Public Statement in the Context of the Black Lives Matter Movement and COVID-19 Copyright (c) 2020 Shades of Noir, all rights reserved This journal was published during the 2020 COVID-19 pandemic and the Black Lives Matter Movement. Shades of Noir (SoN) stands with the global Black Lives Matter movement (including Black Lives Matter UK ) to continue to do the ‘work’ to end systemic racist practices, systems, behaviours and ‘fight for freedom, liberation and justice’ for Black people, inclusive of the QTIBIPOC and all intersectional communities globally. The filmed execution of George Floyd on 29 May 2020 and those before and after all around the world, shared on social media are unacceptable acts of violence and cannot be left unanswered. The blatant inequality of the lives of Black people comes as no surprise. This is not a new situation although we recognise the current impacts rippling around the world. As demonstrations take place across the globe, building on the 2014/15 mobilisation of the movement, it reminds us of the many powerful and painful acts of resistance black people(s) have demonstrated as we continue to live, be educated and work in systems which reinforce the intersections of oppression. Despite the huge amount of pain and distrust from the black community however, there is strength and safety in numbers. We recognise, however, that this is not a time of celebration, as we too manage our pain, fears and anxieties. There is no doubt that we, as a global community, have been severely affected in the pandemic of racial inequality, experiencing continued and/or exacerbated trauma and the huge loss of life resulting from the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and looming economic crisis. We recognise the complicity and inherent failure of institutions, organisations and individuals in acknowledging their colonial legacy and overt bias against Black people(s) who similarly remain disproportionately affected by the ongoing pandemic as ‘key workers’. We too call for an enquiry into British BAME Covid-19 death rate following the news that minority groups were over-represented by as much as 27% in the overall COVID-19 death toll, and that, 63% of the first 106 health and social care staff known to have died from the virus were of black or Asian descent (Health Service Journal, 2020). This points to a growing racial sentiment as Black key workers continue to be abused and devalued whilst working on the frontline. For too long, the emotional labour of black people(s) has been unduly expected and unfairly compensated in order to eliminate racism while ‘educating’ white people in the behaviours they themselves perpetuate.
It’s not enough to be simply not racist. We need to be anti-racist. Antiracism is an active word which means building policy and building a practice of opposing racism and promoting racial tolerance. We must build collective understanding and improve practice in antiracism through forging intersectional social justice (pedagogy). We must recognise the need for intergenerational discussion, criticism, a space to practice safely self-care and to articulate self-determination in order to liberate ourselves from the struggles of oppressive structures, both in education and society. We must build purposeful, broad-reaching and multifaceted interventions through the acknowledgement of what came before in the transformation and the evolution of institutional culture(s) across sectors. We will continue to support all individuals impacted by the ongoing pandemic and endeavour to mobilise as a community, building upon the work of our predecessors. We welcome contributors to promote coalition and express ‘non-optical’ allyship in supporting the Black Lives Matter Movement and ‘key workers’. Thank you to the Black Lives Matter, Black key workers, families and friends for your strength, honesty and continued commitment to ‘work’ through where we’ve been, where we are, and where we are going. United we stand. We Salute You!
Content Disclaimer. Please note that some of the content within our publications, including the Key Term sections, are considered highly offensive to People of Colour (PoC) but we have included them to support difficult discussions around the subject of race and ethnicity to support understanding and evolve thinking with the aim of transformation.
Language/ Terminology Please note that some of the content within our publications, including the Key Term sections are considered highly offensive to People of Colour (PoC) but we have included them to support difficult discussions around the subject of race and ethnicity to support understanding and evolve thinking with the aim of transformation. Additionally, the terminology and use of language from the collaborators within this publication belong solely to those of each article’s author and do not necessarily represent the views or opinions of Shades of Noir.
Special Thanks. Shades of Noir would like to extend a special thank to the ToR Support Rayvenn Shaleigha D’Clark and Angie Illman as well as Editors Melodie Holliday and Aisha Richards for their contributions to this Terms of Reference Journal.
Mission Statement. Shades of Noir undertake practice-based social justice within the creative sector context in partnership with international educational and cultural institutions, as well as creative practitioners and a broad spectrum of organisations. Our aim is to evolve behaviour, practice and cultural value to support a variety of audiences through a broad range of discursive and proactive interventions. We seek to engage and support individuals who make up the sectors through a combination of activities, commissions and resources. We centre the histories, voices and experiences of marginalised communities as a catalyst for transformation of people, processes and policies. This is all in support of our mission to: • Centre the voices, experience and perspectives of marginalised communities to evolve thinking • Create platforms to engage with intersectional experience, understanding and perspectives • Support knowledge exchange within a social justice pedagogical context • Transform behaviours through proactive interventions within a creative educational cannon • Build social justice communities of change-makers across sectors and countries
WITH THANKS TO. With Thanks List: Shades of Noir Team Foreword Jane Elliot Peer Reviewers Dr Gurnam Singh Dr Clare Warner Special Mention Professor Vicky Gunn O’Honey Studio Soofiya Andry Trigger Warning Participants Anonymous Collaborators Contributors Aisha Richards Angela Drisdale-Gordon Angie Illman Annabel Crowley Bridgette Chan Carole Morrison Ciaran Okikiola Maguire Dan Holliday Darren Farrell Dr Kwame Baah Demelza Woodbridge Elena Arzani Ellen Sims Favour Jonathan Florence Low INFO: W: shadesofnoir.org.uk E: email@example.com Tw: @shadesofnoir Fb: shadesofnoir
Gregory ‘Greg’ Messiah Hilaire Graham Hilary Wan Hope Cunningham Iris Ching Man Yau Jaime Peschiera Jhinuk Sarkar Kana Higashino Mary Evans Melodie Holliday Mikael Calandra Achode Montana Williamson Naima Sutton Rayvenn Shaleigha D’Clark Romero Bryan Sabrina Mumtaz-Hasan Samia Malik Shannyce Adamson Sharon Bertram Sicgmone Kludje Siobhan Clay Stacey Leigh Ross Stephen Reid Sukhwinder Kaur Sagoo-Reddy Suprina Gurung Terry Finnigan Yuwen Hsieh Cover Design by Samia Malik Design by Safiya Ahmed OUR SUPPORTER:
A Note From The Leads
Key Question, Diversity Questions, Key Data, Key Terms
Dr Gurnam Singh and Dr Clare Warner
Expanding The Conversation
Further Resources Image Captions, Further Reading, Digital Resources
TRIGGER WARNING Please note that some of the content within our publications, including the Key Term sections are considered highly offensive to People of Colour (PoC) but we have included them to support difficult discussions around the subject of race and ethnicity to aid understanding and evolve thinking with the aim of transformation. This includes, but is not limited to, graphic visualisations, explicit descriptions and an extensive discussion of racial abuse, offensive language or the detailing of behaviours of assault, abuse, harassment, racism, sexism, homophobia or transphobia and misogynoir directly related to the experiences of marginalised communities.
In 2011 Aisha Richards and Terry Finnigan developed the Inclusive Teaching & Learning unit within the University of the Arts London (UAL) positioning it within the PgCert (Post Graduate Certificate) in Academic Practice. The unit was initially developed for practicing lecturers and student facing staff but increasingly requests are being made by senior management from internal and external institutions for staff to receive support in this area. The units early development was supported by Ellen Sims, former Programme Leader and Hilaire Graham, former Head of Centre for Learning and Teaching in Art and Design (CLTAD), part of UAL, which is now named Teaching and Learning Exchange. This unit was created to support staff in developing strategies through reflection and practice to embed intersectional (Crenshaw, 1989) cultural competence (LadsonBillings, 2001). As well as support development in pedagogies of social justice in art, design and related higher education environments to meet the expectations of the ever evolving, socially conscious and politically aware student body. The Inclusive Practice Unit (Finnigan and Richards, 2016) has been described by its many graduates as ‘transformational’ as it presents intersectional theories impacting academic practice within higher education through its participants evolution. Now after many years of delivery Shades of Noir seeks to disseminate these narratives with the support of its creators, we hope to share the units legacies around social justice pedagogy through this Terms of Reference which will be peer reviewed. This year the Unit is celebrating being the highest self-selecting unit on the Pg Cert (Post Graduate Certificate in Education) and honouring its many graduates who have successfully completed the unit, embedding all that they have learnt into their respective teaching specialisms. As such this ToR is an opportunity to share practice, offer reflection and discuss opportunities in the areas of social justice pedagogy. Additionally, we would also like to encourage intranational and international contributions from creatives, academics, students and those who wish to present insights around any of the areas: • • • • • • • • •
Critical Race Theory Inclusive Pedagogy Academic Activists and Activism Creative Interpreters Impactful Teaching Student Reflective Pieces Around Learning Reflections on Arts Higher Education Cultural Competence Social Justice Curriculum
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Bibliography: Crenshaw, K. (1989). Demarginalizing the intersection of race and sex: A black feminist critique of antidiscrimination doctrine, feminist theory and antiracist politics. U. Chi. Legal F., 139. Chicago. Finnigan, T. and Richards, A. (2016). Retention and attainment in the disciplines: Art and Design. [online] Higher Education Academy, pp.Pg 11 - 13. Available at: www.heacademy.ac.uk/ system/files/ug_retention_and_attainment_in_art_and_design2.pdf [Accessed 20 Aug. 2018]. Ladson-Billings, G. (2001). Crossing over to Canaan: The Journey of New Teachers in Diverse Classrooms. The Jossey-Bass Education Series. JosseyBass, Inc., 350 Sansome Street, San Francisco, CA 94104. Terry Finnigan interview founder TUABI & Co- founder Inclusive Practice. Ellen Sims interview Head of Learning and Teaching at Plymouth College of Art.
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Jane Elliott, internationally known teacher, lecturer, diversity trainer, and recipient of the National Mental Health Association Award for Excellence in Education, exposes prejudice and bigotry for what it is, an irrational class system based upon purely arbitrary factors.
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“YOU ARE NOT BORN RACIST. YOU ARE BORN INTO A RACIST SOCIETY. AND LIKE ANYTHING ELSE, IF YOU CAN LEARN IT, YOU CAN UNLEARN IT. BUT SOME PEOPLE CHOOSE NOT TO UNLEARN IT BECAUSE THEY’RE AFRAID THEY’LL LOSE POWER IF THEY SHARE WITH OTHER PEOPLE. WE ARE AFRAID OF SHARING POWER. THAT’S WHAT IT’S ALL ABOUT.” - Jane Elliott
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Dear Melodie and Montana, I received the material to download and was extremely impressed with what it contained. However, the material contained told me that I am particularly unsuited to review this remarkable production. You see, I find it difficult to continue to accept the (seemingly) universal depiction of black people, and all those others that are referred to as POC, as being less than, or not as capable as those who have been identified as ‘white’, when, in fact, there are no ‘white’ people on the face of the earth. Other, of course, than those who are described as ‘albino’, due to their bodies being unable to produce melanin. Having read numerous books by knowledgeable authors that describe the first modern human beings (homo-sapiens) as black people who, without modern technology, we’re able to travel to, and populate, every landmass on the face of the earth, I find our ‘white’ culture not only unfortunate but nonexistent, since every person on this little ball has, in his/her/their/our/your/my DNA some DNA from a country in Africa. It is long past the time when we can use 15th and 16th-century thinking and vocabulary to solve 21st-century problems. By continuing to discuss ‘whiteness’ and ‘white privilege’ we perpetuate the problem of racial and racist thinking, instead of changing it. ‘White privilege’ is a misnomer and needs to be changed to ‘white ignorance’, if we are ever to fix this mess. So, you see, I am not a good candidate as a reviewer of your book, interesting as it is. However, thank you for considering me; that is a huge compliment. Sincerely, Jane Elliott.
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Dear Melodie and Montana, Thank you for understanding what I am trying to do, and not to do as I honestly feel that the answer to the problems of ‘racism’ and ‘white’ privilege is to tell the truth about the past. Until, and unless, we do that we will never relate positively to those who were, indeed, here first, and who will be here last since they have enough melanin in their skins to protect their cells from the damaging rays of the sun. I would recommend that anyone interested in escaping from this self-imposed ignorance in which most of us live read Robert Wald Sussman’s book, ‘The Myth of Race’, which, among other things, will help you to realise that the idea of different races isn’t a myth; it is a damned lie. After you gasp your way through that, please read Anthony Browder’s, “Nile Valley Contributions to Civilisation”. If you still need to have what you’ve suddenly learned validated, get the April 2018 issue of the National Geographic Magazine and read it, cover to cover. It will simply blow you away when you see the pages of people of different skin colours and their numbers on the colour wheel. What a concept! Then, look carefully at the pages of people of different colours in Africa, and prepare for further enlightenment. How in hell have we managed, for 500+ years, to ignore, deny, denigrate, and destroy the brilliance of people who were able to do what those first modern human beings did, and which they keep on doing, no matter what we do to invalidate them? Have we any idea of the greatness we have denied ourselves by believing the lie of ‘race’? I very much doubt it. There are numerous books we can read to educate ourselves. A few of them are listed on my website in the ‘Printed Learning Materials’ section. Take a look at the bibliography and then go to the ‘Commitments...’ page. Go through it, choose one, and decide to do it for a month. Doing it will change the way you see yourselves and your own power to change even a tiny piece of this mess. One person can make a difference! As my father used to say, ‘You know the difference between right and wrong, so do the right thing, Goddammit!’ He was a plainspoken, brilliant man and he invariably did the right thing. Sincerely, Jane Elliott.
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MONTANA WILLIAMSON. TEACHING WITHIN PROGRAMME LEADER AND EDUCATION DEVELOPER, SHADES OF NOIR.
‘I tell my students: ‘When you get these jobs that you have been so brilliantly trained for, just remember that your real job is that if you are free, you need to free someone else. If you have some power then your job is to empower someone else’. - Toni Morrison I am a black woman and like many through my painful journey within education and academia I have had limited safe spaces. Where did I begin my Journey? It started with me working at Shades of Noir in the first phase1 in 2011 as part of its first ever cohort of the student team. I feel this makes my viewpoint one which has a tenured perspective of growth, which is also loaded with love, tenacity and sheer determination to make an everlasting impact for those who will pave this journey with and after me. Shades is where I met a team which is made up of staff and students who are predominately of colour which I now call my family. This environment offered me refuge and a space within a critical environment. I felt valued and part of a community of people who had shared values and experiences. What was powerful was meeting individuals who had similar lived experiences and educational journeys to me but who used these to harness and help provide meaningful education, At the time I was unaware that this would become an integral part of who I am today, what I fight for and what I aim to embody I am now in a very privileged position, arguably one which I feel I was always destined to enter...the world of academia. Now in my position of lead on the Teaching Within2 programme and Education Development at Shades of Noir and my journey has really been a sustainable one. Having completed the Inclusive Practice unit this was a key factor in shaping my critical teaching practice, utilising my lived experiences to help provide scaffolding for others. This unit has allowed my peers and I to consider why this was the case and research the bias of recruitment and progression of academics of colour, as well assess as the opportunities academics of colour and social justice advocates brought to creative higher education. I know I am in a very privileged position in my current role, to be teaching at one of the elite universities in the world, participating in this unique meaningful unit and to be one of the few black females academics supporting others, I have the scope to support, evolve thinking and embed a social justice pedagogy contributing to cultural change. This is a work in progress informed by my peers, engaging with research and developing reflective as well as reflexive practices to evolve my practice. The Inclusive Practice Unit has been able to help me contextualise my lived experience and to teach my students about embedding critical pedagogy into
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their teaching practice and challenge teaching from a white canon. Most importantly it has helped equip me with the relevant language to articulate my life, my thoughts and my opinions with purpose, a sense of empathy and critical perspective. It was in this unit that I was first introduced to terms like white fragility and white supremacy. It was as if all my life the oppression and racism I had felt for many years had been accounted for and validated! I often felt I was always racialised and marginalised but this showed how people intentionally benefited from these social structures and I was not going mad. This is so important. The inclusive practice unit has transformed both my professional and personal perspectives and provided me with the skills to enhance my focus with an enhanced focus, Honesty and tangible theory to critique and challenge the systematic oppressive institutionalised racism which controls so much not only in education but beyond. I was able through the unit to confidently, openly and honestly critique my thoughts and fellow students work in a safe space with academics who offered me relevant theory, critique and empathy supported by an experienced teaching team of social justice pedagogists. The unit has given me the confidence to enter spaces which I once felt unsafe, ill equipped or not having a sense of belonging. I know I am not alone and part of such a kind thoughtful community who strives for anti racism, equality and social justice for all. Thank you Aisha Richards for providing me with wings I needed to fly to freedom! To now be leading on areas of Shades of Noir work is truly an honour but again displays how Aisha Richards vision is not only sustainable, meaningful and powerful but as she always says the quote by Margret Mead â&#x20AC;&#x153; it only takes a few thoughtful citizens to change the worldâ&#x20AC;? and my this very true. So here is to the legacy of the inclusive practice unit and many more years to come and cheers to everlasting magic!!! Bibliography: Shadesofnoir.org.uk. Phase 1. [online] Available at: shadesofnoir.org.uk/phase-1/ [Accessed 31 Jan. 2020]. 2 Shadesofnoir.org.uk. (no title). [online] Available at: shadesofnoir.org.uk/ [Accessed 31 Jan. 2020]. 1
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EDITOR AND SENIOR EDUCATION DEVELOPER, SHADES OF NOIR.
