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Commitment to change

Commitment to Change

There is no place for racism within the Lyric.

We have been listening, thinking and reflecting on Black Lives Matter: how we can contribute to ending systemic racism and injustice and changing our own organisation for the better. Information shared by staff, former staff and stakeholders has sharpened our awareness that we have much work to do together to be an actively anti-racist organisation.

This is what we are doing and have done so far:

  • Creating an Action Plan for Change. Lyric staff, young people, artists, partners, stakeholders and people who have been associated with the Lyric in the past are informing this work. This is being overseen by Rachel O’Riordan (Artistic Director/CEO) reporting to the board.
  • As a team we completed a series of workshops called ‘Lyric Life’ where we shared how we wanted to change and develop our workplace practices including improved internal communication. The actions from these sessions are being implemented and will inform our Action Plan.
  • We’ve begun to create a new induction and on-going training programme for all staff to ensure the Lyric’s culture and working environment is anti-racist, open and safe for everyone. This will include ensuring that all staff have safe and clear routes to report racism.
  • We worked with Challenge with all staff on intensive race equity training (‘Being Heard’/’Let’s Talk about Race’). The report completed by Challenge is informing the other areas of this work and our Action Plan.
  • We have introduced improved recruitment processes at both staff and Board level. We will continue to find new ways to improve our recruitment processes.
  • We are increasing the agency and strategic impact of youth voice at the Lyric. We invited all of our current Young Lyric Members to consult, share and audit youth voice within the Lyric, this included permanent and casual staff aged under 25. From this a steering group was formed by the young people, they will design and implement a new approach. This work is led by our Director of Young Lyric. Our ambition is to ensure that young people’s voices are at the heart of Lyric strategy. Read more about the plans for Youth Voice here.
  • We have set up a new staff Diversity Taskforce,  a group which is being developed in consultation with staff and is a space to develop progressive ideas and actions to ensure the Lyric is inclusive for everyone. We are also exploring how to make safer spaces for our Black colleagues.
  • We want to develop and implement a new career progression programme for staff from underrepresented groups. We will develop new partnerships to make this happen.
  • We will share updates on our website on the development of our action plan and our progress in delivering it, as well as our annual workforce data.

We recognise the urgency and importance of change. We have started this process and are committed to taking the actions we can now, despite our current closure.  We know that lasting and meaningful change takes time. This will be a fundamental part of the work we do together as we make our decisions about the future of the Lyric and work towards reopening.

We thank everyone who has shared their experiences and ideas, including staff, board, artists, young people, partners and stakeholders.


This is an active document that we will update to publicly show the work we are doing and still have to do; the updates to this document are as follows:

25 Jan: Updated following work on Youth Voice.

25 Jan: Updated with the introduced of new recruitment processes.

25 Jan: Updated following the formation of new staff Diversity Taskforce.

25 Jan: Updated following the conclusion of an external Independent Review.

11 Jan: Updated following the all staff sessions and training with Challenge.

04 Jan: Updated following the completion of internal ‘Lyric Life’ workshops.