Black Lawyers Matter- Lemn Sissay Law Bursaries

“Considering the disproportionate impact of the criminal justice system upon African Caribbean men, why are so few of our young men going to university to study law?” – THE LEMN SISSAY LAW BURSARIES.

 

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Coronation Street aims to increase diversity of Black / Asian characters and writers

A Young Mr Brandy serving behind the scenes in Nick’s Bistro

So Coronation Street aims to increase diversity of Black and Asian characters and writers…  and about time too! This is great news for young aspiring writers and actors from underrepresented groups. The importance of Black Global Majority role models on television  is paramount. I hope when the time comes the storylines are relevant and present  Black and Asian people  in a different light rather than the negative stereotypical roles we are use to seeing on TV .

Once upon a time I had a regular role on Coronation Street’s ‘Nicks Bistro’ as a supporting actor.  During 2010-2013 there were only a few Black and Asian Crew members and cast. As a supporting artist, I was the one of a few black male representation on the show – even though I only a muttered a few words from time to time. (See my 15 mins of fame below, blink you will miss it!)

Fast forward to 2017, there is more of a diverse representation on the cobbles which is progressive. With 17% of the cast being Black Asian origin.

Producer Kate Oates also wants to recruit writers from a wider range of ethnic backgrounds to tell their stories. Recognising that the show would benefit from greater diversity to appeal to it’s vast audience;

“And we need more black and Asian writers, to bring out the truth of those voices. It’s important to keep the show strong and relevant.” Source radio times

 

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Beyond Black History month: Black and Global Majority (BGM) representation across the curriculum

Representation Matters. Using a range of examples of Black and Global Majority (BGM) role models across all of the subjects taught in schools will contribute towards changing the narrative of  cultural stereotypes in education.  BGM role models should be used all year round, not just during  Black history month or a themed cultural activity! This will ultimately promote positive stereotypes and provide options of alternative professional career paths that will contribute towards breaking the concrete ceiling for the future generation.  BGM representation could be used in every subject in the curriculum. For example;

 

Science:  George Washington Carver. Scientist and inventor of an automobile that as more sophisticated than Henry Ford’s model T

Scientist / Inventor Design and Technology: Garrett Morgan. Inventor of the traffic lights and gas mask

 

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Business Studies: The Black Wall Street (Greenwood, Tulsa) one of the most prominent concentrations of African-American businesses in the United States during the early 20th century

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IT / Computing: Jerry Lawson, Inventor of the modern day console

 

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Art: Jean-Michel Basquiat. Artist and responsible for the most expensive painting sold $110 million

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English: Maya Angelou

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Mathematics: Katherine Johnson Mathematics was responsible for putting the first people on the moon

Keep checking the website the summer for SoW for a range of subjects.

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Rochester Grammar School Slave Auction; Racist practitioners pushing the boundaries in our schools

Rochester Grammar School in Kent- KS3 simulated slave auction exercise in History lessons.

Utter disbelief! Racism and inequality in education has always been a underlying problem,  however, its been a long time since I have witnessed an example as blatant as this.Instances like this are a  justification  for my research and dedication  towards leading  equality and diversity in education.

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I will go as far to say that the  Rochester Grammar School’s ‘Slave auction task’ are the actions of practitioners with racist ideals pushing the boundaries of education. This may be through unconscious or conscious biases that need to be addressed to ensure that racism is repudiated within education.

It is imperative that equality and diversity training should be mandatory for staff and pupils to continue to educate those who lack basic common sense. Especially in the above circumstance!! Instances like this should be brought to the forefront and not be swept under the carpet like its ‘no big issue’.

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2017/jul/12/kent-school-criticised-approach-history-of-slavery

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Beyond the Implicit Bias test. Strategies for deep rooted diversity and equality in Education

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Have you taken the implicit bias test? Follow link: https://implicit.harvard.edu/implicit/takeatest.html 

The test highlights your personal biases relating to issues such as gender, religion, race, skin colour etc. It is a good introduction for a whole school staff training to discuss issues relating to biases relating to discrimination in education. However, schools are at risk of using the tests as ‘edu-tainment’ – a standalone strategy to justify equality training within a school to adhere to guidelines set by the government.

Image result for implicit bias test What could we start doing to ensure that equality and diversity is embedded in your schools policies and processes?

Leading Equality has designed an audit that specifically focused on issues relating to Diversity and equality within a school. The audit tool monitors areas such as;

  • Communication strategy
  • Racism policy
  • Recruitment process
  • Staff training
  • Community cohesion
  • Data of staff and student representation
  • How the school identifies opportunities to celebrate diversity
  • The schools approach to homophobic, biphobic and transphobic bullying

The audit template will be available for download from the 28.07.17

 

 

 

 

 

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Barriers and limitations: How are you labelled? BAME? BME? Black Asian Minority Ethnic?

BAME is the latest terminology used to summarize ethnic groups in England. The main characteristic that people associated to the BAME group have in common, is that they are non-white British within the UK.

Aspinal’s (2002) work on collective terminology is complemented by Richardson (2006). using the label ‘BAME’ could present limitations as the term Minority has connotations of inferiority, whilst the majority, being white people, belong to a single dominant group. Whilst the use of Black and Asian does not imply that the two ethnic groups belong to a minority.

Ethnic grouping does not cater for the individual needs of different ethnic backgrounds. For example, issues of islamophobia  is typically directed at Muslims commonly from an Eastern Asian origin may not apply to other ethnic groups within the BAME group. Therefore, issues need to be addressed independently rather than being placed in ‘ethnic groups’ as it fails to cater for particular needs of individual ethnic groups.

For the full report visit

http://leadingequality.com/2017/04/23/issues-of-race-in-secondary-education-breaking-through-the-concrete-ceiling/

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How does unconscious bias affect you?

 

An example of good practice for encouraging diversity exists at the University of Manchester (University of Manchester, 2016), during the recruitment process they use an Implicit Association Test Beattie (2012), which measures unconscious attitudes to create a fairer employment procedure. A similar system in the secondary education recruitment process would be beneficial to promote quality and diversity. Similarly, the government funded charity, Teach First (2015), has restricted the occurrence of unconscious bias within their own recruitment. Through the ‘Name Blind’ process, a cohort of BAME trainee teachers has increased to 15%. This is evidence that similar ‘nameless’ systems should be considered as policy across the UK workforce as it promotes diversity and reduces discrimination.

Interested in Unconscious Bias? Sign up to the upcoming ‘beyond unconscious bias’ event.

https://bameednetwork.com/2017/04/19/bameed-unconference-programme-for-the-day-3617/

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Intersectional Discourses: Race and Gender

Seminar of the Critical Discourses in the Academy seminar series on 7th June, 2017 (4-6pm). We will be looking at Intersectionality and the need to theorize Race, Gender, Sexuality and Religion together! The seminar will be held in Room AG3/4, Ellen Wilkinson Building, University of Manchester. Further details are in the poster below.

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