Cloudscape Comics is an organization that endeavors to uphold justice, equity and diversity as guiding values in our policies, community work, and publications. We oppose racism against Black, Indigenous and people of colour, as well as discrimination in all form against 2SLGBTQ+ people, and those with stigmatized identities and disabilities. We acknowledge the history and legacy of the social and systemic oppression and discrimination ever present in our world, and how it has negatively affected the publishing industry and the non-profit/charity sector. We seek to break down oppressive structures within our own organization, and recognize that to do so will require education, consultation, introspection, reform, and most importantly, action.
Cloudscape serves as the largest comics-based publisher within British Columbia. We frequently engage the public in comics-based education and skill development. In choosing what kind of stories to present to the public, what history to teach, what skills to pass down, and what artists to support, we recognize that Cloudscape holds a position of power, and thus, responsibility. This is why it is important for Cloudscape Comics to combat the structures within our organization and industry that support white supremacy.
To accomplish this will require meaningful action. Cloudscape’s mandate has always been to include people from all walks of life, and we strive to make our work reflect that. Statements can be meaningful, but only consistent and committed action can lead to necessary change. It is not enough for our organization to call itself anti-racist, anti-colonial and opposed to all forms of discrimination. Even with best intentions, these concepts are pervasive, and are not always immediately identifiable. As volunteers and staff, we must educate ourselves, learn to hold ourselves accountable, and contribute to dismantling the oppressive structures we work and participate in.
There is much for our organization to re-examine and address: the communities we wish to serve, the audiences we want to reach, the stories we tell, the authors we wish to publish, the vendors and printers we use, the artists we hire, who we put in positions of power, and much more. But while we seek to identify the blindspots in our organization’s operations, we will commit to the following policies:
Cloudscape Comics pledges to:
- work towards building a board and staff that is reflective and representative of our diverse community.
- Provide opportunities for equity-deserving artists and actively present stories written and drawn by BIPOC and 2SLGBTQ+ authors.
- Ensure equal pay for all staff, draft and follow anti-discrimination policies and practices, and providing equity centered leadership training and resources for all staff and volunteers.
- Foster a culture of continuous learning and improvement, with an emphasis on listening and consultation with our community.
- Respect our status as guests on the unceded territories of the Musqueam, Squamish and Tsleil-Waututh peoples, and act responsibly in our relationship to the land we live and play on.
- Accept the challenge of bringing comics-based arts education and creative development to all communities within BC, regardless of language, age, sex, gender, ability, race, background or orientation.
Cloudscape’s mission will be an ongoing process. There will always be work to do, ideals to uphold, rights to wrong, and policies and procedures to improve. We may not always succeed, but our goal will always be to make Cloudscape a fair and safe place for all who would join us in the world of creating comics.