As the co - lead for this Terms of Reference with Montana Williamson I have decided to write my lead intro as a few random thoughts and observations. Practicing anti racism through social justice work means never really having down time because it is my life. I don’t mean that I have chosen to live this way rather that it has chosen me. With each racialised encounter (I must clarify not just from children but from grown adults too) as a small child you learn tolerance, control, patience, how to make yourself smaller, less intimidating, more efficient at work and less inclined to become the negative stereotypes that are presented to you on a daily basis as a non white person...if you want an easier life. Given that race is a protected characteristic there is no requirement for a teacher to be culturally competent to teach. Art teachers and creative professionals for example, can access an array of employment opportunities and advance in their chosen professions without ever having received training in cultural capital or cultural democracy. In many institutions creative subjects are taught by lecturers who are able to demonstrate skills in their subject areas and not necessarily in diversity, inclusion and equality (DiAngelo, 2019). A few years ago I was teaching on a course and one of my students made work about the “Calais Jungle” his inspiration was Mark Wallinger’s installation artwork called “State Britain” which was displayed at the Tate in 2007. I was really proud of my student, who had been moved to make work that had great significance to him on the entry level course that he was paying for, naturally he wished to exhibit the work in his end of term show. As students prepared to exhibit a younger less experienced colleague of mine who had been put in charge of the show because he was friends with my line manager and in the same cricket club. Told me that the work needed to be removed because in his opinion the work was crudely executed and had no place in the show. When I explained the students background and that the work had political significance. My colleague at the time said with noticeable irritation that “It is not a political show” and stormed off in anger. This statement evidenced to me what I had long suspected for some time the type of work that this student wished to make was of little interest to this tutor. However, I understood that for my student, his brown body has been politicised since he came into the world and the act of making his work was an attempt to make sense of this. Very few staff are afforded the opportunity to sit down and discuss issues pertaining to race within a facilitated environment. As a lecturer on the inclusive practice unit students often complain to me that there simply is never enough time allocated for discussions on the subject of race and its intersections. On the unit students are required to engage in exercises designed to develop their inclusive strategy skills with the aim to develop greater awareness of anti racism and social justice strategies through self reflection. Learners come from a variety of backgrounds and it is interesting to observe that some students take up the unit believing that it will be easy, only to discover mid way through that they find the practice of self reflection within this context extremely difficult.
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Creating spaces where people can discuss the R word and where it intersects are crucial if real change is to take place. Some people who work in education cannot say the word “black,” when describing their fellow co-workers and the students that they teach. I have stated that I don’t like and do not feel comfortable being described as BAME what normally follows is that I am asked to offer a solution about what might be a suitable acronym to replace it. Even though there are arguments against the use of non white because some would argue that it still centres whiteness. I am much more comfortable with it as a descriptor for my blackness than BAME which I feel is divisive. What is truly refreshing about the inclusive practice unit is seeing the look on peoples faces when they complete the unit. Many look like they have undertaken a journey, there is a sense of relief that it was not as difficult as the students had previously anticipated. As well as a sense of achievement and accomplishment in being able to talk openly about issues relating to race that is skillfully managed and orchestrated. It is important to have non white people lead on anti racism work because the knowledge that they carry is not only dependant on what books they have read but is also based on their lived experiences. Navigating racism and its intersections is a painful experience. I would describe it as like learning to swim at first you think that you will drown, you cannot imagine ever getting your body to stay afloat without sinking, but eventually you start precariously moving away from the edge of the pool. You find that if you manage your strokes you are able to do a rather crude version of staying a float enough to look like you know what you are doing. Not too long after you are able to stay a float for longer and longer periods of time. The water stops entering your nose and so the feeling that you might drown is eliminated. The coordination between body, mind and spirit is in sync and before too long you have mastered your first stroke. Now you are ready to teach someone else how to swim. The End.
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For Graduates of the Unit: 1. How does the Inclusive Practice Unit influence your current teaching practices? 2. Has your participation on the unit affected any of your personal or professional relationships? For Everyone: 3. W hat does Inclusive Practice mean to you? 4. W hat are some of the steps you take to develop cultural competence? 5. W hat are the barriers or challenges in embedding social justice pedagogy in Art & Design? 6. W hat are the benefits of Inclusive Practice for ALL students? 7. Has your interest/work affected any of your personal or professional relationships? 8. How does student led campaigns to decolonise inform teaching practice and or the learning experience? 9. How do statistics inform approaches to teaching, practice and or learning?
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MICRO KEY TERMS. Anti-Racism
The policy or practice of opposing racism and promoting racial equality.
Critical Race Theory
A theoretical framework in the social sciences focused upon the application of critical theory, a critical examination of society and culture, to the intersection of race, law, and power. CRT proposes that white supremacy and racial power are maintained over time, and that the law may play a role in this process and investigated the possibility of transforming the relationship between law and racial power.
In the field of sociology, cultural capital comprises the social assets of a person that promote social mobility in a stratified society. Hence, cultural capital is the accumulation of knowledge, behaviours, and skills that one can tap into to demonstrate one’s cultural competence, and thus one’s social status or standing in society.
Cultural Competence defines the ability for healthcare professionals to demonstrate cultural competence toward patients with diverse values, beliefs, and feelings. ; Cultural competence is the ability to understand, communicate with and effectively interact with people across cultures. Cultural competence encompasses. being aware of one's own world view. developing positive attitudes towards cultural differences. gaining knowledge of different cultural practices and world views
Gaslighting, or to gaslight, is a form of systematic psychological manipulation in which a person seeks to sow seeds of doubt in a targeted individual or in members of a targeted group, making them question their own memory, perception, and sanity. Gaslighting involves attempts to destabilise and delegitimise the victim’s primary belief system.
In the UK, Higher Education - also termed 'HE' - categorises the third-level or tertiary education leading to award of an academic degree (BA and higher) which is an optional final stage of formal learning that occurs after completion of secondary education.
Inclusive practice is an approach to teaching that recognises the diversity of students, enabling all students to access course content, fully participate in learning activities and demonstrate their knowledge and strengths at assessment.
Intersectionality was coined in 1989 by Kimberlé Crenshaw, a civil and legal scholar in her paper for the University of Chicago Legal Forum; the term therefore is more often used to define the 'intersectional the interconnected nature of social categorisations such as race, class, and gender as they apply to a given individual or group, regarded as creating overlapping and interdependent systems of discrimination or disadvantage.'
Justice in terms of the distribution of wealth, opportunities, and privileges within a society
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VIRTUAL LEARNING GLOSSARY. Disclaimer In light of the COVID-19 disruption, we have developed a list of key terms specifically related to online study as we feel that such glossaries are extremely useful to explain the terminology used in the online teaching.
Asynchronous defines a task that is-not happening in real-time or ‘out of sync’. Asynchronous means that you can execute multiple outcomes/responses things at a time and you don’t have to finish executing the current thing in order to move on to the next one.
A short break for people to go to the toilet or get a refreshment between exercises.
Digital Exclusion defines a lack of access to, and use of, ICT resources. A significant proportion of the population is digitally excluded because they lack internet access and/or have low levels of digital literacy. The depth of digital exclusion for people with disabilities is generally much greater than for the wider population.
Digital Learning Platform
The set of tools that support digital learning that are offered at UAL. These include Blackboard Collaborate Ultra, Moodle (Virtual Learning Environment), Myblog.arts, OAT, Turnitin and Workflow)
Digital literacy refers to an individual’s ability to find, evaluate, and compose clear information through writing and other media on various digital platforms. Digital literacy is evaluated by an individual’s grammar, composition, typing skills and ability to produce text, images, audio and designs using technology.
Inflammatory or offensive comments. ‘Flaming’ refers to verbal disagreements that occur between users in contexts such as message boards. They are often a result of strongly held opinions and emotions. Flaming happens when people have a passionate fight in public online forums, chat rooms, social media, or video sites, so that others can witness it.
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Setting a few online class or ‘ground’ rules about communication will reap major benefits when using group communication platforms. Establish turntaking and participation protocols, such as using the ‘raise hand’ feature, the chatbox, or identifying your name before commenting. Ask students to turn on their video/microphone only when they want to ask a question to reduce background noise or limiting the number of participants on screen at the same time can improve video quality for example. These strategies allow students with hearing difficulties to focus on one speaker or interaction at a time
Infographics are graphic visual representations of information, data, or knowledge intended to present information quickly and clearly. They can improve cognition by utilising graphics to enhance the human visual system’s ability to see patterns and trends.
A multisensory learning approach is a term many schools use to describe teaching methods that involve engaging more than one sense at a time. Involving the use of visual, auditory and kinesthetic-tactile pathways, a multisensory approach can enhance memory and ability to learn.
Shorthand for network-etiquette, Netiquette defines a set of rules for acceptable online behaviour. It is thus the practice of exercising polite and considerate behaviour in online contexts, inclusive of inline ethics when web browsing; assumed to be true or necessary, but often just common sense. Netiquette is important as online communication is non-verbal.
No Detriment (Grade)
UAL’s Academic Board has approved the introduction of a No Detriment Grade regulation for the summer term of 2020. This will mean that a predicted grade based on a student’s past performance and expected achievement will be calculated and presented to the exam board alongside the actual grade from the marked work. The exam boards will then award whichever is the better grade automatically, where students have passed the unit. Students will therefore not suffer from any underperformance in their assessments due to coronavirus and can only improve on their past performance this term.
Asynchronous defines a task that is happening in real-time. An synchronous means that you have to execute in order to move on to the next one.
Virtual Learning Environment (VLE)
The Virtual Learning Environment (VLE) is a system for supporting digital learning. It is used to deliver learning materials, online activities and resources to students.
“Zoombombing” (by ‘Zoombombers’) is a reference to the popular video conferencing platform Zoom in which virtual meetings are disrupted by graphic or threatening messages, incidents targeting virtual classrooms and/or the hijacking of video conferences and online classrooms.
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Equality in higher education: statistical report 2019. www.advance-he.ac.uk/knowledge-hub/equality-higher-education-statistical-report-2019 Student/ Staff pipeline by White male/ BME female. INCLUSIVE PRACTICE: ALCHEMY - TRANSFORMATION IN SOCIAL JUSTICE TEACHING. // 27
Equality in higher education: statistical report 2019. www.advance-he.ac.uk/knowledge-hub/equality-higher-education-statistical-report-2019 Student/ Staff pipeline by gender. 28 // INCLUSIVE PRACTICE: ALCHEMY - TRANSFORMATION IN SOCIAL JUSTICE TEACHING.
Equality in higher education: statistical report 2019 www.advance-he.ac.uk/knowledge-hub/equality-higher-education-statistical-report-2019 UK Professors by gender and BME/ White identity. INCLUSIVE PRACTICE: ALCHEMY - TRANSFORMATION IN SOCIAL JUSTICE TEACHING. // 29
DIVERSITY QUESTIONS. Many individuals and institutions are now tasked with responding to different forms of diversity questions, which take into consideration some of the following elements: • • • • • • • • •
Student attainment differentials Student experience differentials Whitewashed curriculums Inclusive pedagogy History/history erasure Staff recruitment Staff progression Staff development Staff experience
In response to the above elements many individuals, departments, institutions and organisations contact Shades of Noir to advise, train and support. As such we have developed a series of questions that should help respond transparently, develop a better understanding and build strategies and policies responding to specific contexts for impactful and purposeful changes towards social justice environments.
Student attainment differentials
How do you collect this information? Have you disaggregated data by all protected characteristics? Have you collected intersectional data? Have you spoken to students and student union? Have you gained qualitative and quantitative data? Are staff with intersectional protected characteristics leading this work and are they remunerated for this?
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Student experience differentials
Who are the voices that you record, why and what happens with the voices and the people behind them? What processes are in place to anonymously record student experiences? How do you level the playing field for marginal communities of students? What are your processes with complaints and do complaints data reflect attainment data? How do you engage with and or embed departments that specialise in supporting vulnerable and or marginalised students? Are staff with intersectional protected characteristics leading this work and are they remunerated for this?
Who are the authors of the publications that you promote and include within your resource lists? Do your resources include contributions from communities of intersectional protected characteristics? Where do you see social justice embedded in the curriculum? How do you manage misappropriation in the curriculum? How do critical intersectional race theories present themselves in the curriculum? Are staff with intersectional protected characteristics leading this work and are they remunerated for this?
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What is the data of representation of intersectional protected characteristics within your team? Have you or your team actively engaged with contributions from communities of intersectional protected characteristics? How do you embed social justice teaching? Where does critical intersectional race theories present itself in your teaching approach? What actions do you take to ensure a supportive environment? Are staff with intersectional protected characteristics leading this work and are they remunerated for this?
How and where is colonisation represented in the curriculum? What narratives and cannons are valued more? Where do you access history/herstory from? What archives do you use and or engage with? How do you check that your information is accurate, critical and international? Are staff with intersectional protected characteristics leading this work and are they remunerated for this?
What is the current and previous 3 to 5 years of data of your intersectional staff data? Where do you share your data? What strategies and or policies do you employ to reduce discrimination and both unconcious and concious bias? Where do you advertise vacancies to reach the full spectrum of society? What do you articulate and how do you deliver fair recruitment practices? Are staff with intersectional protected characteristics leading this work and are they remunerated for this?
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Do you collect data on staff development? Have you identified departments, communities and or individuals that either do or do not engage or are unable to access development? Do you have mandatory training for all staff to affirm the ethos of the institution? What are the staff development programmes that counter bullying, harassment and or discrinmination? Do you have a clear and transparent process articulating how staff development contributes to staff career progression? Are staff with intersectional protected characteristics leading this work and are they remunerated for this?
Who are the voices that you record, why and what happens with the voices and the people behind them? What processes are in place to anonymously record staff experiences? Do you collect data of staff experience? What do you do with the data collection to inform your strategies, policies and processes? How do you engage with and or embed departments that specialise in supporting vulnerable and or marginalised staff? Are staff with intersectional protected characteristics leading this work and are they remunerated for this?
