“Everything begins with an idea”. Earl Nightingale
10th January 2019
Happy New Year and welcome to our first blog of 2019.
I started last year with a blog about New Year’s resolutions. I thought I would start 2019 sharing some of what we have in the pipeline around equality, diversity and inclusion. We have lots of new ideas and exciting things in the planning stage.
Our priority remains making a personal connection between staff and students and equality and diversity. One approach is to capture our student voice. We have started making videos with our LGBT+ students and will be working with our disabled students this term. We’re hoping to get an insight into the impact of reasonable adjustments; the positive impacts for our students and also how they feel when we don’t get it quite right. We’ll be expanding our focus groups, providing space for particular groups of students to share their experiences of student life. With production support from John Anderson (one of our students), the Head of Student Wellbeing and I will begin recording and publishing our podcast. This provides another opportunity to hear the student voice as we plan to have many guests.
A dance festival with a focus on cultural diversity is also an idea being worked up. We are planning master classes that will explore the cultural heritage behind different dance styles and allow people to have a go! We will announce the date soon, so watch this space.
We have now come to the end of our project with Advance HE, our “Challenge for Change Project”. It has been a very interesting couple of years. As a project team I think we have bought about quite a significant change in the activities that we run, and the way that we deliver them for our students of colour. We are more aware of language and imagery used when promoting events, and who we invite as guest speakers. We are currently working on our evaluation report, and will certainly share it once completed.
We continue to be part of the Cheltenham LGBT Partnership and are developing the Gloucestershire Employers Diversity and Inclusion Network. At our initial meeting last October, we agreed to collaborate on aspects of equality, diversity and inclusion.
2019 also provides an opportunity to build new partnerships. We are looking to support colleagues Lottie, Jess and Allie on their Health and Well Being festival planned between 9th – 15th September. Look out for more on this over the coming months.
The Equality Team will also be working closely with the Institute of Coding, supporting activities including “hackathons”. This brings a range of new, and very different, partners which is really exiting for the team.
You can see we have a full year ahead and lots to do! If you would like to get involved, or have an idea for work, just get in touch.
Don’t forget you can also follow us on Twitter @UoGEquality