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Racial Equity Statement & Commitments

Town Hall was founded to be an accessible shared resource for the community: a place where everyone is welcomed, represented, and valued regardless of their race, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, age, national origin, religion, disability, size, or class. Yet, we recognize that United States culture and institutions are rooted in structural racism, and that racial inequities have existed within our organization as well.

Structured as a passive recipient of community ideas, we’ve historically relied on existing economic, educational, and socio-political systems that treat white people as the “norm” and Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC) as “other.” As a result, we have perpetuated and reinforced racial inequities in our programs, audiences, and leadership. In order to truly become a place where everyone feels welcome and has equitable access to our stages, programs, and engagement opportunities, Town Hall Seattle is intentionally widening our network of collaborators and shifting to a proactive, equity-centered practice across our programming and operations.

We understand that many people hold multiple marginalized identities, and we strive for an intersectional approach in our equity work. Although we are emphasizing racial equity, we are not focusing on it exclusively. To read more about Town Hall’s history and equity journey, click here.

Town Hall is committed to continual progress in making anti-racism, intersectional equity and inclusion part of the fabric of our organization. Currently, we are focusing on:

  • Acknowledging that we are on Coast Salish land at the start of all our self-produced events.
  • Prioritizing partnerships with BIPOC organizations in our self-produced Town Hall programming.
  • Increasing the number of literary bookings and partner events that center conversations about racial equity.
  • Producing and hosting a series of public events and workshops designed to offer opportunities for audiences to deepen their own anti-racism education.
  • Prioritizing and paying more BIPOC creators to produce Town Hall programs, and amplifying the work of BIPOC communities.
  • Creating more opportunities for affordable rentals for BIPOC creators.
  • Upholding an equitable Community Code of Conduct within our building.
  • Working with racial equity facilitators to inform our ongoing equity work. 
  • Completing an annual organization-wide equity audit.
  • Providing ongoing staff engagement and training with compensation for that work.
  • Reporting annually on our racial equity work through an equity update, our blog, and newsletters.
  • Improving methodologies for receiving and responding to feedback from our partners and community members.
  • Diversifying our membership base.
  • Spotlighting the work of our BIPOC partners to Town Hall members and funders.
  • Expanding our network of vendor relationships and promoting the work of our BIPOC vendor partners.

Town Hall seeks active collaboration with our community, and our commitment to racial equity is no different. We ask you to come with us on this journey and invite you to hold us accountable and to reach out to us with feedback and ideas. Please e-mail us at info@townhallseattle.org.

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