Occupy a Space of Authority… UAL Students and Staff share their views on Diversity in their learning Environment pt2

Diversity will mean different things to different people.

Which is why for Diversity Matters Awareness Week we’re concentrating on race matters with our theme “Let’s Talk About Race18th – 23rd April!

We’ve been asking University of the Arts London (UAL) students and staff what diversity means to them, and how it’s reflected in their learning environment? The short film will be screened on the 21st April at the panel event “why does race matter in my learning environment?” Tickets available – BOOK NOW!

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I equate the notion of diversity to ‘seasonings’ and this can be metaphorically applied to the work place environment… If you are constantly fed a diet that is bland and tasteless, it soon becomes very dull, boring and unappetising. However, if you simply add a bit of salt and pepper, it automatically lifts and enhances the flavours…  – Angela Drisdale-Gordon, UAL Head of FE

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You don’t want to be in a group where you’re the only black guy there… It’s just weird. I’ve been in a group where I’m the only black person and I try to give an idea but they’re like naa, because I’m, you know… (Diversity) is like a record which will always keep playing on and on…” – Luizi, Film and TV – London College of Communication

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Diversity is a very broad concept. To me it means bringing everybody together regardless of your race, religion, or background… That’s what makes us diverse and equal.” Khawla, Journalism LCC

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To me diversity means seeing someone like you occupy a space of authority… In this country anyone who is not white is seen as other or alternative” -Yvonne, Foundation London College of Communication (LCC).

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Actually, even the text that we study, apart from this one that we did from Japan, they are predominately European, white characters… I’ve never really thought about it.” Anna, 3D fx of Performance Design – London College of Fashion

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Diversity should mean involving people from different backgrounds… In an institutional sense I think it really just means box-ticking. Diversity is presented as a very tokenistic thing unfortunately.” – Samia UAL alumna, artist and activist

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Diversity means having respect for different people; people from different backgrounds, people with different ideas… Not necessarily having the same agreement but at least respecting each others opinions.” – Maria-Louisa LCC alumna

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Diversity means when everyone is treated equally… To me it’s, yeah, sort of impossible. And it’s not about tokenism… by having one or two people of colour included in the discussion. That’s not diversity.” – Katy, Performance Design and Practice – CSM

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The bigger the variety on the plate, the more likely you are to find something you like.. and the same is with people.” – Damian, Games Design LCC

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Diversity is to do with different cultural aspects, how people approach our indifferent ways, and their response towards it…” Christina, Fine Arts – Chelsea College of Arts

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I think diversity is kind of like the magical closet in Narnia, where you open the door and go to where ever you want to go to… You can’t change from being in your comfort zone… You’re not going to achieve anything if you don’t step outside of where you are…” – Piyumi, MA Applied Imagination – CSM

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Diversity to me is like having a massive WELCOME sign in neon… It means embracing difference and working with what’s out there… It’s occurred to me over the years that some of my students may not have had a black tutor before, so that’s sort of opened up interest in discussion…” – Melodie Holliday, Foundation course design tutor

Photos and interviews for Diversity Matters ©Kai Lutterodt

A massive thank you to our UAL staff and students contribution to “Let’s Talk About Race” See the film previewed on the 21st April during Diversity Matters Awareness Week: Let’s Talk About Race” 18th – 23rd April. BOOK NOW for “Why does race matter in my learning environment?” Open to all UAL students, staff and guests.

Look out for part 3! Find out more about the ongoing #UALSoWhite Campaign calling out University of the Arts’ (UAL) lack of BAME (Black and Minority Ethnic) staff representation and senior management (currently at 100% white!)

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What does diversity mean you you? Share your thoughts in the comment box below!

Find us on Facebook DIVERSITYMATTERSUK! Like. Share. Comment!

What does diversity mean you you? Share your thoughts in the comment box below!

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