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SHADES OF NOIR’S STREAMS OF WORK. Shades of Noir’s ‘Streams of Work’ are broad-reaching and multifaceted, supporting the purposeful transformation of people, policy and process. As a community, we centre the voices and lived experiences of students and staff of colour within the focus of social justice. We offer accessible knowledge and visible testimonies that we hope will further inform the evolutions of cultures and practices across the sector (and beyond). For over a decade, the programme has reached huge success thanks to our intersectional team of award-winning staff and students. This allows us to shape our proactive interventions to be purposeful, relevant and effective. As creatives, we take an inherently intersectional and holistic approach, aligning everything that we deliver within the framework of policy, people and process. The following diagram contextualises some of our endeavours. Each line represents the intersection between activities and collective responsibilities, which support meaningful change towards anti-racism as a practice that requires neverending work.
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“THE PARADOX OF EDUCATION IS PRECISELY THIS - THAT AS ONE BEGINS TO BECOME CONSCIOUS ONE BEGINS TO EXAMINE THE SOCIETY IN WHICH HE IS BEING EDUCATED.” - James Baldwin
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Shades of Noir was delighted to invite Dr. Gurnam Singh and Dr Clare Warner to peer review this Terms of Reference. Dr. Gurnam Singh (PhD, FRSA, NTF) Gurnam Singh is currently principal lecturer in social work and lead for research degrees at Coventry University. He is also visiting professor of social work at the University of Chester and visiting fellow in race and education at the University of Arts, London. In 2009, he was awarded a National Teaching Fellowship from the UK Higher Education Academy. His teaching, research and activism centres on critical pedagogy, social inequalities, social justice, human rights and anti-oppression. He is recognised as a leading thinker on the issue of ‘racial’ disparities as an expert consultant with the Higher Education Academy to help improve the degree attainment levels of Black and Minority Ethnic (BME) students. Image 7
Dr Clare Warner Dr Clare Warner is an Educational Developer: Attainment (Curriculum and Assessment) at University of the Arts London. Over 18 years Warner has accrued a proven track record of improving the outcomes and experiences of students in primary, secondary, further and higher education school settings. She have trialled, researched and evaluated an inclusive practice framework which prioritises: experiential and collaborative learning; drawing on students’ backgrounds and interests as an asset to inform curriculum planning and; working in genuine partnership with students, families and communities.
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A NOTE FROM DR. GURNAM SINGH. What is social justice? Why do we need it? What stops us from having it? And what role does arts education have in this project? These are the key questions that have and do shape the work of Shades of Noir. Through the production of a wide range of digital and digital resources, Shades of Noir has over the past 10 years become the prominent voice for marginalised communities within the creative arts education sector in the UK. One of the most impressive aspects of the work of Shades of Noir is the production of Terms of Reference (TOR) which has become an important platform to explore aspects of identity, difference and othering in ways that allow both recognition and celebration of difference, but most importantly, engagement in the critical questions of the making of racialised identities, of bodies, of culture and ontologies. In the present publication, Inclusive Practice: Alchemy – Transformation in Social Justice Teaching, of these themes are explored through the prism of pedagogical theory and practice. Through a variety of written and visual work, each piece in its unique way offers insights into the nature of the challenge faced by people of colour in academic institutions that retain a legacy of colonialism, imperialism and elitism. A central theme of the ToR is the question of race, culture and oppression.
In the current ToR, these major themes are explored specifically through the lens of pedagogy. Each of the pieces in their own way offers insights into the oppressive nature of the black experience of higher education and the transformative potential of pedagogy. The experience of marginalisation both produces and reveals mechanisms of dehumanisation and education has an unambiguous role in this process; it can either be a force for liberation or an excuse to maintain the status quo; there is no neutral space when it comes to education, and education can make or break human beings. In Alex Haley’s autobiography, Malcolm X recounts an experience where his white teacher Mr Ostrowski shatters his dreams of becoming a lawyer by telling him to set his sights more reasonably and pursue a career in carpentry. Though Malcolm was reportedly one of the brightest students, this symbolic violence had a deflating impact on Malcolm resulting in him dropping out of school. It was only much later that Malcolm was able to make sense of his experience of how the education system functioned both as a system of oppression, but, most critically, through the curriculum that either erased black experience or presented black people as something less than human; as singular, simplistic, inferior, dysfunctional and dangerous. The radical Brazilian educationalist Paulo Freire notes the passivity of the oppressed, or so-called ‘uneducated’, who cannot be seen as reflecting their lack of capacity for critical thought, but an inevitable consequence of their construction within a political economy of entitlement. In a key passage from his seminal text Pedagogy of
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the Oppressed (1968) Freire notes a double bind that oppressed, marginalised people experience: that is a realisation that ‘without freedom, they cannot exist authentically. Yet although they desire authentic existence, they fear it’ (1996:30). In short, this is the choice ‘between speaking or remaining silent’. Shades of Noir have not only escaped this bind for themselves, but they have managed to give voice to those that have been erased and silenced and in doing so, becoming a beacon of hope and possibility. Indeed, by combining text with visual artefacts in a variety of ways, and by engaging in difficult subjects associated with race/ racism, gender, sexuality, Whiteness, dominance, symbolic violence and so on, Shades of Noir has managed to open up new portals for disrupting the silencing. Social Injustice, as Iris Marion Young explored in her book Justice and the Politics of Difference (2011) argued is intimately linked to oppression which has at least five features - what she terms faces, namely exploitation, marginalisation, powerlessness, cultural domination and violence. Whilst in much of the work of Shades of Noir each of these themes is apparent through the celebration of black achievement, excellence and beauty, there is similarly an abundance of hope in the work of Shades of Noir do. Indeed, above all, what characterises the work of Shades of Noir is its commitment to healing and bringing people together. In doing so, Shades of Noir has inspired us to develop an engaged pedagogy; one that seeks to disrupt binary hierarchical ways of seeing each other and the world more generally.
Though this is not explicitly stated, the disruption of binary thinking lies at the heart of the work of Shades of Noir. Indeed, even the name ‘Shades of Noir’ itself seeks to open up a debate about what it means to be black and the problem of essentialising racialised categories of ‘othering’. Racialised ‘othering’ is dependent on the idea of a thing called ‘race’. Even though much of the ‘official’ discourse as Paul Gilroy (2005) points out plays to this idea, it is important to note ‘race’ is not a thing; it is racism, a mechanism that constructs Black bodies and Blackness as things to control, to punish, and use/abuse that is real (see Hesse 2007). If there is no object or thing that can be seen as race, then how does one capture the effects of ‘race’ thinking? Sara Ahmed’s idea of ‘race as sedimented matter and history’ is helpful in this debate since, as she argues, ‘something can matter because it is made to matter’ (Ahmed, 2014 p94). In other words, though there is in reality only one human race, ‘race comes to have a certain kind of existence’ and it is through its systematisation that ‘differences become sedimented heavy histories that weigh us down’ (p. 95). It is this sedimentation of racial histories that fuels the production and reproduction of discourses of racialised othering. In The Wretched of the Earth, Frantz Fanon (1961) claims the colonised subject is constantly confronted with the question of ‘who am I?’ This, he argues, is the direct consequence of colonial domination which results in the distortion of ethnic identities. We all have narratives of ‘self’ and ‘other’, which give us a sense of security and perhaps, belonging. This is what makes
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us human, but paradoxically, our sense of being and being different can keep us from connecting with others and even perhaps from seeing others as fully human. Education for Social Justice, Hytten & Bettez (2001) argues represents a call to teachers and scholars to build a new order, ‘to create educational environments that empower historically marginalised people that challenge inequitable social arrangements and institutions, and those offer strategies and visions for creating a more just world’ (p.8). However, such noble intentions cannot be realised without disrupting the status quo, and this can be painful for those who benefit from the system of power and privilege. It is arguably even more painful for those doing the disrupting and in this respect Shades of Noir must be commended for their resilience in surviving and thriving in the difficult and hostile terrain. In doing so, by giving equal worth to affective, effective and cognitive modes of learning, Shades of Noir has managed to embody a truly inclusive pedagogy. Indeed, at a time where the Higher Education sector is struggling with issues related to inclusivity, awarding gaps and decolonising the curriculum, the work of Shades of Noir could not be more prescient.
References: Ahmed, S. (2015) “Race as Sedimented History.” Postmedieval: A Journal of Medieval Cultural Studies 6 (1): 94–97. doi.org/10.1057/pmed.2015.5. Fanon, F (1961) The Wretched of the Earth, translation by Constance Farrington: New York: Grove Weidenfeld. Freire, P. (1996). Pedagogy of the oppressed (revised). New York: Continuum. Gilroy, P. (2005). Postcolonial melancholia. Columbia University Press. Hesse, B. (2007). “Racialized Modernity: An Analytics of White Mythologies.” Ethnic & Racial Studies 30 (4): 643–63. doi.org/10.1080/01419870701356064. Hytten, K & Bettez, S. C (2010 Understanding Education for Social Justice. Educational Foundations. Winter-Spring 2011. p7-24. eric.ed.gov/?id=EJ925898 Young, I. M. (2011). Justice and the Politics of Difference. Princeton University Press.
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A NOTE FROM DR CLARE WARNER. The African American author Alice Walker once said that if a book doesn’t make you better then what on earth is it for. It’s clear from the testimonies within the Inclusive Teaching and Learning Unit, with its emphasis on reflection and dialogue across multiple axes of difference, offer staff and students the opportunity to be better. At its heart is a commitment to centring the lived-experiences of staff and students, which disrupts the exclusion students of colour sometimes endure in white-dominated institutions. In many ways, the Unit offers a roadmap to thinking about how to structure teaching and learning to upend inequality in student outcomes and experiences. In particular, the seamless integration of multiple theoretical lenses with lived-experiences challenge persistent binaries between theory and practice, thinking and feeling, tutors as arbiters of knowledge and their students. It wasn’t always so straight forward though. Richards’ unflinching account of the early days of the Unit is a sobering reminder that progress in Race Equality is always preceded by struggle and sacrifice, which is too often written out of revisionist progress narratives. Any number of the conversations we take for granted being able to have today about awarding gaps, belonging and decolonising the curriculum, to name but a few, are possible because others were having them long before they were considered acceptable conversations to be having.
The staff and student narratives featured in the publication are a reminder of the necessity of continuing to evolve anti-racist practice throughout Higher Education. Across a series of testimonials the O’Honey Studio, for example, explores how ethnically diverse students sometimes suffer an academic penalty for failing to produce work aligned to their tutors’ preferences. The collective point to the hypocrisy of tutors devaluing work situated in unfamiliar cultural contexts while course handbooks espouse their commitment to diversity. It is remarkable to read that 10 years ago Romero Bryan faced the same predicament when his tutors dissuaded him from drawing inspiration from the Jamaican dancehall and reggae scene in his fashion designs, which suggests the embeddedness of the practice in some quarters of the university. Narratives about navigating the institution from both longstanding and newer members of staff also offer important insights about the realities of working in the institution as a person of colour. They recount, for example, the struggle to have their capacity, value and contributions recognised and the challenge of progressing into positions of leadership in spite of well-established records of professional excellence. It is widely gaining acceptance that opening up institutional conversations about race is a challenging, but necessary part of ongoing work to eliminate awarding gaps across the sector (UUK and NUS, 2019). The Inclusive Teaching and Learning Unit provides staff with the opportunity to do just that, but the conversations are not yet an essential part of our working practices. Fortunately, there is a growing awareness of
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the need to focus conversations on whiteness as a historically situated ideology upheld by a set of practices, rather than racism as an individual phenomenon. We know this slippery thing called ‘whiteness’ secures domination by excluding ideas which do not conform to its own norms and values (Frankenberg, 1993; Dyer, 1997; Applebaum, 2016 ). It is, however, notoriously difficult to disrupt, because it is constantly reproduced through what Gillborn refers to as ‘subtle and hidden operations of power’ (2006, p. 21). Numerous scholars from Friere to Fanon have suggested that racial oppression is best understood from the perspective of the oppressed. By focusing on their voices we make visible the often uninterrogated structures, processes and practices, which sustain and perpetuate inequality (Zamudio et al, 2011; Essed,1991). Consequently, the narratives of students and staff of colour, which have been at the centre of Terms of Reference (ToR) since its inception, have a vital role to play in surfacing institutional mechanisms of exclusion. The university has invested considerable resources in promoting equality and diversity (see page 20 for a summary of initiatives), for which it should be commended. For those of us involved in leading this work (and isn’t that everyone really?) we would do well to study these narratives to better understand the mechanisms of exclusion and to continuously ask ourselves to what extent our work directly upends them.
Even better, we should recognise and trust the expertise of staff and students who experience discrimination and genuinely consult them on the development and evaluation of policy and practice targeted at eliminating inequality. Black communities in Britain have a long and well-documented history of educational activism dating back to their arrival in significant numbers in the 1950s. Right from the outset they banded together to protest against discriminatory practices in schooling and refused to accept the inferior quality of education on offer to their children at the time. Alongside protesting, varied individuals and organisations they got to work opening publishing houses, bookshops, launching new journals and opening supplementary schools (see Warmington,2014; Andrews, 2013; Reay and Mirza, 2001). At the core of this activity was a belief in the importance of telling their own stories and a commitment to collective empowerment and of course education. This publication, which showcases some of the innovative programming Shades of Noir has developed in collaboration with partners across the university alongside the multi-disciplinary work produced by their extended and extensive network, accentuates SoN’s important and ongoing contribution to this precious legacy. One of my favourite Alice Walker books is titled ‘We Are the Ones We Have Been Waiting For’(2006). This publication, with its thoughtful examination of the challenges and possibilities of Inclusive Practice, offers a timely reminder that we are unapologetically here, striving together to be better.
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References Andrews, K. (2013). Resisting Racism: Race, Inequality and the Black Supplementary School Movement. London: Institute of Education Press. Applebaum, B. (2016). Critical Whiteness Studies in Oxford Research Encyclopedia of Education Available from: dx.doi. org/10.1093/acrefore/9780190264093.013.5 Dyer, R. (1997). The Matter of Whiteness in Dyer, R (ed.) White: Essays on Race and Culture. London: Routledge. p. 1-40.
UUK and NUS, 2019. Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic Student Attainment at UK Universities. #Closing the Gap. Available from: https://www.universitiesuk. ac.uk/policy-and-analysis/reports/ Documents/2019/bame-student-attainmentuk-universities-closing-the-gap.pdf Warmington, P. (2014). Black British intellectuals and education. Arbington: Routledge.
Essed, P. (1991). Understanding Everyday Racism: An Interdisciplinary Theory. California: Sage Publications. Frankenberg, R. (1993). White women, Race Matters: the social construction of whiteness. London: Routledge. Gillborn, D. (2006). Critical Race Theory and Education: Racism and antiracism in educational theory and praxis, Discourse: Studies in the Cultural Politics of Education,27 (1), pp. 11-32. Reay, D. And Mirza, H. (2001). Black Supplementary Schools: Spaces of Radical Blackness in (ed.) Majors, R. Educating Our Black Children: New directions and radical approaches. New York: Routledge. pp. 90-102.
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“NEVER DOUBT THAT A SMALL GROUP OF THOUGHTFUL, COMMITTED CITIZENS CAN CHANGE THE WORLD; INDEED, IT’S THE ONLY THING THAT EVER HAS.” - Margaret Mead
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THREE YEARS IN THE BREAKING. O’HONEY STUDIO.
Shades of Noir Team, We are collective O’Honey Studio, and currently finishing our ----------------------- in ---------------- at ----------------. One of our ----------- this year has been set by the SoN team which is where we learnt about your work and also the Terms of Reference (ToR) Journals. Recently, we have been reflecting on the last -------------- and have started to highlight how the lack of diversity in the teaching staff on the course has tainted our personal growth and the development creatively over the last three years. We have recently taken
action with the university and have arranged meetings to discuss some of these concerns officially before we leave, although it is too late for any changes to impact our university experience we feel strongly that the way things are is simply not good enough and we wish a better experience for future students. We have developed these concerns into an art piece ‘Three Years in the Breaking’ that we are submitting into the upcoming ToR Journal ‘Inclusive Practice: Alchemy Transformation in Social Justice Teaching’.
