A Commitment on Black Inclusion in Frameline Staff and Board

Jul 6, 2020

"Our community understands what it's like to be vulnerable. We know it is especially heightened for queer and trans people of color. More importantly, we know the power and importance of resisting oppression. We will amplify the stories of our community. We will support the rooting out of injustice in our community. And we will change the world through the power of queer cinema. Black Lives Matter.
-Nadir Joshua, Frameline Board President June 1, 2020

Frameline’s mission is to change the world through the power of queer cinema. Changing the world includes dismantling the systemic racism and violence that disproportionately impact Black queer lives. Amplifying Black queer voices – showcasing Black queer talent, supporting Black queer filmmakers and funding Black queer stories through our Completion Fund – is essential. But it is not enough. 

Frameline’s leadership is majority white and majority cis-male. Our commitment to our community and our mission requires that we do better. We must attract and support more Black voices at every level of Frameline – on our staff and on our Board of Directors. We can and will improve. 

In 2020 Frameline will make the following commitments:

  • Examine all hiring practices – including reviewing job descriptions, where job ads are posted, interview practices, etc.
  • Commit to interviewing at least one Black candidate when interviewing for open roles (known as the Rooney Rule).
  • Require diversity training for our Board and staff with an immediate focus on anti-Black racism. Frameline will also schedule training on gender and people living with disabilities.
  • Increase the diversity of our Board to reflect more of the diversity of the community we serve. Our immediate focus will be on increasing representation based on race, gender and gender identity.

Additional commitments not related to hiring:

  • Add Indigenous land acknowledgements before films and events – starting with Frameline44 in the Fall.
  • Ensure more Black students get access to Youth in Motion programming – add more schools with a diverse population.
  • Increase efforts to make Frameline’s events (including virtual) more accessible to those living with disabilities.
  • Engage and promote BIPOC LGBTQ+ organizations in the community.

These are immediate steps that we plan to take. They are a floor, not a ceiling. We commit to doing the work necessary to confront anti-Black racism wherever we find it. We know there is more work to do to lift other marginalized voices in our community.  Our plan is to work on these first, to learn and continue to make improvements.