Category Archives: EDI

Join our Inclusion Circles

All University of Kent Black, Asian and minority ethnic (BAME) staff are invited to join our first Inclusion Circle session on 10 March 2021, focusing on BAME wellbeing, as part of our ‘Challenging Racism’ campaign.

The aim of the Inclusion Circles is to create a safe environment to listen to staff concerns, share experiences, discuss a variety of topics, and show solidarity. Facilitated by Inclusive Employers, the programme will take place over three 90-minute sessions. The first two sessions will focus on a different topic, with the third session culminating in an action plan based on feedback and shared experiences from earlier sessions.

Session 1 Inclusion Circle 1: Black, Asian and minority ethnic (BAME) wellbeing (10 March, 10.00) 

    • A BAME* only discussion about current Black Lives Matter (BLM) movement and the disproportionate effect of Coronavirus on BAME people.
    • A place to feel comfortable, share experiences and to find out how to get support
    • This is a safe space to express concerns and show solidarity

Sign up now, spaces are limited!

Further information and a full list of additional dates corresponding to Inclusion Circle sessions, can be found on Staff Connect. [Logon to your to Staff Connect account, click on ‘My Training Details’, then click on ‘Training Request’, enter search term ‘Inclusion Circles’ and click on ‘Search’ button.]

*Please note: the acronym BAME does not represent a homogenous group but is used here in a similar manner to its use in higher education research and by the Office for National Statistics (ONS) for statistical purposes, to represent people who are racialised as belonging to a Black, Asian or minority ethnic background.

LGBT+ History Month – This is Not My First PANDEMIC

The University of Kent LGBT+ Staff Network is pleased to invite you to the final event in our series to mark LGBT+ History Month 2021. ‘This Is Not My First PANDEMIC – The LGBT+ Community Response to AIDS & Covid: then & now’ will take place on Thursday 25 February from 18.00-20.00.

The Programme

During the Teams event, we will hear from three speakers about the impact of the AIDS and Covid-19 pandemics on our community, drawing parallels between the two:

  • Jose C. Mejia, HIV Peer Support Manager, METRO Charity – ‘Insight on the experiences of people living with HIV during the COVID-19 pandemic: activism, triggers and vaccines’
  • Dr Ken Levine, Faculty Member, Department of Communication at Michigan State University – ‘From AIDS to COVID-19: examining the impact of messaging on the two pandemics’
  • Hilary Cooke, CEO of Medway Gender & Sexual Identity Centre, Chair of Medway Pride, founding member of Medway Pride Radio – ‘Trans realities 2021: health care, support, discrimination and hate crime’

This will be followed by a panel discussion and Q&A.

Attendance is free and open to all. Please register your intention to attend via Eventbrite.

Allyship Progamme – starting 23 February 2021

Continuing with our ‘Challenging Racism’ campaign, 23 February 2021 sees the start of our Inclusive Allyship Programme as a four part series looking at the values, behaviours and actions of Allies within Kent.

Allies will play a key role in supporting the University to advance its Equality agenda by linking with the staff networks, to support them with events and activities; be driven by staff lived experience and expertise; and support various stakeholders across the University to drive a culture of inclusion.

We continue our partnering with Liverpool John Moores University and City, University of London, and Inclusive Employers in delivering the Allyship programme with a cohort of 40 people across all 3 institutions.

Inclusive Allyship Programme (Part A)

Delivered by Inclusive Employers, the programme will take place over several weeks to allow for reflection and action between sessions. Each session will be one hour long.

Aim of the programme:

  • Understand what makes an Inclusion Ally and how it relates to three key areas: values, behaviours and actions.
  • Explore privilege, circles of influence, and the boundaries of the role.
  • Explore frameworks and techniques to challenge exclusion and have challenging conversations.
  • Create an individual plan of action.

Session 1 (Introductory Session) – “Welcome to Allies” webinar (23 February 2021 – 11.00)

  • Values: why are Allies important? – We’ll take a look at the purpose of Allies at the University and the wider context, including anti-racism and structural discrimination.
  • Behaviours: how do Allies make a difference? – We’ll discuss privilege and power and how this can be utilised to make the workplace more inclusive, identifying the boundaries of the Ally role.
  • Actions: what do Allies do? – We’ll look at specific projects and initiatives Allies can support, and the actions they will be taking over the next 4 weeks

Further information and a full list of additional dates corresponding to the Allyship programme, can be found on Staff Connect. There are places still available so don’t forget to book your spot!

Man wearing jumper that says "respect"

Take the Expect Respect Module

Here at Kent, we want everyone to be treated with dignity and respect. Therefore, we have taken proactive steps to ensure you are well informed and know about the support available.   

The Expect Respect module is a compulsory module for all registered students at the University of Kent, regardless of what you are studying or whether you are an undergraduate or postgraduate student.  

The Expect Respect module outlines the behaviours we expect of you whilst you are with us as well as what you can expect from both the University and your Students’ Union. The module will dig deep into issues of racism, bias, sexual harassment and consent; it will challenge you to think about your own behaviour, the way you interact with others and the impact this could have on someone else’s experience.  

This module will demonstrate how to report any incidents to the University so that you, or any student affected, can access the right support. It will also make you aware of the wide range of different support services available to you depending on your needs.  

You can find the Expect Respect module on Moodle (code DP6636) – you should be automatically enrolled but if you have any issues please get in contact with Auzimuth Jackson at A.Jackson-502@kent.ac.uk. 

Reclaiming our Past: LGBT+ History Month blogs

A series of blog posts championing influential films, music, authors and historical figures has been launched to mark LGBT+ History Month.

The blog posts published so far on our EDI pages feature:

  • the inspirational author and activist Audre Lorde, written by Dr Stella Bolaki, Reader in the School of English
  • James Baldwin’s Giovanni’s Room, described as a ‘stunning and startling piece of literature’ by Dr Declan Kavanagh, Senior Lecturer in the School of English

LGBT+ History Month, originally the idea of an American teacher in 1994, has been celebrated in Britain since 2005. Sue Sanders, who has spoken at the University, was one of the co-founders. It is held every February, marking the first attempt (in February 2000) to repeal Section 28, a highly discriminatory piece of legislation which made it an offence to ‘promote’ homosexuality.

The History Month serves as an important opportunity to celebrate LGBT+ histories and cultures, raising awareness by recovering the stories of those who are often erased (or ‘straight-washed’) from popular memory and making visible the achievements and obstacles overcome. Its remit is about ‘Claiming our past. Celebrating our present. Creating our future’.

Staff Network events

A series of events run by our LGBT+ Staff Network include LGBT in Lockdown – Wednesday 17 February from 18.00 and This Is Not My First Pandemic – Thursday 25 February from 18.00.