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The work we have done acts as a reflective piece about our time spent in -----Higher Education as an ethnically diverse group of young --------, questioning the cultural engagement and competence of the staff that we were engaged with. It also visually communicates how we were underwhelmed by the experience as a whole. Below I have attached three JPEG images of the artwork, and also a piece of writing to contextualise it. We also decided to attach the official documents and testimonies that we are taking forward to the college about our concerns as it’s something that is an ongoing issue and has influenced the work that we have created. Thanks, -------- ----------------- ----------------- --------
To whom it may concern, We are writing to you today to air some of our concerns about the --------------------------------- course currently being taught at ---------------. Over the ---------------- we have had growing concerns about the way the course is structured and taught. We see that at a time when the course will be undergoing some drastic changes, with -------- leaving and a new course leader is being chosen, we want to feedback some of our grievances so that improvements could be made for future students. Our main concern with the course is the lack of diversity in the tutors. Throughout the --------------------, our core tutors were ---------------------------------. We feel that these tutors all came from the same design background. ---------------------- --------------------- all run a --------------- together, and ----- (our ----------- tutor) taught them while they were studying at university. We feel that this has led to the majority of the tutors having the same perspective of how a --------------------------------- should be taught. These tutors have the same working style and approach to teaching, and for our year group, this is all we were exposed to for the ------------- of our course. Similarly, we felt that tutors in the ------------- year had a lack of enthusiasm when it came to dealing with projects that didn’t align with their own personal interests and style. Tutorials sometimes felt flat and uninspired if work was presented to the tutors that they didn’t resonate with due to it being removed from their own practice, for example maybe less traditional ---------------- work. Students’ ideas would get battled down before projects had even begun if the tutor didn’t relate with it, rather than ideas being nourished and worked on even if it wasn’t to the tutors taste. Upon talking to our peers there were some concerns that particular students’ work would be favoured by tutors due to it
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“...WE FELT THAT BECAUSE OUR PRACTICE DIDN’T NECESSARILY FIT IN WITH THAT OF THE TUTORS THAT THEY HAD LITTLE FEEDBACK OR REFERENCES TO OFFER US. IF WE WERE TO HAVE MORE VARIED TUTORS THAT HAD A DIFFERENT WORKING STYLE AND CAME FROM DIFFERENT BACKGROUNDS OR DISCIPLINES IT WOULD BENEFIT THE STUDENTS MASSIVELY AS THERE WOULD BE A LARGER SCOPE OF KNOWLEDGE OF VARIED ------PRACTICES TO OFFER MORE REFERENCES AND SUPPORT.”
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having a similar working style as themselves and that these students would have better working relationships with the tutors. It also feels like there was little-to-no personal rapport with them. This is due to a lack of understanding of different students’ working style and practice as well as an overwhelming amount of ---------------- which left students feeling lost without personal identity. A lack of diverse tutors leads to a lack of diverse references. The interests and knowledge of the tutors we had seemed to be very in keeping with their practice and their knowledge of wider topics appeared limited. Throughout our tutorials, in the ---------------- we felt that because our practice didn’t necessarily fit in with that of the tutors that they had little feedback or references to offer us. If we were to have more varied tutors that had a different working style and came from different backgrounds or disciplines it would benefit the students massively as there would be a larger scope of knowledge of varied --------- practices to offer more references and support. We are proud to be a part of a creatively diverse year group full of extremely innovative individuals with a large variation of disciplines, ranging from game programming, animation and music production. There are many individuals in our year pushing the idea of what ---------------- can be and not conforming to traditional ideas of what --------------------- already has been established to be. University is a time to push the boundaries of your practice, discover who you are as a ----------- and push ideas while you should have total creative freedom.
We feel that our educational experience and exploration of our creative sense of self was hindered by attempts to pigeonhole us into the tutor’s view of what a ------------------ should be just because they all came from the same creative background when in reality it is far broader than that. Another concern we have with the course is the briefs we are given. This course was advertised to us as an open, creative and conceptual design course; we feel our experience has been far from that. A lot of the briefs were overly restrictive meaning that the outcomes that were produced didn’t allow for an exploration of our own --------- style. We recognise that the fundamentals of ------------------should be taught and that there should be some briefs that help us learn these. More open and conceptual briefs should also be conducted alongside these to tailor towards a variety of different students who work less traditionally. We also feel that there were too many group projects meaning that students couldn’t get the chance to develop a sense of self as a designer. Why was this? Is this due to a lack of funding? For the -------------- there is little opportunity to explore who you are as a practitioner both practically in the studios and theoretically via the essays we were asked to write that had no relevance to us as -----------. This left a lot of students lost and panicked by the time they got to the ----------------- as they couldn’t align their interests and skills to develop their unique practice as they had very little idea who they were creatively. The --------------------- led to us being ill-prepared to drive personal self-directed projects when our personal practice hadn’t been nourished.
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For us, it is clear that this year has seen a shift in the diversity of our tutors and we can see changes happening such as the ---------- learning about a more varied range of references and new tutors from different backgrounds becoming a part of the course. This is one step in the right direction, but more needs to be addressed. For us, it is too late for the changes to impact our experience on the course but through having had discussions with students in lower years that feel the same way, we knew it was important to bring these issues to light. Having -------------------------- play an active role in our year group has been refreshing. For the first time, a lot of students have felt understood and nourished. -----------, although a ----------- teacher has also been working with members of the -------------and played an active role in supporting the class to develop their work. The tutorials with ----------- felt really beneficial as it was someone from a different background with a less narrow view of what ---------------------could be which was so necessary as we needed someone to support our creative endeavours.
We believe it is a great shame that this facility will not be available to future students and that they will miss out on having these wonderful passionate technicians there for them when they’re needed. Below we have included some testimonials that our peers have provided us with, explaining some of their similar experiences on the course. Thank you. Sincerely, ------ ------------- -------------------- ---------
So with this, we can see that changes are being made but more needs to happen so that students’ needs are catered for from day one. As a final note, we would just like to express our upset for the changes being made to -------------- and the technicians that run it. We were made aware this past week that -------------- would be shutting down and the technicians being made redundant and having to reapply for their jobs. These technicians were a beacon of light for us when we felt unsupported by our own tutors in the -------------------- of our course. They were always happy to help us with any technical questions we had and some of our best pieces of work we’ve produced as a collective would not have been possible without their help, support and guidance.
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“THE LACK OF DIVERSITY IN THESE INSTITUTIONS CAN BE DAMAGING FOR STUDENTS, ESPECIALLY FOR THOSE WHO ARE WANTING TO PUSH THE BOUNDARIES OF THEIR PRACTICE. IT IS VITAL TO SEE A REFLECTION OF YOURSELF IN YOUR TUTORS IN SOME WAY OR ANOTHER.”
This piece entitled ‘Three Years In The Breaking’ was created for the Shades Of Noir Journal by -----Studio’. We are an independent design collective made up of three ------ creatives graduating this year from a ----------- course at ---------------------------------. These images were produced in response to our feelings towards our experience studying a creative subject at the higher education level. Individually, we all come from different backgrounds and are ethnically diverse; this has enabled us to have a broad approach to our creative process. The nature of the field we were studying is traditionally male-dominated, and this was reflected in the overwhelming majority of our tutors, who have extremely similar practices. They also appeared to come from very similar backgrounds; because of this, their approach to working and teaching came from a niche perspective. They had a tight view on the role a ----------- should play in the working world and the sort of work they should produce, when in fact being a designer can be a lot broader than this.
It is vital to see a reflection of yourself in your tutors in some way or another. This is important as a student’s creative development can flourish when there is a good working relationship with the tutors. Lack of rapport can leave students feeling under-supported and misunderstood in terms of their creative outlook and approach to making. Ultimately studying a creative course at university can be a time to explore yourself as a designer and push the limits of your creativity but by not being exposed to a diverse and engaged body of staff can really make or break a students experience. ------------------------
The lack of diversity in these institutions can be damaging for students, especially for those who are wanting to push the boundaries of their practice. If all of your teachers have similar perspectives on what makes ‘good design’, students who don’t align with this suffer due to not being encouraged to create work that resonates with them. Before coming to university we were excited to push the boundaries of what could be possible for our creative practices, but when we were met by tutors who were unenthused by work which didn’t reflect their own, our work suffered leaving us underdeveloped as we weren’t pushed to our full potential.
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CREATING CONTEXT. THE INCLUSIVE TEACHING AND LEARNING UNIT.
Aisha Richards and Terry Finnigan ‘The Teaching and Learning unit cannot teach people to care, but we can plant many seeds of which students can practice mindfulness and develop further self-reflection. The aspiration is that these seeds create roots for personal work. You then hope that these roots become an embedded practice of thoughtfulness, understanding, and self-reflection in the students and that of ourselves the teachers. This I believe is the journey of moving from mindfulness practice to intersectional social justice work, the real heavy lifting.’ - Aisha Richards, Inclusive Teaching and Learning co-creator/Lead and Director of Shades of Noir. The Inclusive Teaching and Learning Unit (2011) is housed in the wider Teaching and Learning Exchange (formerly the Centre for Teaching and Learning) within the University of the Arts London (UAL) and sits within the Pg Cert and MA in Academic Practice. It is an elective unit for the two courses but also can be taken as a stand-alone unit. This unit was co-designed by a number of academics, however, the content, delivery, and leadership have been designed and delivered by the authors of this piece, Terry Finnigan and Aisha Richards. Both of these women have always had other roles within the institution and both are committed to social justice work personally and professionally as per their bio listed in this document.
This unit has been delivered for almost a decade, the vision was and continues to present a place to engage with and apply Frierian (1970) philosophies in teaching and academic endeavours towards social justice. As such Finnigan and Richards have always seen this space as an opportunity for exploration, criticality (including of them) and building on knowledge for everyone involved. The unit comprises of three face to face encounters with online tasks and documentation of the personal reflections of the learner’s positionality (VanSledright, 1998) of and through the delivery of a small but purposeful intervention towards social justice within an education context. These activities are supported by tutorials, benchmarking activities, formative feedback and summative feedback and assessment by the staffing team. Over the years there have been some pilots of blind marking, peer to peer assessment and other assessment practices. Throughout this piece of writing on the context of the unit, questions will be posed. These are some of the questions Richards and Finnigan present throughout the years of the unit delivery in many forms.
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What narratives, ideologies, experiences, and resources inform the design of a programme /course/unit? When creating this unit Richards and Finnigan were predominantly and continue to be informed by those inside and outside of the UK context. As mentioned in the introduction, Friere’s (1970) work and critique of education and pedagogy for both oppressed people and that of the oppressors are always at the forefront of their minds. This has meant significant personal growth through consideration of Finnigan and Richards own positionality, power, privilege and the weight of responsibility as they continue on this journey towards social justice praxis (Wright, 2003. pp.805-822). There are others work such as bell hooks, Patricia Hill Collins, Patricia Williams, Richard Delgado, Kimberle Crenshaw, Sara Ahmed, Jane Elliot (foreword), Angela Davis, Derrick Bell, James Baldwin, Yuji Ichioka, Toni Morrison, Yuri Kochiyama, Frantz Fanon, Maya Angelou, Audre Lorde, Judith Butler...as well as Olive Morris, Margret Busby, Heidi Mirza, Stuart Hall, David Gillborn, Jackie MacMannus, Gurnam Singh (peer reviewer for this publication), Darcus Howe, Glynis Cousin, Lady Phyll (Phyllis Akua Opoku-Gyimah), Shirley Anne Tate, Deborah Gabriel…that have contributed to the thinking and practices throughout the delivery of this unit. This
unit is a melting pot of international influences and perspectives, along with personal reflections of positionality which continue to embrace change. Richards and Finnigan see the unit as a space where an iterative process can build on the many who came before and those still fighting, It is important to state that at the time of the unit’s creation in 2011, Richards was the only black and or woman of colour in the department (Gabriel and Tate, 2017). This changed in 2015 with the addition of 1 woman of colour. The visible diversity of academic staff on this unit is highly significant as it starts to change the power dynamic within the classroom and within their reflections within their blogs.The participants each year learn a great deal from the tutors’ experiences of teaching and studying at the institution and there is a much more eagerness to share experiences. At times some white members of staff on the unit can feel discomfort and so it feels like a challenging space but sometimes a caring space as well. As the only white member of staff teaching on this unit Finnigan speaks openly of the learning from sharing and collaborating with staff of colour. She believes this has increased her sense of empathy and made her into a much more reflective pedagogue. Is the visible diversity of academic staff significant?
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Where does social justice feature in the programme/course/unit? Before engaging in the content and pedagogy of this unit Finnigan and Richards had both been developing a social justice teaching practice (Hahn Tapper, 2013). They did this both together through workshops and conference engagements for several years pre the unit and this continues in addition to co-authorship of publications. In addition, individually, Finnigan had developed a lifetime of widening participation teaching, coaching and mentorship. This includes the Tell Us About It archive, Visual Directions (2005), an innovative website of its time, offering insights regarding reflective writing and sketchbooks development. This online resource included student and staff perspectives on their practice captured on video presented in a dynamic and stimulating fashion that engages students in thinking about learning in Art and Design. Richards develops practices engaging with ex-offenders, refugees, recovering substance abusers, care leavers and the elderly for a number of organizations and institutions beyond UAL. This work was in addition to Richards teaching on MA Design Studies (now named MA Applied Imagination) at Central Saint Martins (2001 -2018) and the creation and direction of Shades of Noir (2009-present day). For this unit, the skills and approaches both Richards and Finnigan had already been developing was and continues to be evolved through practice. These techniques are rooted in social justice pedagogy, or as bell hooks (2014) talks of teaching as a practice of freedom. The ‘freedom’ being sought through practice on this unit is as much for Finnigan, Richards and its team, as it is for the student cohorts who participate. This is why many students talk of the unit as transformational, emotional labouring and critically challenging (Collins, 2009).
Everyone is engaged purposefully (including through resistance to change) as illustrated throughout this wider journal content. The contents of the unit are supported by this pedagogy and are described by Finnigan and Richards as ‘a work in progress’ and as such evolves each year as they grow, change and transform themselves. This is why a variety of resources are incorporated, evolving and contested concepts presented, real case studies are utilised, individual reflections are expected and small group activities are embedded (Duch, Grohand Allen, 2001). Is the program/course/unit a place for the staff to develop as much as it is for the students?
How relevant is the content to the program/course/unit to your students?
This unit has always been the largest selfselected unit for students participating in both the PgCert and MA provision. The students are generally students facing staff already in a higher education institution. Over the years there are a small number of students that are not part of the UAL staffing on the unit. For at least the first 5 years Richards and Finnigan delivered the unit to either all-white student cohorts or predominately white student cohorts with a significant number of students with declared disabilities. The challenges within a monoculture of students meant that there were significant needs to challenge the ‘norms’ and ‘majority’ narratives, which sometimes resulted in heated encounters between students and students, as well as students and teachers (Cowden and Singh, 2013). It is important to share that for most of the students this was the first time they had ever engaged with teaching delivery by an academic of colour. This posed many challenges for the teaching team, including consideration as to what ‘ally
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ship’ could be in this space and the effects of ‘white solidarity’ for the only female staff member of colour in the wider team and the sparse students of colour (Applebaum, 2010).
What are the anticipated challenges when working with a diverse team?
