Diversity Matters at UAL

This page lists Diversity Matters events, projects and initiatives at UAL, organised by Kai Lutterodt; former UAL African Caribbean Society President, LCC Officer and founder of Diversity Matters.

Diversity Matters has been recognised by HEFCE for its sector-leading innovative practices in advancing equality and diversity, and the ECU (Equality Challenge Unit). We aim to continue our initiatives curated to challenge racial discrimination and bias, and raise awareness of the lack representation of BAME staff in academic and senior roles. Find more about UAL promoting race equality on page p.15 of the 2016 Equality, Diversity and Inclusion Report Equality, Diversity and Inclusion Report

Diversity Matters works creatively to support and empower BAME (Black, Asian and minority ethnic) students and staff by providing workshops, trainings and events which platform the discourse of race equality. Find out more about our service and how we can support your organisation CLICK HERE

See below for some of our initiatives recognised:

Diversity and The Media: Blaxploitalian, London College of Communication


‘BLAXPLOITALIAN’ filmmaker Fred Kuwornu during #DMAW16

Diversity Matters Awareness Week #DMAW16 launched with a preview screening of Ghana-Italian filmmaker Fred Kuwornu’s critically acclaimed Blaxploitalian: 100 years of Blackness in Italian cinema. The film formed a timely conversation around the growing news stories of immigrants in European society yet lacks the contribution of POC (people of colour) to the arts in Italy, and across Europe. Fred Kuwornu (18 IUS SOLI) is also a producer, writer and activist. This event was supported by Shades of Noir. CLICK HERE for pictures

A face in a foreign space: personal growth through cultural experiences from travels


Post event: Panelist Mariana Gordan speaks with a student. Background photographer James Barnor and Paul Iwala

Part of #DMAW16, this event aimed to appeal both to International students and home students to embrace the characteristics such as empathy cultural experiences empower us with! In collaboration with UAL Culture and Travel Society, Blue Peter’s first black male presenter Andy Akinwolere opened the evening, followed by a panel with renowned photographer James Barnor (Ever Young),  Romanian artist and author Marian Gordan, SE London-Nigerian photographer Paul Iwala, and travel blogger Kai Lutterodt

Creating safe spaces for Black Women


Safe Spaces for Women of Colour facilitated by Black Blossoms

Creating Safe Spaces for Women of Colour” workshop took place during Diversity Matters Awareness Week, opening a conversation on solidarity between women who are African, Asian, Caribbean, Middle Eastern or South American descent to re-claim spaces they are often shut-down in. The workshop was facilitated by Black Blossoms founder and SUARTS Education Officer, Bee Tadjudeen.

Why does race matter in my learning environment? 


Panel discussion “why does race matter in my learning environment?” at UAL

Why does race matter in my learning environment?”  was our key event during Diversity Matters Awareness Week 2016. The event opened with an introduction from Kai Lutterodt, Diversity Matters founder, BA Journalism student and LCC Officer passionate about advocating marginalised students voices. “Diversity Matters: Let’s Talk About Race” short film screening of interviews with UAL students and staff sharing what diversity means to them and how it’s reflected in their learning environment, offered a starting point on what when on to be a dynamic and at times emotional discussion on race and representation at UAL. The panel included BAME students & staff, and representatives of UAL senior management. This event was supported by Shades of Noir.

Where We Are Now? Students and alumni presentation evening


UAL alumna Amanda-Jayne sharing her project

We ended #DMAW16 with Where are we now? UAL student and graduates were allocated up to 15mins to present on projects they are working on, from their course or externally. UAL Careers and Employability were invited to kicked off the event sharing opportunities for funding, mentoring, or grants to set up a business. This was a good opportunity for BAME students, often not represented in the advertising for such opportunities, to hear about them first hand. Alumni were invited to share their projects and advice with current students who also presented their works, sharing experience, and make new contacts for collaboration! IBM supported this project by sharing graduate scheme opportunities.

