Our Commitment to Change

18 September 2020

We are pleased to provide an update to the Commitment to Change statement we published in June. These are initial steps and we are continuing to develop and consider new ways to increase our diversity and accessibility as a company:

  • We have been working on our publishing programme for Spring 2021 and plan to share details of the new season soon. It reflects our ongoing efforts to diversify our publishing programme. Next month, we will be publishing ’The Parameters of Our Cage’, a written correspondence between Chris Fausto Cabrera, inmate of the Minnesota Correctional Facility, and Alec Soth. The dialogue addresses the pressing social issues of representation, race and economic background in the context of incarceration. All proceeds will be donated to Minnesota Prison Writing Workshop;
  • Over the past few months every member of our team has undertaken diversity and unconscious bias training and this is an ongoing mandatory obligation;
  • We are developing a series of online panel discussions on critical issues relating to the intersections of race, class, gender, sexuality and disability;
  • We are working with our local council in Lewisham, London, to develop an apprenticeship programme which will begin later this year. We believe that it is important to start in our local community and offer opportunities and guidance to people who may not ordinarily see the worlds of art, photography or publishing as a possibility in their future;
  • We are working with local schools to offer opportunities to young people to learn about the publishing realm and how to gain experience in the industry. 

We reaffirm our commitment as per our June statement and please do get in touch if you have any comments or suggestions. 

Michael Mack

 

15 June 2020

Here at MACK, we condemn racism in all forms and any bias based on gender, class, sexuality or disability, and we are committed to creating a more inclusive, diverse publishing platform and workplace. We stand in solidarity with the Black Lives Matter movement and the anti-racism protests around the world, and believe that urgent changes need to be made in the art and publishing industries to address the under-representation of Black artists. We acknowledge that having conversations about these racial inequalities, while valuable, is not enough to make long-term, meaningful change. It is our responsibility to educate ourselves and listen to others, to critically reflect on our own output and practices as a business, and to commit to actionable steps to address where we have fallen short. 

The following aims reflect our dedication to change in our publishing, our online platforms, and also internally as a company:

  • Our primary focus is to increase diversity in our publishing list, and there will be regular internal checks on this throughout the year; 
  • Through our events programme and online platforms, we are seeking new ways of working with and amplifying the voices of Black artists. We will also continue to host critical discussions addressing the juncture of publishing and art with broader societal issues, including the intersections of race, class, gender and sexuality;
  • We reaffirm our commitment to anti-racism in the workplace, and are introducing mandatory unconscious-bias and structural racism training for every member of our team, and on an ongoing basis. We are also revising our hiring practices to plan ways we can reflect this commitment internally.
  • We are increasing access to work experience and training within publishing through a new mentorship programme;
  • We are in discussion with other independent publishers and individuals across the arts to create industry-wide, long-term commitments to accessibility and diversity.

There is much work to do but we believe that as a company we can help create an accessible and inclusive industry, one that reflects the remarkable diversity of marginalized voices that have for so long contributed to the creative arts. 

We are publishing this to both make ourselves accountable, and also to encourage a much-needed discourse about the inequalities within our industry. Please feel free to contact us if you have any comments or suggestions. 

We plan to update this statement periodically to reflect our progress and the current situation.


Michael Mack