In 2016 many of the Shades of Noirs Teaching The unit staffing brings together specialists Within community joined the unit community in social justice (as illustrated in the bios of of students and now graduates. This inclusion the team within this document). Finnigan changed the cohort significantly both visually and Richards aim to build capacity in delivering this type of work of practices and and in areas of intersectional (Crenshaw, approach, particularly with visibly marginal 1990) knowledge, narratives and experiences. In addition, the changes to the student cohort communities. This is not without challenges meant broader discourses and understandings, or conflict in multiple and complex ways for this team. Clarity of the aims, ambitions which have evolved all (Collins, 1998). and opportunities have presented the framework for this unit, it is also this which The discursive dialogues, conflicting has offered windows of commonality of ideologies, and differing perspectives purpose and negotiations of understandings present vulnerable encounters for everyone. for the benefit of the unit and its teams. These encounters are by nature conflicting, unpredictable and challenging - everything Richards and Finnigan had hoped for. Why is the visible diversity of the student’s cohort relevant? INCLUSIVE PRACTICE: ALCHEMY - TRANSFORMATION IN SOCIAL JUSTICE TEACHING. // 55
The success of the unit and partnerships with Shades of Noir has not only informed the content and diversified the cohorts but also staffing and resources not for the unit. The wider Teaching and Learning exchange now employs 4 of the Teaching Within community (from cohort 1 and 2) and all are Inclusive Teaching and Learning unit graduates. Both Finnigan and Richards hope that relationships with departments where intersectional, antiracism frameworks are applied will continue beyond them. As such 3 of the newest team members on the unit are all from the Shades of Noirs ‘Teaching Within’ (TW) community, 2 of which will deliver for 2 years and then make space for new team members to support the practice of building capacity.
What will be the effect of building capacity of academics of colour mean for the future? The Inclusive Teaching and Learning unit is an essential part of all teachers’ development at UAL. Specifically, with academics of colour who teach on the unit, it builds their capacity to feel supported within a wider network to discuss and reflect on matters of importance. To be listened to. To be an expert. This is essential for all the participants on the unit who are being taught by academics of colour and having discussions with academics of colour in the face to face sessions and the blogs. What is important is that academics of colour can build community and support and the white staff can start to feel discomfort and check their own privilege through their learning. This unit needs to be a compulsory part of the induction process for all staff as it is transformational and reflects the key values of the university. When will this happen?
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References: Applebaum, B., 2010. Being white, being good: White complicity, white moral responsibility, and social justice pedagogy. Lexington Books. Cowden, S. and Singh, G., 2013. Acts of knowing: Critical pedagogy in, against and beyond the university. Bloomsbury Publishing USA. Crenshaw, K., 1990. Mapping the margins: Intersectionality, identity politics, and violence against women of color. Stan. L. Rev., 43, p.1241. Duch, B.J., Groh, S.E. and Allen, D.E., 2001. The power of problembased learning: a practicalâ&#x20AC;? how toâ&#x20AC;? for teaching undergraduate courses in any discipline. Stylus Publishing, LLC..
hooks, b., 2014. Teaching to transgress. Routledge. Mirza, H.S. ed., 1997. Black British feminism: A reader. Taylor & Francis. Tate, S.A. and Bagguley, P., 2017. Building the anti-racist university: Next steps. VanSledright, B.A., 1998. On the Importance of Historical Positionality to Thinking about and Teaching History. International Journal of Social Education, 12(2), pp.1-18. Wright, H.K., 2003. Cultural studies as praxis:(Making) an autobiographical case. Cultural studies, 17(6), pp.805-822.
Gabriel, D. and Tate, S.A., 2017. Inside the Ivory Tower: Narratives of Women of Colour Surviving and Thriving in British Academia. Trentham Books. Available from: UCL IOE Press, UCL Institute of Education,, London Hahn Tapper, A.J., 2013. A pedagogy of social justice education: Social identity theory, intersectionality, and empowerment. Conflict Resolution Quarterly, 30(4), pp.411-445. Collins, P.H., 1998. Fighting words: Black women and the search for justice (Vol. 7). U of Minnesota Press. Collins, P.H., 2009. Another kind of public education: Race, schools, the media, and democratic possibilities. Beacon Press.
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HISTORY OF THE UNIT. 2010 - PRESENT DAY. Ellen Sims, Terry Finnigan and Aisha Richards designed a self selective unit within PgCert building on Finnigan and Richards work. Terry Finnigan and Aisha Richards delivered the first inclusive teaching and learning unit. Hilaire Graham joined UAL. Ellen Sims left UAL.
Siohban Clay joined the team.
Hilaire Graham left UAL.
Melodie Holliday joined the team.
Siohban Clay left the team. Mary Evans joined the team.
Mary Evans left the team. Jaime and Jhinuk joined the team. Carole Morrison and Montana Williamson joined the team.
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THE UNIT TEAM. Aisha Richards. Founder & Director of Shades of Noir, Academic in Art & Design & Pg Cert Unit Co-Leader at UAL. Richards is an academic and creative practitioner, with research interests that include ‘Pedagogies of Social Justice’, and the role equality plays in enhancing the possibilities for innovation within a creative context both in higher education and industry. This work includes ‘Any Room At The Inn’ (2009), a scoping study of qualitative research investigating graduates of colour and their transitions into creative employment. She is also co author of both the Higher Education Academy (HEA) ‘Retention and attainment in the disciplines: Art and Design’ (2016) and ‘Embedding equality and diversity in the curriculum: an art and design practitioner’s guide’ (2015). Richards also presents and consults on institutional change management, pedagogical practice and curriculum development nationally and internationally. In 2009, Richards created and currently directs ‘Shades of Noir’, which has programmes and activities being implemented across the University of The Arts London and other institutions. Shades of Noir aims to enhance the practice, process and experiences for students and HE staff through an antiracist framework towards intersectional social justice. Shades of Noir develops resources, provides spaces, offers accessible knowledge and a visible intersectional presence for students, graduates, HE staff and creative practitioners to meet Richards vision. Richards also contributed to the creation, development and delivery of the Teaching & Learning Exchanges post graduate teaching qualification unit titled ‘Inclusive Teaching & Learning’ part of the Academic Practice Provision. Richards was awarded the University wide Teaching Award in 2017 and in the same year contributed a chapter within ‘Inside The Ivory Towers: Narratives of Women of Colour Surviving and Thriving in British Academia’ (Gabriel and Tate 2017). Reflections of Aisha Richards: “The Inclusive Teaching and Learning unit cannot teach people to care, but we can plant many seeds of which students can practice mindfulness and develop further self-reflection. The aspiration is that these seeds create roots for personal work. You then hope that these roots become an embedded practice of thoughtfulness, understanding, and self-reflection in the students and that of ourselves the teachers. This I believe is the journey of moving from mindfulness practice to intersectional social justice work, the real heavy lifting.”
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Terry Finnigan. Terry Finnigan is Head of Student Attainment at LCF. Head of Widening Participation at London College of Fashion, UAL. Terry has always had the student experience at the forefront of all her work. She has been motivated by her sense of social justice and entitlement for students from diverse backgrounds, at different stages of their educational journey, to achieve at the highest level Terry has worked within the areas of study support, learning and teaching and widening participation. Terry has worked within the areas of study support, learning and teaching, widening participation and more recently, student attainment and inclusive pedagogy. She has championed student voices, and ensured that they are heard and inform UAL’s work with the student voice project ‘Tell Us About It’ and created an innovative art and design website ‘Visual Directions’ which makes the two key creative practices of sketchbooks and reflective writing explicit. She became a National Teaching Fellow in 2011 and is the lead tutor of the Inclusive Learning and Teaching in HE unit at the Learning and Teaching Exchange. She has also recently jointly authored a HEA Scotland publication entitled Embedding Equality and Diversity in the Curriculum: an Art & design Practitioners Guide. (2015). She regards herself as an agent of change and is always keen to encourage staff and students to find spaces to change pedagogy within their own practice. Reflections of Terry Finnigan: “I think I have learnt so much working on the Inclusive Teaching and Learning unit over the past ten years. As the unit is built on Freirean critical pedagogy and social justice and the belief that education is all about transformation and change, every year I have learnt new things that have enriched my own teaching practice as a result and have changed the curriculum and the key resources we refer to. I have seen the participants who have engaged with the learning in the unit, make significant changes to their practice, to the benefit of their students going forward. The unit looks very different now from when we started teaching it all those years ago. Key concepts such as critical race theory, intersectionality, white privilege and positionality have become much more important concepts to discuss and reflect upon with the participants within UAL and how a deeper understanding of these ideas can change teaching practices in the future. I have learnt the importance of truly listening to colleagues, spending time reflecting and making changes. Also at times I get things wrong and possibly offend people but I am confident in stopping and thinking about how I could do things differently next time. So the two most important things I have learnt through this journey is about having a much more compassionate pedagogy and a much stronger understanding of white privilege and allyship. I love this work and I am always learning.”
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Ellen Sims. Ellen Sims was formerly the Head of Learning and Teaching at Plymouth College of Art, with many years’ experience as an Educational Developer and lecturer in creative subjects in similar roles at the University of the Arts, London and York University, Toronto. Ellen’s professional raison d’etre is creating space for engaging in collaboration, reflective practice and creative approaches to learning. At the heart of this is learning through making and the development of socially engaged creative practice. Image 13
Ellen is also an artist and recently completed the Alternative MFA at School of the Damned. Ellen has exhibited her work both nationally and internationally in Canada, publishing widely on topics related to the scholarship of teaching and learning and on practice-based/experiential learning. She is presently a Director of Visual Arts Plymouth CI and Rhizome artists’ collective.
Reflections of Ellen Sims: “I think one of the significant things about that was that we started having conversations about racism. There was a lot of, including myself, misunderstandings about what racism is and also about institutional racism and how can you know about white privilege. It’s always kind of an elephant in the room and people would say, well ‘I’m not racist’ - maybe individually they weren’t but - if you’re working in an institution where the systems are set up so there’s going to be some problems...”
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Hilaire Graham. Hilaire Graham was the Programme Director (2012-2014 ) for the MA Academic Practice delivered by CLTAD (now LTE) and researched inclusive curriculum design through projects and further study. Hilaire contributed to similar courses in learning and teaching in art and design at other UK HE institutions.
Reflections of Hilaire Graham: “Learning is often about asking questions to gain knowledge and develop understanding, but sometimes we do not know what questions to ask. The Inclusive Learning and Teaching in Higher Education which began in 2010 as an elective unit asked participants to explore their own current academic practice and how it promoted inclusive teaching: participants found new questions to ask of their own values and teaching. This unit began as a stepping stone, providing a formally structured means of building knowledge (e.g. case studies of academic practice from the participants themselves) and challenging individual participant’s understanding of inclusivity to enable inclusion to be embedded in curricula. The unit ensured that questions about inclusivity and diversity will continue to be asked to challenge teaching and the student experience.”
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Siobhan Clay. Siobhan Clay (SFHEA) is an Educational Developer and coordinates AEM across UAL. She has 20 years’ experience in FE & HE with expertise in student experience, attainment and social justice work. She recently contributed a chapter to ‘Access to Success and Social Mobility in HE’ (Billingham, S. (ed) 2018) and has written for other UAL zines and publications.
Reflections of Siobhan Clay: “Teaching on the inclusive practice unit 2013 – 2017, broadened my thinking around inclusive pedagogies and provided space to scrutinise educational inequities in HE. It gave opportunities to discuss, share and debate with colleagues, how and why we teach the way we teach. It highlighted the importance of creating space to develop as reflexive practitioners and the devastating impact a non-reflexive approach can have on students. The multiple, often urgent conversations with trusted team colleagues and students, galvanised an MA dissertation into student’s perceptions of the lack of staff diversity at art school and continues to inform my work, every day.”
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Melodie Holliday. Associate Lecturer in Art & Design, Editor and Curriculum Developer at Shades of noir, and Co-Chair of GEMS, UAL.
Melodie Holliday is the editor and curriculum developer at Shades of noir, a UAL award-winning teacher, PhD student, artist and performer. Holliday is also the Co-Chair of GEMS (Group for Equality of Minority Staff) and a School Governor. Melodie is an advocate for social justice and cultural democracy in Arts Education. Through her work at Shades of Noir, she is responsible for the editorial activities of all written content. Additionally, she creates opportunities through diverse activities to develop, embed and share social justice curriculum for the higher education sector resources which she presents at national and international conferences, additionally. These resources are utilised to deliver workshops for academic staff, as well as support her delivery in teaching on the Post Graduate Certification in Academic Practice Unit ‘Inclusive Teaching & Learning within the Teaching & Learning Exchange at the University of the Arts London.
Reflections of Melodie Holliday: “I love teaching on the inclusive practice unit as it contextualises my lived experiences. It allows me the privilege to create, shape and facilitate spaces that give staff the opportunity to consider the socio economics of race and how it intersects with other protected characteristics. While the work we undertake on the unit is challenging at times as it can be met with both resistance and hostility. Many of our students use the opportunity to create much needed ally-ship and build a sense of community. Witnessing people who use the opportunity to shape their department or support their students more effectively or more simply to create a more inclusive resource for their students or colleagues is one of the most satisfying elements to me. Doing meaningful and purposeful work is important to me. Doing the work within a team of other skilled experienced practitioners is both exciting and rewarding.”
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Mary Evans. Mary Evans is a London based artist, born in Lagos Nigeria. Evans’s research interests are centred on the social, political and historical frameworks of Diaspora, migration, global mobility and exchange. Pattern is a strong leitmotif in Evans’s practice. However, the work is rarely pure ornament but often reveals the historical, architectural or social threads of its’ source. The intention is to look beyond the façade of ornament to see what lurks there. This cross-cultural discourse is paralleled by a secondary discourse that links methods of image production, ’fine art’ and ‘craft’, decoration and ornament. Image 17
A dominant investigation in Evans’s practice is the Black Body as both a cypher and site for violence, conflict, hope and resilience. Evans’s research outputs include, temporary gallery installations, public commissions, artists’ books and presentations. Mary Evans is BA Fine Art Course Leader at Chelsea College of Arts.
Reflections of Mary Evans: “I joined the teaching team of the Unit when I was an AL at CSM, so it was a fantastic career enhancement opportunity for me. I enjoyed teaching on the Unit for the quality of what I learned and the interactions I had with my colleague students. The main take away for me was shortly after leaving the team and joining the BA Fine Art team at Chelsea as the course leader, I was in a position to facilitate Teaching Within fellows from the Unit.”
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Jhinuk Sarkar. Jhinuk Sarkar is an Illustrator, Head of Community & Accessibility at Turf Projects and currently an Associate Lecturer at UAL and Lecturer of MA Illustration at another Higher Education Institution. At Turf Projects Jhinuk supports the Makers Of Stuff Squad (MOSS) an artist collective based in Croydon.
Sarkar is an alumni of UAL and left her role in UAL’s Disability Service in 2019 to focus on teaching and her illustration practice. She has also been an Education Illustrator at House of Illustration since 2011 before their gallery opened in King’s Cross. In 2019 Jhinuk presented research at the Illustrating Mental Health conference and recently delivered inclusive drawing workshops at Interdisciplinary Arts Festival Tokyo (IAFT ) in March 2020. Jhinuk continues to make connections between her Illustration practice, whilst striving to provide inclusivity and sensory experiences in the Arts. She continues her work in these areas through research, practice and teaching.
Reflections of Jhinuk Sarkar: “I felt hugely valued by my talented peers on the TW programme - that was one thing. But to also have been invited to teach on the Inclusive Practice Unit after graduating? That was something else. Every job that I have had has been a privilege to me, and this teaching invitation built upon that. This opportunity gave me the confidence to really believe I have knowledge that is interesting, useful and important to share. It has also made me deepen my value of inclusion, keeping it at the forefront of my teaching and creative practice, which I’m hugely thankful for.”
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Jaime Peschiera. Jaime Peschiera is a Latinx artist and senior lecturer in audiovisual media and inclusive teaching and learning. Their current art practice explores autoethnography, critical race theory and socio-environmental justice.
