Mission & Values

Mission and Values Statement – Updated May 2024

 

This is an overview of our Constitution, adopted on 5th December 2021 and revised on 3rd September 2023.

Our Mission

Scottish BPOC Writers Network (SBWN) is a professional development and advocacy group for Black writers and writers of colour who are Scottish, Scotland-based or have strong links with Scotland.

 

With an intersectional approach, SBWN aims to: 

  • Connect Scottish BPOC* writers with the wider literary and arts sector primarily in Scotland, additionally in the UK and internationally.
  • Collaborate and partner with BPOC writers by providing our own programme of events, publishing opportunities and an online community.
  • Partner with literary and arts organisations to facilitate opportunities for Scottish BPOC writers and necessary conversations around inclusive programming in an effort to address and overcome systemic barriers.
  • Advocate for paid opportunities and fair payment for writers and artists, in line with literary and art organisations’ guidelines such as Society of Authors, Scottish Book Trust, Scottish Artists Union.
  • Prioritise BPOC Scotland-based writers and BPOC-led opportunities, and bring focus to diverse literary voices while aiming to remain accessible to marginalised groups.

 

Our Values

We value inclusive representation. We value equity and equality. We acknowledge that many barriers exist for BPOC writers and that quality work by BPOC writers is overlooked due to patterns of white dominance, discrimination and other systemic barriers. We know that merit alone does not get you through the door. We acknowledge the lived experiences and intersectionality of our network members, and we will operate a safer spaces policy at our events, projects and initiatives. We acknowledge that diversity alone will not resolve access issues within the literary sector. We recognise that colourism and anti-Blackness exist within BPOC spaces. We will not stand for either. We will uplift, give space, encourage and validate each other’s unique perspectives and narratives.

 

Equal Opportunities

We are committed to the belief that all people are of equal value in a diverse society. Equality, diversity and inclusion are embedded into our programmes and activities. 

We operate and exist based on the knowledge and motivation to combat the underrepresentation of BPOC writers in the Scottish literary arts and culture sector. At SWBN we believe that BPOC writers should be recognised, promoted, celebrated and experience equal opportunity in all their endeavours.

It is our organisational aim to address and strive to overcome systemic barriers that BPOC writers face directly or indirectly based on their ethnic, cultural or national identities, race or perceived racial identities, or the colour of their skin and intersecting marginalised identities as per the Equality Act of 2010. We recognise the intersectional nature of oppressive systems and aspire to understand and counter structural oppression from a pluralistic, multi-issue perspective.

 

Safer Spaces

We operate a safer spaces policy during all events, projects, initiatives and activities, including online forums and events, and venue-based events. Everyone we work with, including participants, audience members, guests, facilitators, commissioned artists, contractors, volunteers, partners and SBWN team members must abide by this policy.

 

Read our Safer Spaces Policy.

 

Access

We aim to facilitate inclusive and supportive spaces. We welcome Access Docs and access requirements from everyone we work with, including staff, contractors, partners and participants.

We want SBWN to be a welcoming place for people with varying access requirements, whether they are disabled, D/deaf, blind, chronically ill, and/or neurodivergent; are from a working-class background, on a low income or experiencing socioeconomic disadvantage or hardship; have caring responsibilities; and/or are otherwise marginalised. 

 

Read our Access Statement.

 

Environmental Sustainability and Climate Justice

In response to the climate emergency, we are working on our environmental sustainability and climate justice policy. 

A link will be posted here when available. 

 

SBWN Community Membership

Community membership is free. We operate Pay What You Can sliding scale event tickets and subscriptions. We encourage those who can to make optional donations and operate a Pay It Forward scheme.

Read our FAQs to find out more.

View our Community Membership page.

 

Terminology

If you are a Scottish** writer or literary professional, are racialised or identify as BPOC* (examples below), and can abide by our Safer Spaces Policy, you are welcome to join our network. We are not an advocacy group for writers who identify as white.

 

*BPOC stands for ‘Black people, People of Colour’ and is a self-identifying term. While we use the term BPOC, we acknowledge the limitations of this terminology. At the core of our network is the aim to address and overcome systemic barriers that our members face directly or indirectly based on their ethnic or national identities, race or perceived racial identities, or the colour of their skin as per the Equality Act of 2010. This includes people who identify as Black, brown, people of colour, Global Majority, mixed-race, multiple heritage and/or are from the Global South, and/or are East and South-East Asian, West Asian, Asian, Middle Eastern, African, African-Caribbean, Caribbean, Latinx, Pacific Islander, Indigenous, or First Nations, and diasporas.

 

**‘Scottish BPOC writer’ includes BPOC writers based in Scotland, Scottish BPOC writers living within or outwith Scotland, and BPOC writers with strong links to Scotland, for example, if they lived in Scotland for a number of years and still maintain regular contact with people in Scotland. 

 

Please note:

  • Scotland-based BPOC writers may be prioritised for the majority of activities.
  • Some activities may be open to the general public or the wider literary community in Scotland or beyond, including people who identify as BPOC, or white, or another racial or ethnic identity; for example, readings, panels, book launches.