Category Archives: Equality

Inspirational Diversity Champion of the Month – November 2020

October is Black History Month and also on 16 October it is World Food Day.  With that in mind we have chosen Marcus Rashford as our Inspirational Diversity Champion of the month.

Marcus is a professional footballer who plays for Manchester United.  He was bought by his mum who often struggled to afford food to provide meals for Marcus and his siblings.

The issue of food poverty for families and children had always therefore been something that Marcus was very keen to help with and he has been working with the charity FareShareUK to raise money to supply meals for 3 million vulnerable people.  During the coronavirus lockdown the government insisted that food vouchers for families on free school meals would not be extended outside of term time so he decided to act.

He wrote an open letter to all MPs calling for the decision to be reversed.  The letter drew on his own experiences growing up relying of free school meals and food banks.  He asked that the government make the U turn to protect the lives of the most vulnerable which was not about politics but about humanity.  In June 2020 it was confirmed that he had been successful in his quest and the government changed their mind and extended the scheme through the school holidays.

He has now formed a taskforce with some of the UK’s biggest food brands to continue the work to reduced child food poverty and backed proposals from the National Food Strategy, for an independent review of UK food policy.  Marcus is confident that the group could help change lives for the better and is hoping that with a bigger team of experts he will be able to help more children.

To find out more about Marcus see here https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Marcus_Rashford

To find out more about Black History Month see here https://www.blackhistorymonth.org.uk/

To find out more about World Food Day see here http://www.national-awareness-days.com/world-food-day/

EDI annual report 2019/20

The EDI Strategy 2019-2022 is a declaration of the university’s commitment to place the promotion of equality, diversity and inclusion at the heart of the university. We believe that having a clear Equality and Diversity Policy Statement for students and staff reinforces our expectations of the values and behaviours that all members of the university community should exhibit: 

  • Treat others with respect at all times, and promote an environment free of all kinds of bullying and harassment.
  • Actively discourage discriminatory behaviours or practices.  
  • Participate in training and learning opportunities that would enable them to adopt best practice.

You can read the (EDI) Annual Report now.

Black Lives Matter: a statement from the Vice-Chancellor, GSU officers, Chairs of EDI Committee & Chair of BAME staff network

We stand together in solidarity with our black students and staff.

As a university community and as individuals we are appalled by the senseless racist killing of George Floyd in the USA. We are equally saddened that the UK is not innocent. We know Sheku Bayoh, Kingsley Burrell, Sarah Reed, and many others have died in police custody in this country. We also all know about the racially motivated murder of Stephen Lawrence.

We need to see the situation for what it is and we need to be honest: these experiences exist and structural racism is present in our communities and in our universities. As employers, educators, researchers and community leaders we have a duty to act and an important part to play, and we should start with apologising for not doing enough and for not confronting racism with the urgency it deserves.

We also know saying this isn’t sufficient. We have a duty to do better. Equality, diversity and inclusion are founding principles of our institution and core beliefs of our students and staff. We know that world events and media coverage shouldn’t be the only driver for change but recent events and feedback from staff and students tells us that we need to do more.

With this in mind, we are committing to a review of all of our equality and diversity work and by the end of September 2020 we will be sharing our detailed plan of action setting out how we will do more to achieve systemic and long-lasting change for our students and staff. As part of this, we will be reflecting on the work done by the Equality, Diversity and Inclusion Committee, the BAME attainment gap project and the BAME Staff Network.

The Vice-Chancellor will also be appointing a member of staff to work directly with her 1-2 days per week, on a secondment basis, to champion and deliver this important work.

We recognise that we also have a responsibility to educate ourselves and we will shortly be sharing resources for students and staff across the university.

In the meantime, we recognise how tough, hurtful, and traumatising the last few weeks have been to our black students and staff.

If you need support now, or at any time in the future, you can contact the Wellbeing Service or GSU Advice Service (for students) or the Employee Assistance Programme, a wellbeing champion or a member of Human Resources (for staff).

You can also join our BAME Staff Network (by emailing Natasha Abreo) or GSU’s BAME Student Society by emailing Mayo Femi-Obalemo, or email any suggestions you may have about how the university should take further action to Naseer Ahmad or Simone Murch from our EDI team.

Black lives matter.