Reflections of Jaime Peschiera: “My first day as a lecturer in the UK coincided with the Vice-Chancellor’s end of year address to academic staff. After reeling off a list of achievements he noted that students from “BAME backgrounds” were more likely to express dissatisfaction with the university. From that day on I witnessed and, as a Latinx teacher striving to decolonise the curriculum, I experienced first-hand the unrelenting, colonial violence at the heart of British education and its devastating impact on Black, POC, queer, trans, GNC, disabled, working-class students and staff, especially those who, like me, found themselves isolated within their cohorts. Six years later Aisha would ask me to join the Inclusive Practice Unit alongside a radical team of academics committed to critical pedagogy and social justice, and it felt like coming home.”
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Carole Morrison. Carole Morrison is currently Senior Lecturer: Academic Enhancement Model at the London College of Fashion where her role involves working with courses to eliminate the awarding gap by 2024. Carole is also an Associate Lecturer on the Post Graduate Certification (PG Cert) in Academic Practice teaching on the ‘Teaching & Learning Unit’. She previously worked with the organisation’s Outreach Team (formerly Widening Participation) devising and delivering programmes and projects for primary and secondary school students who would be the first in their families to go to University. Image 20
Prior to working at UAL, Carole held a number of roles within arts and cultural institutions both nationally and internationally including: Tate Britain, Arts Council England, A New Direction and Centro Cultural Sao Paulo (Brazil). She is particularly interested in Critical Pedagogy and issues of equity, equality and social justice within the creative industries. Continuing her studies at UAL, her area of research explores notions of fairness in educational policy and practice.
Reflections of Carole Morrison: ‘Since completing Teaching Within I have taught at Chelsea School of Art, on the PG Cert Academic Practice, and am currently Senior Lecturer: Academic Enhancement Model working with courses to close the awarding gap. I’m proud to be teaching on the Inclusive Teaching & Learning Unit as it does ‘what is says on the tin’ and I wouldn’t be here without it. The Unit centres the experiences of groups with protected characteristics* using personal testimony, critical pedagogy and debate to reflect upon equality, diversity and inclusivity. We examine how some groups exist within challenging, ‘ hostile environments’; whilst others flourish in more welcoming, supportive spaces designed to meet their needs. It is a privilege to teach on this Unit, during this particular, political conjuncture and offer a safe space to question everything we think we know’.
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Montana Williamson. Montana Williamson is an award winning knitwear designer and the former European Head of Merchandising for Kate Spade. Williamson has illustrated a commitment to social justice from being involved with Shades of Noir since its first phase 2012. ‘Williamson is Teaching Within Programme Leader & Education Developer, in addition to delivering external consultancy for Shades of Noir, such as The Slade School of Art and The Crafts Council.
Williamson continues to deliver and develop research interests around social justice pedagogy and the practice of anti racism towards social justice practices in industry. She continues to share her work through national conferences and publications.
Reflections of Montana Williamson: “My evolution from Teaching within graduate/ IP Student to Academic. I feel incredibly privileged to be in the position of being alumni to the inclusive practice unit. The sustainable cycle from being a student on the unit to then becoming a member of the Inclusive Practice teaching team is now something which humbles me. The Inclusive practice unit has been nothing short of insightful and rewarding. It challenged me to think more critically as an educator within my teaching setting, student life and beyond the realms of academia. Additionally, working with a team of such thoughtful practitioners who aim to consistently share knowledge in course content and who are purposeful in their lesson deliveries and design have been influential in helping me improve my current teaching style and pedagogy. Thank you for allowing me to aid students in beginning their own journey of liberation!”
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“THIRD YEAR HAS ALLOWED ME TO EXPLORE THE STYLE OF -------- THAT I ENJOY AND WILL PURSUE IN MY FUTURE CAREER AND ----- ----- SAW THIS AND ENCOURAGED MY CRAFT, HOWEVER I FEEL THIS WAS ALMOST TOO LITTLE TOO LATE.” 70 // INCLUSIVE PRACTICE: ALCHEMY - TRANSFORMATION IN SOCIAL JUSTICE TEACHING.
TESTIMONIAL 1. “Throughout my three years doing ---------------------------------------- I, unfortunately, feel like I haven’t been pushed to my full potential. I came to -------------- because I was told that my more hands-on approach to design would be welcomed and nourished.
I also found tutors favouring certain students work even if it was clear that less effort had been put in. During a peer assessment in ------------- , one student came with one complete group project and nothing else. But due to ---- social position in the class and tutors favouring ---- style --- achieved a higher grade than I did (when I had completed 3 projects with process books, despite my own mental health struggles that year as well which the tutor in question was aware of).
During my first ----------, I felt like the tutors did not appreciate or understand the style of ----------- I enjoyed and my grades suffered as a result. Briefs in ------------------------------ which should have pushed us to explore our own craft and identity as designers pigeonholed me to create what the tutors wanted I know that I am not alone in these and my work was not reflective of my opinions and I am sad that I have to even passion and ability. ----------- has allowed write this but the way the course is taught me to explore the style of ----------- that I and structured at ----------------- needs enjoy and will pursue in my future career to change to support ALL students and and ----------- saw this and encouraged their varying styles and diversity as that is my craft, however I feel this was almost exactly what ------------------------too little too late. Had I been nurtured in ----------------- advocates.” this way in my first year I feel like I would have had a much more positive and - Anonymous worthwhile time studying here rather than being forced into restrictive briefs ---------------------------------------------------------------------.
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“I DIDN’T WAKE UP AND DECIDE TO BECOME AN ACTIVIST. BUT YOU COULDN’T HELP NOTICE THE INEQUITIES, THE INJUSTICES. IT WAS ALL AROUND YOU.” - Yuri Kochiyama
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DO YOU REMEMBER?
AISHA RICHARDS, DIRECTOR OF SHADES OF NOIR, UAL, LEAD, INCLUSIVE TEACHING & LEARNING UNIT, UK. Dear Terry, Reflection can mean several things when taken from a few dictionary sources: • A thing that is a consequence of or arises from something else • [A period] of careful or long consideration or thought • Serious thought or consideration • A sign or result of something • Something that shows, expresses, or is a sign of something. • [A thought/behaviour] Caused by that attitude or situation and therefore reveals something about it. • [Expressing] Your thoughts about a particular subject. • A [type of] transformation in which the direction of one axis is reversed or which changes the sign of one of the variables This letter is all these things and maybe more as I remember in order to reflect... Am I angry or numb from the trauma of teaching and working within predominantly white institutions for nearly 20 years? Do you remember the journey home after our first session nearly 10 years ago? Do you remember that the students made me cry after class? Maybe I was too shocked in the moment to have a physical response... Do you remember that first session where several of the students stood up and shouted at me, waving fingers?
Do you remember that they told me that my suggestion for an all black artist exhibition of some of our most notable alumni at the university was reverse racism, with red faces and raised voices and not the celebration I spoke of? Do you remember the anger of many of our all white students (well academics) cohorts faces directed at me, not you, as ‘we’ shared the data of grade distribution based on race and ethnicity being devastating across the UK? Do you remember that they said that the statistics were untrue, questioned the authenticity of how it was calculated and quizzed us about ‘why do grades matter anyway?’ Do you remember what I said after they made me cry, that ‘you, and others let me down?’ Do you remember saying that ‘I’ had to protect myself, me saying ‘I’ wouldn’t be caught out like this again, and that ‘I’ will be different next time? I am different. Do you remember after the first Inclusive Teaching and Learning Unit session when I promised that ‘I‘ would defend ‘myself’ now - did I say that out loud? In reality, ‘we’ were both different after the first session; we both witnessed behaviours from our peers that changed us forever. I see that in you too. Do you know that I am insulated now by the practice of managing the painful, nuanced and multilayered treatments of, and by my peers and students that replicate societal norms outside the institutions targeted at me? I am different to who I was before.
Image of two women posing during afternoon team, smiling at the camera
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Do you know that nearly 10 years on from that first session I am as hard as nails, trust few people, remain surprised by thoughtfulness and humanity towards people that look like me and not discourses on climate change or feminism? I am a Specialist Academic in Social Justice Pedagogy. This is my survival. This is my life and the only future I see for academics, students, people and children for real equity for all, ‘no liberation without education’. I hope that many reflect on how they treat me. How they use me. How they hide behind me. How they try to take from me. How they watch people hurt me. I hope ‘they’ do better for themselves and for us all - I know that my experiences are not unique, that men of all ‘Shades’ can be threatened by me as I stand firm and that many white women just don’t see or care about my pain as ‘ain’t I a woman?’. I continue to do this work because I cannot stop for our children, for my child or for myself. I seem to be good at it. Who would have thought that a printmaker would become a change maker? Who would have known that someone with dyslexia would become a leading academic in the sector?
But you have been there, you listen; you are different in your critique of ‘your’ whiteness, never saying that I’m wrong but instead saying ‘will you let me think about IT?’ ‘It’ being the ‘acts of others’. ‘It’ being the way I am made to feel. ‘It’ being what I’ve said. ‘it’ being what you may have done and or said. I now acknowledge my pain, and use that pain to present my experienced based knowledge, specialist understanding and inspiration to create visions and strategies for a better world openly - I feel very in control of myself, I have been perfecting the management of ‘me’ from the first session maybe throughout my whole life. I think I have surpassed my ‘10,000 hours’, I am an outlier and seeking liberation is my practice. With you I still show my vulnerabilities because we have honesty, trust and a unique friendship - I know that this has challenged you and your relationship with your peers. I’m trained to read nuanced actions and behaviours for self preservation, which I share with you. This maybe has impacted your time to shine - I see your personal sacrifice for anti-racism and social justice within you. You maybe the only one who knows what I mean by this. We created this unit with Ellen Sims, but we built, developed and evolved it every year together long after their input. Whilst doing this ‘we’ were and are building a long lasting friendship of mutual respect through this course that I know that we both feel very proud of.
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Terry, sometimes I may get angry but you are continuously there. There with me with my pain, listening to my pain, acknowledging the strength of my pain, watching me grow and shine with and sometimes through my pain… never trying to silence my pain or suggest that my anger is without reason this is why I salute you always, dear Terry. I had to put this all in black and white. This is an opportunity to share what it can take to build what we have together. Why through all these challenges we continue to stand with each other.
Some might say this is a rant, I say that I had to share that ‘I am human’. I share what I remember in order to reflect...and I am not who I was. The silence that will follow these words I’m ready for, (not from you) but ‘those’ that reflect and are rendered speechless as they see themselves in my words. I salute you Terry Finnigan, and always will. You thanked me for this piece as only you would; calling it ‘beautifully honest’. Salute Aisha Richards Co Lead Inclusive Teaching and Learning Unit and Director Shades of Noir
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REFLECTING ON THE ‘INCLUSIVE TEACHING AND LEARNING’ UNIT.
IRIS CHING MAN YAU, LONDON COLLEGE OF FASHION, UK.
I first heard of the ‘Inclusive Teaching and Learning’ (ITL) unit at the 2 days ‘Thinking Teaching’ for ‘Teaching Within’ cohort back in 2016. The two day workshop was very intensive. We were told that the ITL is a very popular unit but I did not know why back then. Last January in the Pg Cert. Academic Practice Self-initiative Project Conference, I was impressed by the ITL participants’ inclusivity interventions, that inspired me to join the force.
Although I have attended some professional development workshops in the inclusivity area, for example : • Support Disabled Students • Fairness in Selecting students; Selecting the best (fairness interview) • Mental Health Awareness • Intercultural Competence - Clear and Accessible English. In order to teach well, I feel that it is necessary to increase the depth of the knowledge in inclusive teaching and learning.
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Fortunately, I was able to join this ‘Inclusive Teaching and Learning’ community via my MA Academic Practice in Art, Design and Communication this year.
Some of us were and are still ignorant or uneducated about the consequences when some local slang or racial terms are misused or misinterpreted and became racially offensive. Through this unit, I The face-to-face sessions were always intensive have developed more self-awareness on and mentally challenging but at the same racism and inclusivity, and became a more time an invaluable experience to share and reflective teaching and learning facilitator. critique issues on disability, religion and race… Confucius says: oh, yes, the elephant in the room ‘racism’. ‘以和為貴 harmonious and merging’ is one of the basic principles to deal The discomfort: with different cultures, however there During the ‘White Fragility’ audio note is a very fine line between ‘ denial’ discussion in the 3rd face-to-face session and ‘ in pursuit of the harmony’. last week, I was so moved and mesmerised by my peers’ honesty when they shared their I agree with my peers after studying some perspectives and experiences, from ‘feeling of essential reading from this ITL unit, I uncomfortable’, to ‘getting comfortable have gained more confidence to critique and confident’; ‘but it is still difficult to inequality with colleagues and students. talk about it with friends...’ on racism? I now know why this ‘Inclusive Teaching ‘Unconscious or conscious’ bias?: and Learning’ unit is in such demand, not Hong Kong where I grew up, an island in just as a selective unit for the Pg/MA, as the Canton/Guangdong Province in China, well as a standalone teaching unit for staff a bilingual and multicultural city, where at UAL. It is not just a titanic iceberg 92% of the population is ethnic Chinese. breaker but also a safe space to critique The rest of the population are immigrants and reflect on social injustice around us. who come from all over the world. “Students don’t care what you know until they know you care” as John Smyth reminded us Like Robin DiAngelo confessed: in his ‘Critical Pedagogy for Social Justice”. ‘We were not taught to discuss racism at school’ in ‘White Fragility’. I reflected I have been inspired and empowered on my experience of growing up in Hong by the teaching team, and enriched Kong during the British Colonial era, we by my like-minded colleagues. had and still use racial terms or slang for people who are different to us/Hong Kong This unit has generated fruitful and Chinese i.e. people who have paler skin, so meaningful dialogues, sown seeds for called Western (in Cantonese); darker skin interventions and collaborations to for people from South Asia, (in Cantonese); enrich teaching and learning experiences people with African and Caribbean heritage in higher education and beyond... (in Cantonese)… in the present day.
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CREATING A SENSE OF PLACE.
SHARON BERTRAM, CAMBERWELL COLLEGE OF ARTS, UK .
There will come a time when the discourse of retention and attainment of BAME students will no longer be necessary. The word BAME in this context will cease to exist. The practice of inclusive teaching and learning will become a natural process, first standardised by its introduction as a mandatory non-negotiable. I believe for this to occur requires change in the practice and awareness of representation and the critical importance of creating a sense of place to support BAME students along their transition across the trajectory of school through to further and higher education.
My current examination of BAME Art and Design student transition and personal reflection is based on my pedagogic experience as a student and educator. My study on the Inclusive Teaching and Learning unit through the Postgraduate Certificate Academic Practice in Art, Design and Communication at UAL was essential for the concept of critical pedagogy (Freire 1968: hooks 1995). This is key for embedding this work into inclusive and transformative learning (Richards and Finnigan 2014). The unit provided me with the language to articulate my understanding of the
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theories surrounding diversity and social justice in higher education and opportunities to contribute towards building a diverse and inclusive classroom communities and learning environments. My self-awareness and critical consciousness in terms of existing practices and concerns within higher education has increased. The unit encouraged me to think, discuss, share and evidence ideas for supporting students through responding to set activities and provocations raised. My use of interventions to encourage attainment and progression has and continues to punctuate my life during my education and professional practice as a maker, artist, designer and educator. The current focus, strategies and models to address issues of the attainment gap and student progression overlooks the important factor of student transition. I was able to identify a major gap in this area and its intersections with BAME student progression, attainment and retention. A documented report prepared by Chris Lloyd for the University Central Planning Unit looks in summary at the retention, continuation and attainment rates of undergraduate students by subject:
The â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;Student Retention Report 2017/18â&#x20AC;&#x2122; and the retention dashboard show that home students from black and minority ethnic groups (BAME) are less likely to be retained than home white students. This section considers whether this is the case across all subject areas. To address the issue of retention and attainment I believe aspects of student transition from prior learning and student histories need to be considered. How are BAME students supported within the educational settings for classroom community a sense of belonging informed identities? I consider the transition of home students starts at primary school and I may even go further to say from infant and preschool to secondary school through to further and higher education leading to future employment. This allowed me to but to reflect and think about my own educational journey and my experience going through transitional key stages of educational development regarding art and design practice and industry profession. I not only reflected my own personal experience of being a student but also my practice, having
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taught across all educational sectors to a diverse range of learners within various key stage settings from primary secondary through to further and higher education. It directed me to the question of: Why is inclusive teaching and learning important for creating a sense of place; for a sense of belonging? To answer that question first I would like to discuss what a sense of place is and demonstrate with an example. A sense of place can mean different things to different people. Many of us recognise it as a place or space where we feel comfortable. Our comforts can be a source of emotional and mental wellbeing and stability. In terms of an educational environment it means to give the student a sense of belonging, where identities are formed. In her online article for ‘Building a Sense of Place’ Thejas Jagannath describes it as: Sense of place is when we feel a connection to the place we stay in. It can range from any place from our workplace to a public space. The difference between a place and a space is that a ‘place’ has deeper meaning and creates an identity within people whereas a space is where anyone can pass by without really attaching any significance to it. A sense of place is something you make, it can be a physical, virtual, digital environment; anywhere that you take your students which is founded on the community you create. How you create that community is about getting to know one another and share identities, where new and social identities are formed.
