Dr Patty Baker, Senior Lecturer in the Department of Classical and Archaeological studies, held an online conference/workshop entitled ‘Overcoming Challenges in the Development of Diversity, Equality and Inclusivity Initiatives in Higher Education’ on 8 July 2019.
Eight speakers took part with 20 online-attendees. It was the first event of a developing series of online seminars/workshops and conferences related to EDI issues, which will be recorded and posted as Podcasts.
The project is specifically about sharing knowledge with various groups at the University of Kent, such as the Decolonising the Curriculum Committee and Student Success Project, working towards the development of a cohesive EDI plan. Patty commented: “This is a significant workshop that will help to build the University’s EDI training and plans.”
This workshop developed out of an INSIGHTS (Senior Women’s Leadership Training Group) project Patty developed when asked to suggest an area for University development. She recognised the need for staff training to encourage difficult classroom discussions, inclusive seminars, and microaggressions, for example. She researched how EDI training is undertaken elsewhere, and contacted EDI Deans/Chief Diversity Officers in universities and liberal arts colleges in the United States to discuss their programmes. July’s event is building on this network.