In the wake of the most recent instances of racist attacks and police brutality both in the US and here in the UK and the resultant global civil rights movement, the jewellery industry is examining diversity and the systemic challenges facing jewellers of BAME backgrounds and black jewellers in particular.

The Board is discussing ways the ACJ can help to drive change in this respect and the ways in which we can be more proactive in our approach. As we are a membership organization first and foremost, in addition to our discussions with other industry professionals and organizations, we are turning to you our members to seek guidance and support in our work.

The ACJ is a membership organisation, formed in 1997, which aims to support the makers; promote contemporary jewellery; engage and inform the public.

We have around 500 members, mostly independent, self-employed UK makers, but we also welcome gallerists, collectors, educators and students. Our membership is broad and diverse, both here in the UK and internationally, but like many arts organizations at this time, we are currently working on how we can better support our BAME members. We revised our Equality & Diversity Policy last year, which can be found on our website. It outlines our commitment to treating all members equally and with respect, irrespective of their age, ability, marriage or civil partnership, pregnancy or maternity, race, religion or belief, sex, sexual orientation, gender reassignment, or mental health situation and the codes of practice and conduct we ascribe to around it.

In light of the above we do not ask for, nor carry, personal information about our members that would identify them by any of the above criteria. However, this means that we don’t have a very clear idea about our members who might benefit from increased support from us at this time, nor are we able to connect them to initiatives and mechanisms that are forming to offer such support.

This communication is twofold: one is a wider call to our members who would like to support us in this work. We know our membership has a depth and breadth that means many of you have expertise as well as personal and professional experiences that could be called upon in support should you wish to engage with us as we work in these areas. Second, that you might be a member from the BAME community that could benefit from increased support and want to make this explicitly known to the Board so that we are better placed to support you, and or, connect you, to initiatives that might be of interest to you.

BAME jewellers and jewellery professionals are historically under-represented. A change is long overdue, and we want to be a part of driving that change. We hope you will join us. If you are from BAME communities we want to make it explicitly clear that you have our support.

 

Link to Equality & Diversity Policy