This will form an attachment; this attachment provides continuation and student retention. Therefore, it is important to build trust with the student group to ensure that the students will find their voice. The tutors role here is key. (Terry Finnigan 2016). This in turn is developed from inclusive practice. That attachment is a form of familiarity where we know each other and have a safe space, a comfortable space, to share ideas and to think; a classroom community. To demonstrate this, as part of UAL insights working with outreach, I created and delivered an art and design workshop. This is developed for 16-18 year old Further Education students in their potential transition towards undergraduate study at UAL. The workshop, enabled students to share their ideas and opportunities to learn more about each other. I had instructed students to write and illustrate their name using five keywords that students shared with each other aspects of their identity. They started to talk about how they received their name and about their cultural background. In small groups, students discussed their community, the area it sits, the area they belong to then create mood boards. Students then went on to produce typographic books informed by using keywords about their identities and two provocations: Which of these identities have the strongest effect on how you perceive yourself? Which of these identities have the greatest effect on how others perceive you?
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Students were encouraged to think critically and enabled them to discover more about their peers. bell hooks describes: ‘Hearing each other’s voices, individual thoughts, and sometimes associating these voices with personal experiences makes us more acutely aware of each other’ (hooks, 1994). The outcome from having created a sense of place, students felt close to one another. They learnt more about each other, they learned more about me. Feedback I received from the students were positive. Comments from their reflective question of: What have you learnt about yourself and your group from doing this activity? One response was, “I learned to keep being proud of my background Albania because it’s really, really meaningful to me. I learned a lot from my group such as different ethnicities doesn’t matter to make friends”. “From today I have learnt more about myself as well as everyone else in my group.” When asked to what extent this activity influence or you tackle for anything similar in future? A student response was, “It will help me have a more open mind towards the things I tackle in future.”
My study on the inclusive teaching and learning unit has provided me with the confidence of my own voice. To begin with despite coming from graphic design industry, I felt apologetic for my experience in teaching in secondary and further education. My first impression when I started the inclusive teaching learning unit was that it was going to be straightforward, after all I have worked in ‘challenging’ and demographically diverse schools within inner city of London schools where my interest was to meet the needs of diverse range of student emotions and abilities wrapped within the constructs and confinement of the national curriculum. The unit enhanced some of the things I knew and exposed me to things I didn’t know or thought I knew. I had inherited a temporary feeling of impostor syndrome. However, now, I am aware of my intentions for wanting to make a positive impact for social justice education rather than risk becoming a chameleon of deceit.
A lot of this was developed through inclusive practice. The format of this workshop I had done before with students at primary, secondary and adult FDA students and first year BA students. Tone of voice was differentiated, relevant to meet the needs of the students, had very similar outcomes.
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A BOLD AND BEAUTIFUL THING.
CAROLE MORRISON, TEACHING & LEARNING EXCHANGE, UK.
All ‘the greats’ talk about doing things differently. From Audre and bell, to Paulo and Stuart. They encourage us to use ‘new tools’, be radical, think differently. Shades of Noirs Teaching Within follows in this vein as ‘disruptor’, activist, changemaker and the programme challenges the institution on many fronts. Teaching Within taps the inner, experiential wealth and intellectual knowledge of diverse (meaning mostly black and brown) tutors and applies this knowledge by placing these tutors within existing
staff teams across the academy. At a time of extreme binaries in global politics and major shifts in student demographics, the programme focus is on building a diverse and resilient, teaching community, developing more inclusive pedagogies and delivering robust, relevant and representative curricula - from within. It is an intelligent approach. Diversifying perspectives and including more ways of knowing. And this programme serves the changing demographic and also benefits the wider student body.
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In thinking about the particular experience of Teaching Within one, singular word springs to mind. Solidarity.
It is a reflexive space to be tested, to be forced to take a long hard look in the mirror, pause and imagine better and then do the hard work - alongside existing staffing teams to make this a reality.
This is a political (and some might say, old fashioned) word. It is full of power and action and I like the ‘solid’, sound, part of that word, the firm, foundational weight of the word.
Making it happen is just beginning. Making it last is ongoing.
It is called ‘a movement’ and it is a privilege to be part of this movement, part of the first wave.
This is tough stuff. There is indifference.
For me, being a part of the ‘membership’ is to occupy a reflexive, grounding and nurturing space, a place to not only learn new things but to reflect and examine memory and lived experience within theoretical frameworks, amongst colleagues and allies and bring this to the table. On both a personal and professional level, Teaching Within continues (long after the end of my particular wave or phase of the programme) to be an invaluable support network of diverse fabulous folk who are there when everyday discriminations are just too much. And sometimes it is like being around a kitchen table with friends. At other times, it is more like a family Christmas dinner where everything goes wrong and everyone is challenged, forced to look in the mirror and take a deep breath… And on an institutional level that is what Teaching Withinis about.
There is intransigence.Resistance. There is the ever-present conflation of equity and equality, the ‘opportunity hoarding’ and entitled access to every single initiative… The gorging when there is no experience of hunger. Making it last will be ongoing, iterative and reflexive and Teaching Withinis the proper foundation for the real work of institutional resilience. We don’t use the word ‘solidarity’ very much anymore. We should. Being part of ‘Teaching Within’ is a bold and beautiful thing. Carole Morrison, June 2019.
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THE INCLUSIVE PRACTICE UNIT. SUKHWINDER KAUR SAGOO-REDDY, UNIVERSITY OF EAST LONDON, UK.
What would it take to articulate such ideas, have an impact on my audience and leave me feeling heard and valued? The opening statement is how most of us feel when we experience exclusion. However, many organisations such as Shades of Noir are conducting projects and events to alleviate the stress and pain caused by prejudice in workplaces and educational institutions. The Inclusive practice unit has provided me with the knowledge and a platform to support and equip trainee practitioners, understand what goes on within our educational establishments and manage any discriminatory issues that may occur in class. I am delighted to learn that marginalised individuals have been given the space and opportunity to express emotions rather than suppress them, and this has been supported by Shades of Noir for almost 10-years. The support we received from the tutors and Shades members was exemplary and one of the most valuable parts of my learning experiences. Extremely empowering and engaging resources were shared with us in class and it was truly moving to hear some of the incredible narratives from those that had experienced injustice. I remember hearing about Sabah Chowdreyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s speech at TEDxBrighton, and how he went through the journey of coming out as lesbian and then later as trans. In many cultures, it is against their religion to be someone other than their biological sex. Their family label them as having a western disease, which makes them feel like they are committing a criminal act. My journey throughout the inclusive practice unit and subsequently, has been
an inspiration for my teaching practice. It has also allowed me to reflect on what kind of a practitioner I want to be known as: one who listens, supports, values, engages and most importantly, makes learning fun. These elements have made a difference to the students I teach for Academic Support, across all colleges at the University of Arts London. It has also provided them with a safe place to have a dialogue and share their personal journey within their creative practice. The feedback I have received has been phenomenal - yet I believe there is always room for further development. The learning I acquired from the Inclusive Practice Unit has influenced the Better Lives Project that I am undertaking at the London College of Fashion, teaching first year BA (Hons) students across different courses. This collaborative project asked students to design a bespoke luxury collection set in 3019 considering inclusivity, sustainability and social responsibility. Despite everything that I have studied and enjoyed on this unit, as a visiting lecturer I acknowledge that there is still scope for improvement and only hope that we can bring equality to those that have suffered silently.
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“Feeling worthless, trapped, excluded and unable to release the emotions that are weighing me down.”
‘Brown Girl Not in the Ring’ ink sketch (2018) which, using a Venn diagram, shows the audience the intersection between England and India Image 30
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A PEDAGOGY OF SOCIAL JUSTICE EDUCATION.
BRIDGETTE CHAN, CENTRAL SAINT MARTINS, UK.
As part of the completion of the PgCert Academic Practice, I have chosen the Inclusive Teaching and Learning as my elective unit, an everevolving and expansive subject. With a lot of ground to cover, three full day sessions seemed insufficient. As one of my very thoughtful peers commented, in which is a feeling I share, many of the topics we were introduced to and encouraged to examine were challenging and sensitive. And as we got to know each other a little more over each session and under the considerate guidance of our tutors, we believe we can all
say that we saw a significant transformation to a more open, positive attitude and understanding when approaching the subject of inclusivity. I hope that as more of us gain an in-depth understanding of the subject, especially on race, social justice and marginalisation, we will be better equipped to engage in these discussions when the subject arises in our classroom and our society. Here is one of the blog posts I have written for one of the 3 tasks we completed during in this unit.
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It addresses the different dimensions of inclusivity, disability, religion and race: “If individuals identifying with particular groups in conflict interact with one another in a positively structured environment, they have an opportunity to reevaluate their relations with one another such that one-time enemies can become acquaintances or even allies.” Variables that affect the effectiveness of the contact hypothesis, conditions of the intergroup encounter and ultimately, it is also very important to take into consideration that; “...the reality outside the room cannot be controlled, which will inevitably shape power dynamics within any given experiment for the worse.”
Understanding social context/ background helps to understand, predict behaviours of individuals and groups of different social groups. This also allows flexibility to accommodate different outcomes when it comes to delivering a workshop. Being able to predict certain outcomes, helps define what questions need to be answered through the workshop. This, in turn, helps to design a suitable, catered-to and effective workshop. I suppose ultimately as educators when designing any kind of experiences/ workshops on social identity, it is important that we prepare and equip ourselves with the ability to address the different outcomes due to intersectionality. You never know for sure or can fully predict who your students are and how they might react?
I particularly agree with this quote: The personal experience with inequalities will inevitably inform how a student responds to “Authentic thinking, thinking that is concerned the task and other people, which is impossible about reality, does not take place in ivory to predict or control. This emphasises the tower isolation, but only in communication. importance of the encounters we have If it is true that thought has meaning only outside the classroom as much as inside the when generated by action upon the world, classroom. What I have learnt or understood the subordination of students to teachers from the text is that the contact hypothesis is becomes impossible” Freire 2006, 77. almost like the product. And social identity theory is like consumer/market research. The idea that students and teachers are equal, One without the other would be launching this idea is very different from the education a product without doing consumer/ I received in Hong Kong (not saying that market research, understanding consumer it doesn’t exist). I believe this idea should psychology, which is what I understand be promoted amongst both teachers and social identity theory (SIT) to be: students because as much as we are here to share our knowledge, I also believe that my “Social identity theory is a social psychological students have a lot to offer me. And everyone theory, in that it focuses on social context as should be meritted for the willingness the key determinant of self-definition and of improving on their shortcomings. behavior.” - Ellemers and Haslam 2012, 379.
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CIARAN OKIKIOLA MAGUIRE, LONDON COLLEGE OF FASHION, UK.
Inclusive Teaching and Learning in Higher Education “Every empire, however, tells itself and the world that it is unlike all other empires, that its mission is not to plunder and control but to educate and liberate” Edward Said, Los Angeles Times, 2003. Race remains an integral, provocative component of our history, in addition to fundamentally informing how students acknowledge or define themselves in a diverse and pluralistic society. The legacy and justification of the British Empire that subjugated countless cultures conceivably still impacts diversity in the shape of socio-economic and structural inequality. Furthermore, the scars of perceived inferiority and superiority indistinctly still enslave our behavior ‘in accordance with a neurotic orientation’ (Frantz Fanon, 1967). Hence the frameworks that preserve whiteness in higher education construct a narrative of intellectual thought being predominantly an attribute of white people. Estrangement of BAME students perpetuates the black attainment gap and is evidenced through increased drop-out rates or reduced earning potential. As an independent initiative, Shades of Noir (SoN) ‘supports transformation of minds and actions’ through curriculum design, pedagogies of social justice through representation, cultural currency and accessible knowledge. Consequently, mining their archive to deconstruct dominant white, euro-centric narratives of curricula that accentuate male cannons
could promote social cohesion and engage those who otherwise feel disenfranchised with their academic surroundings. In consideration of my pedagogic placement commencing I recently delved further into my research of the project brief. This assignment involves groups of students creating a 90 second stop motion animation on an Aesop’s Fable or cautionary tale from the picture book Struwwelpeter by Dr Heinrich Hoffman, as well as a genre in which to film it e.g. Horror, Western, Sci-Fi or Film Noir. An example, Hoffman’s ‘The Story of the Inky Boy’s’ when read outside the context of ‘Romantische Naturphilosophie’ idealism maintains the mechanisms that cultivate bias. Whilst being a satirical commentary on 19th century racism that loitered within culture, politics, philosophy and science, left unchecked it inherently supports racial discrimination. My initial thoughts as a mixed race academic were incongruous toward my default cordial disposition. Prominently questioning Hoffman’s inclusion led me to speculate how select students could themselves feel disillusioned. Yet instead of belying Dover Publications’ request that despite potentially offensive content the story avoid censorship due to being considered a classic, I sought solace in Shade’s ‘How to Facilitate Open Discussions about Racism, Implicit Bias and Stereotypes in the Workshop Setting by Dr Gurnam Singh, CBE’ in addition to ‘Racial Stereotypes in Early Cinema’ as resources. Although widely not selected, Struwwelpeter’s provocative presence in the project offers an opportunity for a lecture
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Pedagogy of Social Justice Education Tree Branches. Social identity, theory and intersectionality (Aaron Hahn Tapper, 2013).
A diagram showing the ‘Pedagogy of Social Justice Education Tree Branches’
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or workshop about representation of race in children’s literature though the dominant white gaze. Also how the portrayal of B.A.M.E identity has developed historically. And so, upon starting the placement with some knowledge from a previous academic discussion that course content is often more practical than theoretical, I used my efforts to gain insight on how the introductory project lecture concerning genre was received. Overarching points from undergraduates were that genres discussed were limited and concept feedback paled in direct comparison to assignment objectives, which allayed any fears that as future graduates theory existed as an inconsequential element of their learning. Integrating my student’s work in unison with my own teaching practice I would use Shades’ resources to develop the following example: ‘Teachers and facilitators are understood to be guiding, rather than leading, students through this process, assisting in steering the experience while not actually piloting it in a top-down, dictatorial manner, always using and reinforcing academic methods of critical thinking along the way.’ LEARNT ‘… one way to move students toward freedom is to create an educational structure whereby both teachers and students engage in habitual, critical reflection, a model that takes into account their identities.’
