We're now at the stage where we've put together a basic plan of what we want our final product (three minute film) to look like. We've provisionally called it "Dealing with transgender people: getting it right". It's now in the hands of the "professionals" who have begun to create the actual film. Hoping for some updates from them soon and the chance to look at how its coming along.
I'm still on a massive high after our Equalitydefinition and Diversity Conference yesterday! Learners from secondary schools and Colleges in Leicester attended the event and focused on how they could implement change with regards to Equality and Diversityy in their own schools and Colleges.
After taking part in an interactive warmup activity and quiz, Learners got the oppourtunity to particpate in open dialogue with fellow learners and workshop faciliatators from the fileds of LGBT, BAME, Disabilitydefinition, Faith, and Refugee and Asylum. Learners then made 'Equality and Diversity' pledges. These consisted of poems, statements, affirmations, even raps about how they would promote, believe in and support E and D.
Some highlights of the day for me were listening to a learners honest and heart felt rap about supporting refugee and asylum seekers and having requests from secondary schools to know more about the project and the work the College has done with regards to E and D.
How great is it that as a College our learners have benefited from the project, but to then have the potential for other young people accross the city to benefit is amazing, were definately giving you your moneys worth NIACEdefinition!!!
Pictures and updates on the project will follow shortly on our webpage
Revisions for the 'Embedding' section of the guide now taking place in response to feedback received from Creative Industries curriculum area. New suggestions for additional 'Curriculum Role Models' for the guide which move away from the usual suspects. For example, the work of the gay US artist Keith Haring now providing the focus for an Art and Design Project and composer/electronic musician Wendy Carlos as a Transgenderdefinition role model focus for Music Technology learners. This method of embedding LGBT themes into the curriculum through identification of significant role models appears to be working. Awaiting feedback from STEM re. their ideas in relation to an Alan Turing project idea.
Whether it is managing the Equality and Diversity Innovation Fund (EDIF) for the Skills Funding Agency, or visiting providers on the Education and Training Foundation equalities pop-up tour or the equalities teaching I do for my own CPDdefinition, much of what I do in my current job is work out what we mean by 'equalities' and then what 'embedding equalities in everything we do' really means for education and training practitioners and organisations: What would it look and feel like? How do we know if we are getting it right? How do we make sure we seek out the next challenge and the next - enjoying the fact that this work about the complexity of the human condition will never be 'done' or 'finished' but we will always keep trying?
This Wednesday (14 May) the #EDIFund projects met in London to plan our Summer 2014 national dissemination events. My job at this stage is to ensure that our guests at this Summers's dissemination events get the best possible opportunities to find out about the very best thinking, practice and resources which they can then use to benefit their learners in the new 2014/15 academic year and beyond. It's the point on the year where my focus has to shift to understanding and putting our audience at the events centre stage in my thinking.
Need to re-visit some sections of the guide this week especially in relation to events in Russia in recent months and the attitude of the authorities there towards the LGBT community. In particular pondering upon the recent Eurovision contest and negative homophobic comments expressed. How to integrate such events into the guide in order to give it both a contemporary and international perspective?
This coming week will see revisions being made to the LGBT Guide and addition of hyperlinks to take into account some recent cultural events. All part and parcel of the 'organic' nature of what we are creating.
We want the guide not to be 'set in stone' but to be responsive to changing contexts and views.
Even when the project ends, the guide will not stay 'frozen in time' but will change from year-to-year.
Progress towards completion of LGBT Good Practice Guide to coincide with International Day against HomophobiaSubmitted by North Lindsey E... on Sat 17-May-2014 9:12
The last few months have seen work taking place towards progressing and completing our 'LGBT Good Practice Guide'.
The draft is in place in electronic form and consultation is taking place with staff for their feedback and comments. Additionally, its important that we get feedback from members of the LGBT Forum here.
The document is to become a day-to-day working tool for staff at college in order to enable them to meet and understand the needs of the LGBT community and to embed LGBT themes into their curriculum teaching and beyond.
The final stages of the consultation process coincide with the 'International Day against Homophobia' and a number of toolkits with staff are planned in the coming weeks.
It's important to point out that the guide is an 'organic' document whose content will change from month-to-month, year-to-year in response to changing political and social contexts.
Looking forward very much to criss-crossing the UK soon to disseminate our project practice with others.
This has been a really great week for me. I attended the fbfedefinition/AFANdefinition London FEdefinition Faith Forum on Tuesday and was given a slot to discuss our project 'Belief in a Career'. It was very helpful to reflect on the project and what has been discovered and learnt.
I explained that using legal cases looking at religion/belief and employment as a starting point for discussions with careers advisers had worked well. For example, how would we advise a customer who wants to wear a long headscarf but is worried that it will be seen as a trip hazard when working in a nursery? This question was based on a real case which the employee lost as she wasn't prepared to wear a shorter headscarf at work. It was agreed in court that in this case the safety of the children and staff needed to be protected above the employee's wish to wear a longer headscarf. Looking at cases has helped our advisers see the complexity of issues but also the importance of dialogue in order to educate customers, employers and ourselves as professionals. We want to empower our customers so they feel they can express their requirements, make adjustments and also demonstrate the benefits of their faith in the workplace, e.g. charity work; desire to do good deeds; teaching skills etc.
The project has also helped me to reflect on how we train our advisers. For example, when looking at career theories we tend to focus on psychological approaches based on Western academic thought. I will now include other approaches that have also been considered as important in the career decision making process, for example: prayer and meditation. I think having this awareness will make our advisers more sensitive to customers' needs and more confident to support them.