Today is our 4th #DiverseEd event.
Who knew when we launched the handle in January with the year on it due to lack of available options, what a year 2020 would be for the world?
The year the world stopped and reflected, the year we took a long, hard look at humanity.
Who knew that 2020 was going to be the year that a spotlight was shone on the need for meaningful Diversity and Inclusion in our world?
The year the world got uncomfortable and the truth was revealed to us about the state of our world.
Who knew that 2020 was going to be the year where we would be trapped in our homes as we watched the footage of #BlackLivesMatter protests?
The year the world woke up to the patriarchy and could no longer ignore racism.
Who knew that 2020 was going to be the year where as a result of a global pandemic Domestic Abuse statistics rose, Transphobic hate increased, the Motherhood Penalty was further strained and the Gender and Race Pay Gap was exasperated?
The year the world could no longer ignore the social inequities impacting people with a protected characteristic.
#DiverseEd is a community of people who are passionate about Diversity and Inclusion in our education system. #DiverseEd is a platform for elevating the thinking from, and amplifying the voices of, diverse people. #DiverseEd is a space for us all to consider what we can do to impact others through our contributions from the micro to the macro: Self, Schools and Society. #DiverseEd is about being the change we want to see and bringing the challenge to the societal, structural and systemic barriers preventing many people from having equality of opportunity.
Some context if you are new to our events about the grassroots communities that have risen over the last few years to bring diverse groups of people together to connect, challenge and change:
#WomenEd was created in 2016
#BAMEed was created in 2017
#LGBTed was created in 2018
#DisabilityEd was created in 2019
In 2016-17 and 2017-18 I led multiple leadership development programmes funded by the DfE’s Equality and Diversity grants across 2 Multi Academy Trusts in London and Surrey to raise the visibility of diverse leaders. We curated personalised content for different cohorts to empower women leaders and BAME leaders to progress in education.
In January 2018 we launched at annual event at the school where I was Headteacher following a conversation with my then DHT Bennie Kara about how many grassroots communities she is part of. She was frustrated at the thought of having to attend 4 Saturday events: 1 for her gender, 1 for her race, 1 for her sexuality and 1 for her disability. We discussed solutions and we pledged to create a space to explore intersectional identity and belonging. At our inaugural event she delivered a key note called ‘Don’t Tuck in My Labels’.
In January 2019 we held our 2nd annual event in Oxfordshire with key note speeches from Angie Browne and Iesha Small who explored their leadership journeys as women of colour working in a broken system and they reflected on the moulds they have needed to break through.
In January 2020 we moved to Slough and our friends at the Pioneer Education Trust hosted us. Our keynote speakers were Diana Osagie, Karen Giles and T’Challa Greaves. Exploring the themes of expectations, empowerment and journeys, each leader shared their story.
It is June 2020 and today we were due to be in Liverpool for our inaugural #DiverseEd North event. It was Patrick Ottley O’Connor’s pledge from our last event to host us to enable access in a different region. We have moved things on line and have collapsed hour long key notes and workshops into micro-presentations. We will be live streaming from 9am and the recording will be shared later on YouTube.
At 1pm we will be asking the 750+ who are booked to join us today for @DiverseEd2020 to make #MyDiverseEdPledge – 1 small thing that they can commit to as an individual, 1 thing they can impact, multiply that by 750 and our voices will be heard.
#MyDiverseEdPledge is twofold:
- To be a better Inclusive Ally. We can all do better. We can all be better.
- To challenge events which are not representative of the diverse communities we serve.
The future of #DiverseEd and plans we have on the horizon…
We are planning a #DiverseEd student-centred event.
We are working with a number of ITE institutions to ensure that Diversity and Inclusion is at the heart of curriculum for trainee teachers.
We are planning a #DiverseEd event for the Independent schools sector who reached out to work with us.
We are planning to return to Slough for Diverse Educators IV, our 4th annual conference.
We will be relaunching our Diverse Leaders programme.
We are planning an Early Careers #DiverseEd event to address the biases in the recruitment system and support BTs, NQTs and RQTs and their mentors.
We will be in Leeds for #DiverseEd North.
Other ideas from today:
We are talking about organising a diversity roundtable for ITE… a New Voices event for #DiverseEd and a Governors event for #DiverseEd…
We are also developing partnerships, raising funds and creating a platform to bring coherence and cohesion to diversity and inclusion in education. Watch this space!