Professor Jane Harrington

Vice-Chancellor and on behalf of the University of Greenwich

Dr Sandhi Patchay

Chair and on behalf of the University of Greenwich BAME Staff Network

GSU Officers

On behalf of Greenwich Students’ Union

Gail Brindley, Director of HR & Professor Mark O’Thomas, PVC, Faculty of Liberal Arts and Science, Co-Chairs, and on behalf of the Equality, Diversity and Inclusion Committee at the University of Greenwich

Booker Prize: Margaret Atwood and Bernardine Evaristo share award

Margaret Atwood and Bernardine Evaristo have been named the joint winners of the 2019 Booker Prize after the judges broke their rules by declaring a tie.

Atwood’s The Testaments, the Canadian writer’s follow-up to The Handmaid’s Tale, was recognised alongside Londoner Evaristo’s novel Girl, Woman, Other.

The pair will split the literary award’s £50,000 prize money equally.

The Booker rules say the prize must not be divided, but the judges insisted they “couldn’t separate” the two works.

Atwood, 79, is the oldest ever Booker winner, while Evaristo is the first black woman to win. More

Celebrating Black History Month

Don’t miss the Black Excellence exhibition in Dreadnought and online – it’s just one of the events organised by the GSU and the BAME Staff Network. 4 October 2019 

The Students’ Union exhibition space in Dreadnought is hosting the Black Excellence exhibition, which celebrates and highlights the success of black students, staff and alumni from our university community.  Throughout the month it will feature a series of weekly exhibitions: 

  • Black leaders featuring staff, students and alumni
  • Black cultures through art and fashion
  • Black entrepreneurs in our university community and
  • Black alumni.

Our BAME Staff Network is also launching in Black History Month, with a launch event on 8 October, which is one of many events they have organised.

For more details of the events organised throughout the month, please see the events listings below.
https://www.gre.ac.uk/events/staff-events

Providing our staff and students with a fair and inclusive environment

Our Equality, Diversity and Inclusion Strategy and Action Plan set out how we will provide an environment where you can flourish and achieve your full potential.

We want to see the university reflect the diversity of the community we serve.  To help us achieve this we are launching the Equality, Diversity and Inclusion (EDI) Strategy 2019-22, along with our Action Plan. 

The key aims of the EDI strategy are:

  • Continue to focus on improving the numbers of under-represented groups across all levels of the university.
  • Aim to improve the educational achievement for all protected groups.
  • Ensure a more inclusive curriculum and culture.

We see diversity as a strength which should be encouraged, celebrated and promoted across our staff and student communities.

To find out more about the actions we will take view the full strategy and action plan.

Altrincham FC: Non-league team tackles homophobia in rainbow kit

Josh Hancock

Non-league Altrincham showed their support for football’s fight against homophobia by wearing a kit based on the LGBT rainbow flag.

The National League North side – who normally play in red and white stripes – say they are the first club to wear a shirt inspired by the flag’s colours.

Director Bill Waterson said the move was “a big statement” and “a small moment of football history”.

Saturday’s home match against Bradford (Park Avenue) ended in a 1-1 draw.  More

Cresta Run: Women allowed to race iconic track in Switzerland

A woman races down the Cresta Run in the early part of the 20th Century

Women will be allowed to race down the iconic Cresta Run toboggan track in Switzerland this season after an 89-year ban was overturned.

They had been allowed to race on equal terms with men until the 1920s when it was deemed medically dangerous.

However at a St Moritz Tobogganing Club meeting members voted by a two-thirds majority to allow women to ride the Cresta Run again and become members.  More

Ethnicity pay gap: Firms may be forced to reveal figures

A group of people with a black man in the middle

Companies may be forced to reveal their ethnicity pay gap under plans unveiled by the prime minister to help minorities at work.

Theresa May has launched a consultation on whether mandatory reporting will help address disparities between the pay and career prospects of minorities.

She acknowledged that minorities often “feel like they are hitting a brick wall” at work.

The move follows the decision to make firms reveal their gender pay gaps.

Downing Street said the consultation would allow businesses to share views on what information should be published “to allow for decisive action to be taken” while at the same time avoiding “undue burdens on businesses”. It will run until January.

The government’s Race Disparity Audit last year showed widely varying outcomes in areas including education, employment, health and criminal justice between Britain’s white and ethnic minority populations.  More