This is a statement to address incidents of racism that occurred at Wilde Renate in 2019. Discussing this publicly allows us to openly apologise to the affected person, take ownership of our mistakes as a company, communicate the actions we have taken since then and continue to take towards anti-racism and anti-discrimination practices within our organisation.
We are deeply sorry for what happened and for the hurt that was caused. We have been taking steps to ensure this doesn't happen again within our team, club or event space moving forward.
A former employee of Wilde Renate (who was working with us from April 2017 to October 2019) was subject to racist incidents within the company involving two other staff members in 2019. The management were made aware of the incidents at the time and they were discussed in depth between all parties involved. At that time we believed the matter had been amicably resolved between all parties.
In July 2020 talks related to this incident were reopened. As soon as it became clear there were unresolved issues related to the incidents mentioned we have been active in attempting their resolve including actively seeking mediation by a third party. We understand more must be done including a public apology and outlining our commitment to anti-racism as an organization.
Apology to our former employee
To our former employee, the management of Wilde Renate are deeply sorry for not taking more direct and clear action in response to the racism you faced while employed within our organization. We see now how offering more options to support you in the investigation and mediation with these racist incidents were necessary to their proper resolve. We are also sorry that so much time has passed between these conversations, it is disappointing for everyone involved.
What We Are Doing
As a result of the incidents that took place at Wilde Renate and the BLM movement we have begun to understand our personal privileges and responsibilities and are implementing necessary organisational structures to prevent similar incidents happening in the future, and if they should happen, how to deal with them in a clear and urgent manner. We recognize there is an immediate need to improve our practices as a company.
Here are some of the things we have been doing:
• On 6 August of this year we started anti-racism training for the entire team, the next session will happen on 20 October. Topics covered: understanding white privilege, how to become actively anti-racist, how to respond in situations involving racism.
• A company wide anti-discrimination policy was implemented. This includes improving our HR processes for dealing with staff discrimination and dismissals.
• We have appointed two Awareness Managers. They are the first point of contact for staff and guests to interface between management and staff for incidents. They are in charge of internal mediation as well as input regarding the diversity of our bookings and HR. They will hold regular meetings ensuring diversity standards and accountability for the company are met. They will also coordinate workshops and learning resources for the staff.
• Starting in November our security staff will undergo separate anti-racist / anti-discrimination training, which will be provided by the Berlin Club Commission.
• Our booking team have an ongoing commitment to diversity on our line ups and are working to develop this further
• Continuing to host a workshop series in the Wilde Renate garden: Open Culture Lab - free music workshops committed to supporting and the inclusion of refugees, asylum seekers, female identified, non-binary and LGBTQI+, and people of color
• From 2018 - 2020 we have supported Kuniri, which hosted sewing workshops for refugees to prepare them for future jobs and design for the fashion label itself.
• A small anti-racist library in the Wilde Renate beer garden was set up in May for our guests and team to read. All resident DJs also agreed to reading and sharing books on the subject between themselves and continuing to discuss how to actively be anti-racist in the club, and in their lives.
Our priority is to listen, learn and develop further this plan of action with clear targets and a timeline for accountability. We will continue to update this list on our website. More plans are also in discussion but cannot be implemented immediately due to the ongoing pandemic and its effects on our daily business. We are committed to this work.
We hope that positive change will come from this and will encourage a wider discussion around how clubs can make the necessary steps to become more inclusive and to challenge discrimination in all its forms within our institutions. We are committed to diversifying our team and seek to employ more people in key positions (including bookers and resident DJs) that offer a better representation of our community, and the wider history of dance music culture.
In addition it is our responsibility to protect the livelihood of our staff and those who were indirectly involved as a result of the mentioned incidents and the subsequent actions by management. Ultimately we want our patrons, guest DJs, resident DJs and staff to feel that Wilde Renate is a safe place for them.
We are open to receive feedback from the community and to have meaningful and constructive discussions around these topics. If you or a friend has ever felt unsafe or experienced anything untoward by a staff member or patron then we want to hear from you: firstname.lastname@example.org