Diversity Matters film screenings and workshops

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UAL staff Tanicia Payne facilitating a Diversity Matters Workshop at CSM

‘Diversity Matters: Let’s Talk About Race’ film screening and workshops was an opportunity to for students and staff to unpick some of the topics which arose from “Why does race matter in my learning environment” panel discussion during Diversity Matters Awareness Week. Topics such as the BAME attainment gap was addressed in a safe space. This workshop was facilitated by UAL staff members Tanicia Payne (UAL GEMS/Black Staff network co-chair) and Jennifer Williams-Baffoe (UAL Associate Lecturer and Technology Enhancement co-ordinator) CLICK HERE for the blog post. A similar workshop was also held at Chelsea supported by George Blacklock. CLICK HERE for more on our workshops.

Diversity Matters Exhibit 


Diversity Matters Exhibit zine and promo

Diversity Matters Exhibit took place at UAL High Holborn in June 2016. It showcased art works on the theme of Race and Diversity by UAL students and staff, as well as external artists. The exhibition ran until the 10th June. It was well attended by both students and staff, further emphasising “student-staff” collaboration. BBC Arts attended to announce an open call for BAME painters, of which 4 students were later invited to audition for the show screening on BBC 1 this autumn. The exhibition was supported by UAL TLE and Susan Orr, Dean of Learning and Teaching Enhancement CLICK HERE for the blog post

Non-binary identity workshop with Rudy Loewe

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Ruby Lowewe: zine workshop with impact

Non-binary is Genderqueer term for gender identities that are not exclusively masculine or feminine‍. In this workshop we explored identity intersections with LGBTQ+ community by questioning gender and sexuality. Black queer artist Rudy Loewe facilitated this interactive workshop in a safe space at University of the Arts London. CLICK HERE for more blog post

Divercity Arts Project


Some participants of Divercity Arts Project at Camden Market

UAL Careers and Employability supported “Divercity Arts Project”, an initiative of Diversity Matters which was created to give BAME students an opportunity to gain enterprise skills. The proposal highlighted that opportunities, particularly those work or startup business related, often further marginalise black students by having only white or “white-passing” BAME people in the advertising. If black students aren’t seeing themselves reflected they don’t think these opportunities apply to them.

16 students from diverse backgrounds took part in the 2-week project over the summer. The project consisted of creative workshops and mentoring from industry professions. Students were encouraged to explore their cultural heritage, which for many influenced their the outcome of their art work (something students said isn’t encouraged on their courses). We sold our work at Camden Market in groups. As well as the artists keeping any earnings they made from sales, the winning team was awarded a 10 month sales platform on The Big Draw online shop. CLICK HERE for blog post

She Creates: Women of Colour in Graphic Design and Illustration


She Creates: highlighting WOC in design

Diversity Matters was invited to pitch a workshop for Careers and Employability’s Graduates Futures Week in July 2016. The workshop gave students and alumni an insight into the styles, techniques and cultural influence of 3 industry professionals’ work, inspiring varied approaches, and explore your own cultural influence, into creations. Facilitated by Tamika Kawabuchi; a Japanese born interior designer at Fosters + Partners, Roshnee Desai; LCC alumna now leading a design team in Mumbai India, and Dorcas Magbadelo; the British-Nigerian illustrator behind the brand Dorcas Creates, which showcases empowering images of black women through illustration and thoughtful quotes.

The Era of Haile Selassie I, Black History Month Talk


Diversity Matters hosted Prince Asfa-Wossen Asserate, the grand nephew of Emperor Haile Selassie I for a discussion on The Era of Haile Selassie I, the OAU and African Migration during Black History Month 2016. Offering a insight into the politics of Africa, the life of the late Emperor Haile Selassie and a from a unique perspective on what growing up around the Emperor was like. The event was well attended by UAL students and the wider community. Asfa-Wossen Asserate also spoke about his book ‘King of Kings: The Triumph and Tragedy of Emperor Haile Selassie I of Ethiopia’ and signed copies for attendees. The event ended with an Ethiopian buffet, drinks and networking. CLICK HERE for pictures from the event

#ByYourSide: Stonewall x Diversity Matters LGBTQ workshop with Travis Alabanza

14608807_351896878491006_8098156098971019326_o-1 Diversity Matters hosted an audience participatory art workshop to support LGBT charity Stonewall for their Stonewall Season exhibition next month. The workshop held at University of the Arts London (UAL), was facilitated by Black, transfemme performance artist and writer Travis Alabanza. CLICK HERE to read more!


