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Equality, Diversity and Inclusion Conference 2022

Equality, Diversity and Inclusion Conference 2022: Inclusive Institutions in Action

This two-day conference will focus on best practice in addressing issues of equality, diversity and inclusion in HE.

In the last two years, we have seen a resurgence of voices protesting inequality (racial injustice and the Black Lives Matter Movement, the impact of Covid on existing inequalities, sexual harassment and violence) and a growing interest across the HE and FE sectors in responding to and working with this energy to create meaningful and sustainable change.

Increasingly, we are asking what it looks like when:

  • institutions respond positively to the diversity of voices, energy and scholarship advocating for change?
  • the voices from the margins are welcomed centre stage, and inclusion is at the heart of our approach to institutional culture?
  • our leadership models and practices are truly inclusive?
  • we seek out, develop, value and celebrate change agents from outside traditional hierarchies, talent pools and scholarship?
  • the complexity of identity and intersectionality informs thinking and practice and shapes new approaches to inclusion and building belonging?

This conference offers an opportunity to think deeply and creatively about what it means to be an inclusive institution, to explore models of inclusion that challenge traditional concepts of leadership and agency, and to share innovative practice around collaboration, co-ownership, allyship and solidarity.

Join the conversation #EDIConf22

Date: 16-17 March 2022
Location: Manchester
Who: EDI practitioners, Senior Managers with responsibility for EDI policy, Heads of Departments, Programme Leaders, HE Lecturers, Student Support staff and researchers with a focus on EDI

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The conference will:

  • create space to engage with previously less-explored, hidden or ‘taboo’ equality issues and examine/encourage promising practice to address them;
  • increase knowledge and confidence in the college and HE sectors to undertake positive action initiatives to tackle inequality and underrepresentation across student bodies, workforce and governance;
  • improve institutional capacity to make progress on EDI in an increasingly complex environment;
  • engage with leaders and influencers to foster dialogue on embedding a strategic approach to equality in colleges and higher education institutions

Advance HE has acted as a nexus for thought leadership and research into EDI policy and practice in HE and FE. The underpinning evidence base has been built up by and for the sector and is used to inform the work of policymakers and practitioners. With an ever-growing global community of member institutions and a portfolio of thematic communities with global membership, this conference seeks to promote the learning between individuals with a passion for transforming EDI activity in the sector to achieve real change.

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The overarching theme across both days of the conference will be Inclusive Institutions in Action and it will address the following five sub themes: 

Embracing the voices of minoritised and marginalised people in our approach to institutional change

Could include working with student/staff networks; connecting with activist movements, scholarship and energy; innovative practice in curriculum design; models for whole-institution conversations and culture change; creating safe spaces and building trust.

Reshaping EDI leadership

For example, exploring different forms of leadership of EDI beyond the traditional ‘hierarchy’; positive action and diversifying leadership; leadership and flexible working; an active approach to pipelines (including from Student to Board); building competence and confidence in inclusive leadership practice; leadership models to support inclusion (e.g. feminised leadership, anti-racist leadership).

The future is intersectional

For example, building belonging across and beyond protected characteristics; navigating identity and privilege; authentic leadership; practical approaches to intersectionality.

Humble learning

How we engender and support an inclusive culture of learning; examples might include meaningful allyship (beyond performative and majority-centred); sponsorship, reverse mentoring and other mutually beneficial partnerships; leading through crisis (learning lessons from what we get wrong).

The change agent’s tool kit

An opportunity to focus on the practical skills that we need if we are to be effective in achieving change, whether at an individual or an institutional level. Could include how to ‘make the case’ or influence leaders; anticipating and working with resistance; wellbeing and resilience for EDI activists; building networks and alliances; evidence, research and analysis skills.
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Call for papers 

The call for proposals for this conference is now open.

Proposals are sought against any of the 5 themes above, which will span both days of the conference.

Proposals are welcomed from individuals or teams from across an institution or multiple institutions as well as from students, student unions or other student bodies/groups. The conference aims to showcase a wide and diverse range of work, activities and positive changes with the HE sector. Individuals may submit against more than one session, especially if one of the submissions is for an ignite or soapbox presentation.

Submissions can be for any of the following session formats:

  • Interactive breakout/Workshop session (60 minutes)
  • Ignite presentation (5 minutes)
  • Soapbox presentation (5 minutes)
  • Oral presentation (20 minutes)
  • Poster presentation

Deadline for submissions is 17:00 (GMT), 4 October 2021.

Find out more and download the guide to submissions
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EDI is the agenda

01 Sep 2021 | Sebastian Bromelow
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