Beth was nominated for her commitment to making the Resonate Festival inclusive and diverse. Colleagues nominating Beth said
“Throughout the planning and programming stages of the Resonate Festival, Beth was committed to exploring ways that we could programme diverse events, attract new audiences, and ensure accessible and inclusive activities… She looks at events not as ‘who should be included’ but as ‘who are we excluding’ as a result of the preparations in place and tackles each potential exclusion to prevent it becoming an issue for those community groups who would otherwise be isolated.”As a result of her work Beth was made a fellow at the Warwick Institute of Engagement and joined a Learning Circle on developing an inclusive engagement approach, where she has already made contributions as a new member.
In particular, Beth was commended for
- Having many suggestions for speakers and events which went beyond traditional voices, including representation from LGBTQUIA+, disabled, and Black, Asian, and minority ethnic communities.
- Working with the wider team and the SU Islamic Society to coordinate a free Iftar meal for those that were ending their fast so that they weren’t isolated from the Resonate Festival events by having to go home to do so.
- Suggesting and organised having BSL interpreters for events.
- Going in person to check the accessibility-friendly routes hosts would take to ensure that they were easy to follow and wouldn’t result in any problems.
Speaking about being shortlisted, Beth said:
"I’m honoured to have been shortlisted for the Social Inclusion Staff Award amongst so many inspiring colleagues. Co-creation with local communities was at the heart of the Resonate Festival, as was creating a festival that not only welcomed but was built for visitors who wouldn’t usually visit Warwick’s campus. I’m thrilled to have worked with the Institute of Engagement on this project, they encouraged my and others' ideas to embed inclusivity at the core of the three-day campus festival and I’m so proud of what we achieved. There is still more we can do to make future events more inclusive and I’m excited to continue embedding inclusivity in all that I do.”
Tackling Racial Inequality at Warwick staff development programme
The Tackling Racial Inequality at Warwick (TRIW) programme was nominated for making Warwick a more inclusive place for all members of our community by ensuring racial diversity is recognised, understood, and valued. Colleagues nominating the programme said:
“By better preparing staff to engage with Warwick’s diverse student body, both inside and outside the classroom, the programme ensures staff appreciate and value Warwick’s racial diversity and provides them with the tools to recognise and tackle racial inequalities… By equipping staff with knowledge, understanding and tools, the TRIW team is positively impacting the experiences of students of colour at Warwick.”
Initially piloted with 53 staff in 2020/21, the programme has attracted its target of 125 participants in 2021/22 from across the institution. The programme collected feedback before and after attendance, and results show impact in three key areas:
- Learning – The TRIW programme is developing understanding about the social construction of race, the reasons for the awarding gap, the daily experiences of racism for staff and students of colour in HE and at Warwick, and our institutional deficits.
- Self-reflection – The facilitated discussions and exercises participants are presented with instigate a process of self-reflection concerning their own practice, context, and social positions. Whilst often uncomfortable and challenging, the TRIW team offers a supported structure, which is helping staff to uncover their own biases and complicity in the perpetuation of racism and racial inequalities at Warwick.
- Empowerment – Engaging with TRIW is providing participants with not only an understanding of the issues, but also the confidence and commitment to act in their own spheres of work, with their departments and their own students. In doing so, a sense of empowerment is reinforced by an appreciation that we all have a responsibility to improve our community through anti-racism. As a result, the TRIW team is at the forefront of establishing a university-based anti-racist community of practice at Warwick.