Equality, Diversity and Inclusion
The work of the School's Equality, Diversity and Inclusion (EDI) team aims to encourage staff and students to recognise their full potential, feel valued, and lead successful and fulfilled lives.
Message from Directors of EDI
We took on the mantle of EDI in August 2020, at a time of civil and political unrest resulting from the murder of George Floyd and the ensuing BLM protests. In response to, and motivated by, these events and multiple historic injustices done to the Black community, our agenda has prioritised issues of inclusivity and acceptance for Black, Asian and minority ethnic staff and students, including targeted recruitment of students for a range of EDI activities. We were also navigating the Covid pandemic and its fallout, and we were saddened to see hate crime towards our East and South-east Asian colleagues and students increase. Therefore, we have also had a keen focus on staff and student wellbeing through information, training, lobbying and support of individuals and of groups. Additional priorities for 2021-22 include disability disclosure, developing the role of student Inclusivity Ambassadors and work with staff and students from the LGBTQ+ community.
Gillian Roberts, Co-Director of EDI
Tara Webster-Deakin, Co-Director of EDI
Who are we?
School EDI Committee
School activities focused on EDI will be based on University principles by creating an environment for our staff which is not only free from discrimination, but also celebrates and values diversity. Each person - regardless of protected characteristics that may include, but are not limited to, race, gender, sexuality, disability and religious affiliation - will be appropriately recognised, rewarded and developed for their contribution. The Committee meets termly and has several affiliated working groups, each with a focus on key priority areas.
Faculty of Arts EDI Board:
The Faculty of Arts EDI Board (FEDIB) meets three times a year. It is chaired by the Faculty PVC, Professor Jeremy Gregory. School EDI Directors report to FEDIB, and this board reports to Faculty Executive Board.
What are we doing?
Work with staff
- Anti-hate crime activisim
- EDI surgeries
- School EDI Committee
- Women and Non-Binary Writing Group
- New parents group (Faculty of Arts)
The School of Cultures, Languages and Area Studies fully supports the Black Lives Matter movement in challenging all forms of racism. Structural racism is a powerful force in the UK. The Covid-19 pandemic has both exposed and exacerbated the structural inequalities faced by many minority groups – most significantly Black, Asian and disabled people. Universities have a key role to play in combatting racism and all forms of discrimination: our School shares that responsibility, especially as we recognise that our predominantly white staff and student bodies are very far from representative of Britain's racially diverse society. We acknowledge there is much we still need to do to address this imbalance.
The School of Cultures, Languages and Area Studies is proud to be an international department with staff and students from all over the world and with partner Schools in our campuses in China and Malaysia. All members of our community have the right to learn, research and work in a hate-free environment and we are committed to taking the necessary steps to ensure our community feel safe.
Find out more
CLAS was granted an Athena Swan bronze award in 2019. The Athena Swan Charter is a framework which is used across the globe to support and transform gender equality within higher education (HE) and research.
Find out more on our Athena Swan webpage.
Training and information
For more information please contact