At Nottingham College we are continually striving to create a truly supportive and inclusive working and learning environment. However, there is always more that we need to do.
Now, more than ever, we all need to listen, learn, and take more action to address any inequalities that exist. Over the coming months, we’ll be highlighting some of the ways staff and students are working together to achieve this.
First up, we’re sharing a blog post from colleagues involved in our recently formed BAME Café staff events.
BAME Café – making change for good
The BAME Café has been set up by some of our staff together with our Equality, Diversity, and Inclusion (EDI) Committee. It’s a regular event for black and minority ethnic (BAME) staff to share their experiences, views and opinions in a warm and progressive environment.
The staff BAME Café here at Nottingham College was in the planning for a while, but was then accelerated as a result of conversations around recent global events and the support for the Black Lives Matter UK movement.
It also provides a platform for open conversations and dialogue across our wider College community and will be in regular conversation with our BAME student voice groups to see how they can support them as well.
It will help shape future action in the College. It’s also a way for staff who aren’t from a BAME background to learn more, and to get involved as allies.
What is it all about?
Our main principles/aims are to cultivate a change philosophy, and more specifically:
- Data – using data to identify issues, and to inform decision-making in terms of the impact on BAME staff and students
- Accountability - pursuing transparency and accountability. Working towards a BAME strategy that can be embedded into the College, in an effort to create positive change and experiences for the BAME community as stakeholders within the College.
- Positive change – making conscious efforts to redress inequalities and any potentially unfair practices that may exist in the College, which may be reflective of the wider society
What are we doing?
Those of us involved in the BAME Café have some big ambitions! We want to highlight the BAME agenda, help shape strategy, and promote the positive action being undertaken in our College community.
We’ll be working with students and staff from across the College, and we are guided by our five main principles:
It’s a warm, progressive and inviting place. The idea is to gain insights from our BAME staff, to inform decision-making and future strategy.
Not only does the café allow staff to support each other, but it’s also a way to find out what support is needed from across the College.
We’ll be exploring ways that we can further promote and celebrate the contributions of our BAME staff and students. We’ll also explore how we can mark BAME contributions from our wider society.
We’ll note down any concerns that people have, and work with the College to improve any practices or areas where inequalities may occur, that might be reflective of our wider society.
We’ll work to identify any areas of concern, then come up with lots of ideas and ways we think the College can improve, together with the College's EDI Committee.
In the short time the events have been running (over the past few months), the group have already started to put an action plan in place. We’ll share some of these achievements in a future blog post.
Note: our current students can find all the information about how to get their voice heard, (for example through the student voice groups mentioned here) on the College’s student Wellbeing Hub, which they can find through the student intranet.