Loop’s Anti-Racism Action Plan
Our collective commitment to fostering an actively anti-racist design studio & practice
By the Loop Team | August 2020
Black Lives Matters has been a wake-up call at Loop. Although we live in Toronto, Canada, our studio is an active part of a racist system, one that we have benefitted from since being founded. As a place where design intersects with social impact, our work to dismantle racism and anti-black racism must expand beyond working with clients who create systemic change. Our studio must become an active participant in anti-racism work, including reshaping the design sector as a platform for black and BIPOC voices, perspectives and talent, which deserve an equal opportunity to thrive.
The Loop team has collectively created a commitment that outlines our plan to combat racism – particularly anti-black racism – in our work, practice, sector & city. This is an organic, ongoing plan, and we expect that it will grow and change as we continue our anti-racism education – both as a group and individually – and as our team expands.
As creatives who work exclusively in the social good sector, this work is our responsibility. We understand that allyship is not something we bestow upon ourselves, but something that is continually earned through sustained effort to redesign a system that is fundamentally broken. There is a lot of work to do, and we are ready to get started.
As a company, we commit to continually:
Organize a library of anti-racism resources – both general in nature and relating directly to our industry – and commit to a realistic learning schedule as a group. This will take the form of:
- Lunch & Learns facilitated by individual team members;
- Individual reading, watching or listening; and/or
- Group discussions.
Be honest about our objectives, our clients’ objectives and who we are really helping as we form working partnerships, through thorough new business research from an anti-racist lens.
Use our social platform and reach to amplify the work already being done by Black organizations working for change.
Contribute to systemic change in Toronto’s design community in 2020 and beyond by contributing to the ArtWorksTO Advisory Committee, whose goal is to increase opportunities in the creative sector for BIPOC and LGBTQ+ people in Toronto.
Create a sustainable system for connecting BIPOC with our existing professional networks. This will take the form of:
- Mentorship (portfolio reviews or informational interviews with both the design & development team) ;and
- Professional collaborations
Commit to examining and redesigning our hiring processes to intentionally expand Black and BIPOC talent on our team.
Recognize August 1st, Canada’s Emancipation Day, as a day of learning and engagement for staff.
Recognize when a project might not be ours to take alone by:
- Being transparent about our team members and the individual lenses we represent so that companies can make informed decisions about who is creating & executing their design work.
- Recognizing when we need external consultation on a project to get the best results and understand the full scope & experience of those affected.
Effect change through our design work when asked & with consent by creating a process by which Black organizations and causes can apply for Loop’s services at special rates. We hope to formalize this special projects process by 2021.
As individual members of the Loop team, we commit to continually:
Use our anti-racism education and experiences to acknowledge and combat:
- The centering of white ideologies in design education & theory
- The systemic privileges and imbalances that exist in creative industries
Recognize, challenge and resist white-centering in design trends, and rejecting the notion of white visuals as being “easy,” “best” or “better than”
Prioritize time & creating safe space for peer review from an anti-racist lens. This will include:
- Watching for cultural appropriation
- Watching for exploitative or harmful imagery & language
- Finding & sharing image banks and stock photo sites that have a more radical & diverse approach to imagery
Actively participate in cultivating a work environment that earns the sustained trust and talent of BIPOC by ensuring our/their voices are heard.
As BIPOC members on the Loop team, we encourage input and actions taken by our allies that address and correct non-inclusive experiences that ourselves or others may encounter.
We will ensure ourselves and other BIPOC team members feel safe to discuss racist and/or discriminatory interactions and experiences we/they may have.
As non-BIPOC members of the Loop team, we will hold our company and peers accountable in this work not by centering our own experiences, but by amplifying the voices and experiences of BIPOC.
The Loop Team