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Advancing equality and diversity in universities and colleges


The Northern College

TeachDifferent: the identity programme

Keywords: Identity champions, Intersectional identities, Voice

Region: Yorkshire and the Humber region

Aims

This project aimed to change the way the sector talks about equality, diversity, privilege and the intersection of different identities. It aimed to enable students to express their identities safely and without prejudice.

The project used thinking environment processes to challenge untrue limiting assumptions made about aspects of identity, intersectionality and privilege; all difficult concepts to articulate and ones that are unacknowledged in the sector. It provided not only sector leadership, but also a legacy of voices, stories and strategies.

The project made use of the TeachDifferent community of praxis to identify at least 12 identity champions who experience prejudice or self-limiting assumptions and may also experience privilege across more than one protected characteristic.

Outcomes

As a result of this project:

  • thinking environment approaches to embedding equality and diversity (thinking rounds, thinking pairs, the Ten Components) are now used at eight institutions
  • A shift in language has been seen, as participants moved from talking about equality and diversity to using terminology such as identity, intersectionality, privilege, white work etc.
  • A network of identity champions exists and continues to discuss equality and diversity issues, share resources and instigate new teaching practices

Project participants reported a growth in personal confidence regarding the embedding and integration of equality and diversity in their practice.

Resources

Project team

Main contact: Lou Mycroft: l.mycroft@northern.ac.uk