#DMSpotlight: African Migration Exhibition curated by UAL Fine Art Student


Gabriel curated “African Migration” Exhibition, a theme which coincided with our Black History Talk the week prior hosting Prince Asfa-Wossen Asserate (author and grandnephew of Emperor Haile Selassie). Amongst his own were also works of other students from UAL and Goldsmiths University of London. The private view took place on the 4th Oct at UAL. CLICK HERE for blog post

Diversity Matters Spotlight: Why ‘Black Faces in White Spaces’ matter

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When we met with recent Camberwell graduate, Rhian Spencer during his Degree show 2016, we shared a 30sec video interview teaser on our Facebook page which wrapped up over 1.4K views within weeks! Rhian’s work “Black Faces in Black Spaces” has indeed gained the attention of many, and both the title and images continue to intrigue, challenge and demand change. CLICK HERE for the video

#AGRUPA16: Performance For Diversity review

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We caught up with AGRUPA after their support with #DMAW16 inspired the UAL student collective to explore and discuss issues of marginalised within their learning environment. CLICK HERE

Diversity Matters Spotlight: Sahil Lodha on Diversity and “The World in London” degree show invite!

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We caught up with Sahil Lodha – a final year BA Photography student at London College of Communication (LCC)… He shared why diversity matters to him – plus an invite to his graduate show project private view of “The World in London” on the 26th May 2016! CLICK HERE for the video

Hello Do Be Do – hello project with Paparazzi City


Meet the duo hoping to change the world – one “HELLO” at a time! Diversity Matters met with Taka Piyo and Eri – the colourful fashionistas from Japan on a world-changing journey using a simple greeting to break social barriers to invite inclusively, happiness and smiles from people all over the world! Check out our video interview and photoshoot with the eccentric couple CLICK HERE. We also supported the the Japanese duo host their solo exhibition at UAL over the summer CLICK HERE for the video!

Diversity Matters Spotlight: CSM “Majority : Minority” campaign lead by Black students!

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We caught up with Fine Art Central Saint Martins (CSM) student, Riah Charles, who shared with us the campaign she has started with an ambitious plan to re-shoot the classic CSM “Join Us” video… Using only BAME people! This is in response to CSM’s 2015 campaign which barely featured any people of colour! CLICK HERE

UAL So White Momentum: Discussing BAME Attainment, Retainment and Institutional racism in Academia // NUS BSC Officer

UAL SO White poster

In the second #UALSoWhite meeting, NUS Black Students’ Campaign (NUS BSC) Officer, Malia Bouatti joined student activists demanding recognition for BAME representation in the their academic institution.

Diversity Matters Spotlight: Mamiko Yamazaki on Divercity Arts Project


We caught up with Mamiko Yamazaki – CSM Graduate and participant in Divercity Arts Project using her Japanese cultural influence to create handy paper origarmi wallets sold at Camden Market! CLICK HERE for the video


Diversity Matters Spotlight: Black Ballad’s Tobi Oredein- “Diversity is good for our Economy”

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Our spotlight is on Black Ballad founder Tobi Oredein during her visit to UAL. She shares with us what diversity means to her, and the importance of it in her work environment. CLICK HERE

Andy Ayo Akinwolere – A Traveller at Heart at Arts London

Ayo Akinwolere at UAL

Having travelled to over 120 countries, broken world records, and of course being a black face in the media – there’s no doubt Ayo Akinwolere’s story will inspire anyone interested in exploring “personal growth through travel…” Diversity Matters caught up with the former Blue Peter presenter at University of the Arts London (UAL) and captured this message on camera! CLICK HERE