Oaklash's Cultural
Equity Framework

Oaklash is committed to enacting an equitable vision of racial, ethnic, gender, class, and ability empowerment. We aim to stay true to the history of Oakland as a home to creative renaissance rooted in diversity by amplifying and supporting the whole of its queer art community, emphasizing the need for investment in the arts as a means to dismantle/combat systemic racism, growing economic disparities, and the Bay Area's housing crisis. To that end, we prioritize and incorporate the following values into our actions at both the organizational and directorial levels. Below each value are listed the actions that we endeavor to take for Oaklash 2021.

Racial equity:Elevating, highlighting, and empowering marginalized populations who have been historically oppressed and/or overlooked. Racial equity in particular means not only  the removal of all obstacles that hinder BIPOC community members from achieving the safety, comfort, resources, opportunities, and success they deserve due to systemic racism, but also equipping these artists with the means and support to overcome the its repercussions and its widespread consequences and discriminatory practices.

​Our 2021 Commitment:

  • Curatorial committee chosen from within community and instructed to make decisions on the basis of our mission & equity framework

  • 100% of performers and artists paid

  • No application fees & simplified application forms

DIVERSITY:Reflecting the rich demographic makeup of Oakland and the Bay Area in our performers, audiences, organizers, and leadership

​Our 2021 Commitment:

  • Majority of board leadership positions to be held by POC

  • Majority of curatorial committee and selected performers to be POC

  • Training and guidance for POC to step into leadership positions

  • We will not tolerate discriminatory or culturally appropriative performances. All pre-recorded performances will be screened and quality controlled in advance.

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*Due to lack of self-identification, numbers are approximate.

** 2021 numbers not reflective of final lineup including panelists, DJs, and headliners 

Accessibility:Enabling people who operate at all types of physical ability to enjoy festival programming.

​Our 2021 Commitment:

  • Livestreaming our show on a free & all-ages virtual platform

  • ASL interpretation for panel discussions and main stage performances

  • Closed captioning on all pre-recorded drag performance videos

  • Operating our events at ADA accessible venues

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HARM REDUCTION:Relying on concepts of conflict management, de-escalation, and substance regulation to create a judgement-free environment of access and safety for all without involving law enforcement.

​Our 2021 Commitment:

  • Designated volunteers trained in administering Narcan on site

  • Encouraging safe drug & alcohol consumption and community support for inebriated people at our events

Bodily autonomy:Reaffirming the necessity of consent for physical touch and interaction so that everyone may enjoy themselves, programming and each other.

​Our 2021 Commitment:

  • We will not tolerate physical, verbal, sexual or emotional harassment of any kind 

  • We will ensure COVID safety instructions are clear and maintained consistently throughout the course of our event

Transparency:Communicating the processes, motivations, and results of decisions and actions we take to carry out the vision outlined in this statement.

​Our 2021 Commitment:

  • Annual update on the results, impact, and reach of all of our programs. 

  • Board of directors listed at oaklash.com/about. Board directors set to renew positions every two years.

  • Curatorial committee members listed on oaklash.com/lineup. 50% turnover of curatorial committee every year

Anti-corporatism:Uplifting the local queer nightlife economy & community-led businesses and standing against the corporatization, sanitization, and homogenization of queer celebrations and affairs.

​Our 2021 Commitment:

  • Defined parameters of behavior for engaging with corporate sponsors

  • Board implemented ethics review of each annual sponsor package

  • We will not alter our spaces to conform to Corporate American standards of moral practice

  • Minimal air time for corporate speakers & commercial placements

EVOLUTION:Continually growing as individuals and as an organization by evaluating, critiquing, and improving on how we carry out the vision outlined in this statement.

​Our 2021 Commitment:

  • Annual review of programmatic goals and commitment to equity

  • Annual review of our curatorial process

  • Feedback form after each festival

  • Always open to hearing from attendees at OaklashFeedback@gmail.com

Concessions: Oaklash is a young organization and as such we recognize that there is much to learn in realizing our vision of a diverse, resourced and respected queer arts community in Oakland and the Bay Area as a whole. There is also much work to be done to create equity for Black, Indigenous, Latinx and API performers, as well as the communities and people that support them. Mutual-Aid, Peer-2-Peer support, Creative & Professional development programming, fully accessible, family-friendly and sober events, the expansion of the availability of interpreter and harm-reduction services at these events, and so much more are all within the scope of our plans for the best Oaklash we can build. We acknowledge that Oaklash will not single-handedly establish racial equity across the Bay's performance community, however, with eyes and action toward that future, we are proud of where our improvement begins.