://blacklivesmatters.carrd.co/
- Support black business: http://www.ukblackowned.co.uk/
- Support black/minority/vulnerable musicians: https://www.yuaf.org/about
- Write to your MP: https://www.writetothem.com/
- Template email to UK government for black equality: https://bit.ly/2U6KjK7
- Template email for UK government pressing black history to be mandatory in UK education: https://bit.ly/3gQJgI9
- An exhaustive list on how to be a better ally: https://bit.ly/3eHgAj0
- Extensive list of black musicians on Bandcamp: http://blackbandcamp.info