We believe education and learning are central to tackling structural anti-black racism in our society. Over the past few weeks, we have come together as a team to listen, learn and discuss the work we need to do to create an inclusive and equitable environment for our students, ambassadors and team.
This is a learning journey that will take time. We don’t have all the answers but we are committed to turning our intentions into actions. We will be bold, specific and transparent about our commitments so that you, our community, can hold us to account.
Acknowledging we have more to do
We want to build an organisation where equality and inclusion run through everything we do: from the day-to-day running of LIS, to our admissions, teaching and learning, student support, outreach activities and rules and regulations. We have already taken some steps to achieve this. But we know we have more to do.
To start the conversation we want to share some of our short and longer term commitments with you.
– Admissions – Our aim is to recruit a student body that reflects the population of our capital city, where all individuals, no matter their background or circumstances, have equal opportunity to thrive and succeed. We know that students’ educational outcomes have deep roots in other social and economic inequalities. We have therefore developed an open access admissions process that goes beyond grades. We are working with sector-leading organisations such as the Amos Bursary to ensure that our admissions process is inclusive and fair.
– Curriculum design – As part of our ongoing curriculum development our faculty are engaged in discussions about voice, power, privilege, representation, non-western knowledge, global citizenship, gender diversity and intersectionality. These conversations will shape and inform future programme design.
– Outreach activities in schools – We want to develop and share learning materials that enable students to investigate issues linked to social injustices. For example, we’re currently working on resources for our Discovery Days investigating why levels of COVID-19 are higher in BAME communities.
– Team recruitment – We need to improve our recruitment methods in order to attract an applicant pool that is more representative of society. To help achieve this, we will work with recruiters that proactively support individuals from minority backgrounds and will change the way we publicise and phrase our job vacancies.
– Training and development – LIS team members are currently taking part in an equality and inclusion training programme, including unconscious bias, gender diversity, anti-racism, and intersectionality. This programme is ongoing and will also be rolled out to students when they join us in 2021.
We know this is just a start; and that we will need to monitor outcomes and make improvements as we go. But this is an ongoing conversation. And one that we want to invite you to be a part of. We will update our community on our targets and activities and share materials we find interesting as we continue to build LIS into a learning organisation committed to opening opportunities and creating change.