A whole community approach to Equality, Diversity and Inclusion and the adoption of the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA) working definition of antisemitism.
At Heart of Worcestershire College equality, diversity and inclusion is of upmost importance. The college aims for everyone to feel welcome, included and accepted within the college community. The college has a proactive and positive approach to equality and diversity that extends beyond the statutory duty.
The college’s mission is to ‘inspire, innovate and advance’. The values of integrity, trust, inclusivity and partnership serve as the underpinning framework for this mission, articulating how the college behaves and guides every aspect of the business.
The college believes one of the most important ways of improving equality, diversity and inclusion within its community is through continual education.
Taking the time to learn about different cultures, religions, races or histories perspectives and current injustices is at the centre of making real progression towards creating an environment – and world – that is accepting of all individuals.
Whilst the college is able to do this with students through its study programmes, it also felt it was important to share and celebrate good practice and to raise awareness of equality, diversity and inclusion within the community.
As an organisation, the college made a decision to develop its equality, diversity and inclusion practices in the hope of encouraging others to take the time to learn something new and establish ways to make lasting and meaningful change towards a more equal, diverse and inclusive society.
It was also a perfect opportunity to share the IHRA working definition of antisemitism and why the college has adopted it. The college has a zero-tolerance policy for any form of discrimination, racism or harmful prejudice towards any individual. It prides itself on its vision to inspire, innovate and advance, and wants to provide every person with an equal opportunity and safe environment to learn and grow as an individual.
The college is aware that antisemitism is still prevalent in our world today. As a result, the college wanted to take the time to source more information and collate it alongside some helpful resources in order to not only further its own education as a college on the matter, but to also facilitate education within the wider community.
The marketing team assisted in the creation, promotion, organisation and distribution of equality, diversity and inclusion content on a broad range of subjects such as disability, gender equality, Judaism and antisemitism, LGBT+, mental health, consent and relationships, racism, black lives matter, Islamic faith and islamophobia and xenophobia. The content has been promoted on social media to its community and has been showcased with staff and students during training days, equality, diversity and inclusion meetings, newsletters and tutorials.
Heart of Worcestershire College has a dedicated page on its website for equality, diversity and inclusion.
The subject areas have been extensively researched and include a broad range of subjects including racism and the Black Lives Matter movement, xenophobia, the Islamic faith and Islamophobia and Judaism and antisemitism.
Each category is organised into subject areas. The reader can expand the content to access further information, links to support and resources.
The information is freely available on the college’s website, enabling the community to enhance their equality, diversity and inclusion knowledge without barriers.
As well as enhancing knowledge, the college is aware that many of the subjects may trigger an emotional reaction from readers and felt it was important to ensure that the pages included links to support, charities and alternatives resources to support the community.
In addition to the website, the marketing team has showcased the resources through social media on awareness days and months such as Holocaust Memorial Day, World Refugee Day and International Women’s Day.
The college has had a positive response to the content through both staff and student feedback. Staff members of the college’s Equality, Diversity and Inclusion Strategic group commended the resources as being vibrant and informative. The college will be continuing to advance equality, diversity and inclusion education.
Author: Sal Friel, Head of Student Support and Wellbeing