Hierarchical categorisation of intersectional components and status of self-image in society are intrinsically linked in the trapping and reaffirming “them” against “us” identitybased discrimination within academia. ‘The theory argues that social identity underpins intergroup behavior and sees this as qualitatively distinct from interpersonal behavior.’ Social identity theory when applied to the international student community creates a fascinating insight. Peer-peer relationships are often facilitated out of the necessity for mutually beneficial discussion or collaborative learning. A challenging critique of international students is the propensity to gravitate merely toward their own culture, whilst the reality remains ‘outside the room cannot be controlled’ by academics. Othering of marginalised students endures through privileged peers replicating ethnocentric academic staff who have inadequate subject knowledge or insufficient training. Furthermore, lack of BAME representation in academia reinforces paradigms of white intellectual dominance, which, when entwined with an unaccommodating curriculum, denotes university as a space for the few, not the many. ‘Room of Silence’ is emblematic of microaggressions that transpire in part due to cultural insensitivity or whiteness of higher education, but moreover the lack of transparency regarding university processes.
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Conditions of community rely on identities forming cohesive social formations in relation to their surroundings. Though where a meritocratic attitude defines an entire academic environment, procedures and safeguards for showcasing work that portray diverse identities must be adopted. RISD is one of the world’s most prestigious art and design institutions – yet I am of the opinion, were I to be hypothetically recruited, any commendable effort alone would be found lacking without a complete overhaul of their institutionally racist principles and core values. My proposal would be for a policy that requires the intuition to interview academic candidates from diverse ethnic minority backgrounds, such as the affirmative action witnessed in the ‘Rooney Rule’ in coaching and operational sporting roles. Silence, by definition, is an unquotable quantity that in the video is a consequence of white fragility. White noise, which I will interpret as open discussion between those of privileged positions when interacting with marginalised cultures or identities – a melting pot of ‘different frequencies’ – would serve notice to select hearing. To quote an RISD student, ‘identity is an issue you can’t opt out of’, which especially in relation to art practice sufficiently shapes where as academics we can begin to make change.
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LIVING THE INCLUSIVE PRACTICE UNIT.
ANGIE ILLMAN, (THEY/THEM), WIMBLEDON COLLEGE OF ARTS, UK
I enter the room, coffee in hand, bag on back, a broad smile on my face and an eagerness to be there. I’ve been hearing so much about this unit for over 4 years during my time with Shades of Noir; witnessing the reflective nature of the blogging tasks through their engagement with SoN and hearing of how transformational it has been for the graduates both professionally and personally. Having also completed my PgCert and the other modules involved with that, I know that this unit is a unit which is lived, not taught.
I enter the room, coffee in hand, bag on back, nervousness in my eyes and an apprehension to be there. I’ve been hearing so much about this unit for over 4 years and now it’s my time to be there, my time to be articulate in what I’ve grown to understand, in what my mistakes have been and where my faults still lying. I know that this unit is a unit which is lived, not taught. I am white, I was born male, I identify as trans non-binary, I have an extensive education, I have a support network, I have financial stability, I am able-bodied, I have rights, I have ____, I have ____,
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I have ____, I have the privilege. What I don’t have is the lived experience of racialisation. That experience of being asked ‘where I’m from’ or ‘why don’t I go home’, that experience of being shunned because of the latest world virus or the experience of my hair being touched because it’s ‘different’. Accepting this ignorance, for that is what it is, as my starting position is crucial therefore when I come to a conversation around race and any intersectional marginalisation thereafter (Crenshaw, 1994). This does not mean that I don’t hold an empathy or even a slight understanding of these such experiences, but what it does mean is that there will be a pivotal aspect of it (emotional or otherwise) that I will never feel or fully comprehend. Much in the same way, or at least how I understand it, that a cis identifying person will not fully comprehend the experiences of my trans identity.
and anti-racist practitioner of education. This unit resonates much of that same structure. As peers within the space, we are asked to challenge and trust each other; to be vulnerable and honest about our positionality. It is evident that this is going to be uncomfortable for those, mostly white, attendees who have not faced this sort of an unapologetic approach to ‘inclusion’ before. The space is going to present conflict and the need for the emotional labour necessary to navigate privilege and fragility. My view as a white academic is that if I am intentional in being the tutor my students need me to be and be the colleague I want to be then It is essential to experience that conflict head-on and to not see this as a unit that is the end all but the start all. Whilst I enter that space both enthusiastically and apprehensively, I also enter that space knowing that this unit is a unit which is lived, not taught.
This acknowledgement is a tool by which I have recognised the need to listen, support and at times stand aside in order to an ally (DiAngelo, 2019). It has also lead me to understand my own white fragility and challenge my behaviours of white solidarity, which are both nothing short of racism. To get to this position, it has taken the time, energy and mistakes, and could not have happened alone (Hesse, 2008). The structure of Shades of Noir has been one of frank challenge, forged trust and at times gentle grace, something for which I am truly indebted (I salute you all!). SoN continues to be a ‘living’ space in which I am continuously reflecting on what it means to be a thoughtful INCLUSIVE PRACTICE: ALCHEMY - TRANSFORMATION IN SOCIAL JUSTICE TEACHING. // 95
PROFESSOR VICKY GUNN. EXTERNAL EXAMINER FOR INCLUSIVE TEACHING & LEARNING UNIT, 2018/19
Professor Vicky Gunn has a research and teaching profile in tertiary learning and teaching in the Arts and Humanities and an eclectic publications list as a result. She has been the research lead on several national-level teaching enhancement projects with both QAA Scotland and the Higher Education Academy and has a penchant for policy development in higher education at institutional and national levels.
Reflections of Professor Vicky Gunn: “I think the course on inclusive learning & teaching is a timely, well thought through the opportunity for participants to both grow their existing understanding and challenge their thinking via ‘new’ ideas about equalities. It should be commended for not avoiding the tricky-sticky-inevitably conflictual discussions regarding the role of intersectional equalities and how we progress in higher education to change hearts and minds through creative practice. I was especially interested in how therapy trained academic staff worked with the personal and the intersubjective elements of learning and teaching as experienced by BAME students, but the course is much more than just a vehicle for BAME learning and teaching issues – it seems to represent the future of all higher education as multi-national, multi-lingual and multi-culturally intersectional...”
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“[THE] INCLUSIVE LEARNING & TEACHING [UNIT] SHOULD BE COMMENDED FOR NOT AVOIDING THE TRICKYSTICKY-INEVITABLY CONFLICTUAL DISCUSSIONS REGARDING THE ROLE OF INTERSECTIONAL EQUALITIES AND HOW WE PROGRESS IN HIGHER EDUCATION TO CHANGE HEARTS AND MINDS THROUGH CREATIVE PRACTICE. [...] THE COURSE IS MUCH MORE THAN JUST A VEHICLE FOR BAME LEARNING AND TEACHING ISSUES – IT SEEMS TO REPRESENT THE FUTURE OF ALL HIGHER EDUCATION AS MULTINATIONAL, MULTI-LINGUAL AND MULTICULTURALLY INTERSECTIONAL...” - Professor Vicky Gunn. Head of Learning and Teaching and Professor in Arts and Humanities in Higher Education at Glasgow School of Art.
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“THERE ARE GREAT TUTORS HERE IN -------THAT I HAVE MEET, NOT ALL OF THEM BUT A FEW. THEY CARE ABOUT WHAT YOU DO AND MOSTLY YOU AS A PERSON.”
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Chloe grad pic. A ‘puppet-styled’ graduation mock-photo
TESTIMONIAL 2. O’HONEY STUDIO.
“Thank you --------, I am really glad that ---------- ---- ------ are standing up and speaking up. I have been through a tons of condescending tutors, professors and teachers from my previous uni, and the school never listen to students’ complaints. That was part of the reason I tried really hard and left there... There are great tutors here in ---- that I have meet, not all of them but a few. They care about what you do and mostly you as a person. And they are passionate about discovering your potentials, convincing you to do what you love to do. They leave you with motivation on your unsure projects, and reassurance for your choice of subject. Sadly, not many tutors here in our course are like that, only a few of them and some of them have left the course. I thought I would like to be a --------------------- before, there were great tutors who demonstrate that I could be one. But I am not sure about it anymore( I guess that is normal too).” - Anonymous
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THE STRUGGLE IS REAL.
STACEY LEIGH ROSS CAMBERWELL COLLEGE OF ARTS, UK.
The third and final Inclusive Teaching & Learning Practice lecture and they didn’t pull any punches. This was a heavy session. In the morning we looked at a lot of ‘touchy’ subjects. Subjects that need to be addressed but often aren’t because they are so uncomfortable. Jaime discussed a quote about Whiteness being “unmarked and unnamed”. That really hit home. I had never thought about it like that. It’s the default measure by which everything
is rated, it feels like pretty much everything is identified in comparison to white. In my last blog, I mentioned that what I want from white people is their discomfort, not apologies or shame or anything like that. It felt really good to hear this same concept of discomfort coming up in class and realising that even before this session I was already on the right track with my thinking. As a newcomer to the ‘woke’ party, I often feel wary of saying the wrong thing and saying too much (not that you’d guess that from these blogs. Ha!) So today, I don’t know if I got my discomfort wish granted but I
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do know I learned something important about myself – I am uncomfortable listening to truthful information about race in the presence of white people. There, I said it. In discussing the concept of Whiteness, we listened to an excerpt from Robin Diangelo’s audiobook White Fragility. She is frank and brutal with her dissemination of the truth and I listened to it like a split personality. One half of me was like “Yea sister, tell it like it is!” The other half of me was cringing and bracing for impact – how much am I going to have to pacify while I try to justify and explain? How much energy will I need to use up trying not to cause offence while still getting the white people around me to open their minds to this information? That is an exhausting task and I’m operating on about five hours of sleep. I don’t think I’m up for this today. An Ally & An Oppressor… Then I met an ally. I love allies. It’s like finding a port in the storm. They let you know that no, you didn’t imagine that, yes you have a right to be angry, and plot right alongside you to topple the instruments of oppression. And sitting right beside me was an ally. She was surprised by my discomfort (girl, me too!) and her response to the audio was so matter of fact – Yep! Total truth. Where can I get this book? She just wanted to know and understand more so she could figure out how to dismantle this too. I cannot tell you how much that means to me. By contrast, in total opposition to all the Critical Race Theory, White Supremacy, Whiteness and White Fragility information we learned not four hrs earlier, one of my peers repeatedly stated that no examples of good non-white artists could be found in a particular art discipline. Even in the face of repeated polite but firm opposition, this person held the position that it was
incredibly hard to find good non-white artists in this field. When presented with two examples of not only non-white but female professional artists in that discipline, the response was something along the lines of “I can’t just include artists because they aren’t white, their work needs to be good”. Deep breath. Several people challenged this with gently phrased comments like: (a) You will have to look harder for them because they will have been historically excluded from prominent recognised spaces, (b) I just did a Google search. Here’s one who is a black female professor at a US uni, (c) Surely it’s worth it to really dig for the information. This is the work that we’re about. (c) Here’s the name of one I know [insert name] check her out, (d) What is your definition of good? What informs that definition? Perhaps the culture of the artist changes the definition of good? That last comment was mine, and I received a very condescending response delivered with an equally condescending smile, “well some things just aren’t good practice. I can’t include something with an inky thumb print, it’s just not good enough” The Lesson that Churns… I stopped talking at that point. My mum says that if you have nothing good to say, say nothing and I was losing my ability to be professional so I shut up. The insinuation that BAME artists are incapable of good practice and could not produce ‘good’ work is downright insulting and I have to wonder, what prompted this person to sign up for an inclusivity course if they have no intention of truly being inclusive.
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Talk about White Supremacy in action – there you stand supporting institutional, systematic racist power games, acting like the gatekeeper who says “I really want to let you in” with your mouth, but your actions scream “You don’t belong here. You are inferior and I will NEVER let you in”. Did somebody force you to take this class? I could feel my blood pounding, my heart racing, my stomach churning. It was like swallowing acid listening to “I just can’t find any good work from BAME artists” mantra repeated over and over and over. It’s people who think like this person that makes people who look like me invisible. Later that evening, I was relating the incident to my husband and thinking out loud that I was a bit disappointed with myself. I should have been more than capable of dealing with this. How will I facilitate difficult discussions if I shut down and shut up to avoid losing my isht? And as soon as I asked the question, I knew the answer.
Just because you treat someone a certain way does not under any circumstances mean that they will offer you the same courtesy (or discourtesy). So maybe there are other reasons that people are on this course. So to recap today’s big lessons for me – 1. I get uncomfortable unpacking race topics in front of white people. I can see the work coming a mile away and it’s a heavy load. Takeaway – learn to navigate and swim competently in the discomfort. 2. Nobody owes you anything. Expect anything from anyone any time, even in ‘safe’ spaces. Takeaway 1 – Feel the hurt or preferably let it slide off your back. Either way, do not pick up the muck left behind by someone else’s issues, that’s for them to deal with, not you. Takeaway 2 – If you speak your truth in a manner that does not disdain others, you will never have cause to regret your words.
This one cut deep because I was not expecting it. For some reason I felt that the Inclusive Teaching & Learning Unit was meant to be a safe space because we were all there to learn how to create more inclusivity in our students’ experience. How naïve of me! So for me this felt like it came out of left field. Why are we on this course, if not to be more inclusive?
3. Have a bit more faith in yourself girl. I am powerful and somehow manage to be on the right track even when I don’t know exactly where I’m going.
I forgot Rule #1 that my mum taught me – Nobody owes you anything.
Takeaway - Walk tall in the direction that excites you. Your instincts are your guide.
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“CHALLENGING POWER STRUCTURES FROM THE INSIDE, WORKING THE CRACKS WITHIN THE SYSTEM, HOWEVER, REQUIRES LEARNING TO SPEAK MULTIPLE LANGUAGES OF POWER CONVINCINGLY.” - Patricia Hill Collins.
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“A MEMBER OF STAFF USES THE ‘N-WORD IN A LECTURE THAT WAS NOT DELIVERED IN THE FORM OF A QUOTE, WITHOUT CONTEXT OR RELEVANCE AND STUDENTS WERE NOT PREPARED IN ANY WAY FOR THE USE OF DEROGATORY AND RACIALLY OFFENSIVE LANGUAGE. THE MEMBER OF STAFF PROCEEDED TO REPEAT THIS WORD 6 TIMES WITHIN DIFFERENT PHRASES.” 104 // INCLUSIVE PRACTICE: ALCHEMY - TRANSFORMATION IN SOCIAL JUSTICE TEACHING.
STICKS AND STONES MAY BREAK MY BONES... ‘Considering the fact that the lecture was on recognition and that the lecturer knew they would be referring to topics regarding race, there was no disclaimer or any pre-warning that any racially sensitive words would be used during the lecture. There also seemed to be no recognition following their use of the word that this was highly inappropriate’ A member of staff uses the ‘n-word in a lecture that was not delivered in the form of a quote, without context or relevance and students were not prepared in any way for the use of derogatory and racially offensive language. The member of staff proceeded to repeat this word 6 times within different phrases. There were nearly 40 students in this space, 5 students in this group were people of colour. All 5 students of colour were silenced by the situation in the first instance. The teaching session ended and the 5 students along with several white students began talking together about how uncomfortable this session had made them. Excluding the students of colour, the group of students speak to the staff member who delivered the session. Two days later all students received an email sent to the entire cohort apologising for his “recognitional slip”. In the brief ‘apology’, there were no specifics regarding exactly what the apology was for. Almost a week later the students received yet another email. In this email it states that the staff members had become aware that there was some miscommunication, which had left them “saddened” and “shocked”. This email confirmed that the initial email was not apologising for the inappropriate use of a racial slur, but instead for using the wrong pronouns when the
academic was speaking about an artist. A few days later there was another email regarding a course trip taking place in the next few weeks. Accompanying the email was an attached article featuring dancers in blackface. It was a few days after this email that a student from the cohort contacted Shades of Noir as they had become increasingly reluctant to attend classes and lacked motivation to engage with course material. They felt the need to do something to support their return to college and they had heard that Shades of Noir worked with students in scenarios such as this. Action The students spoke with Aisha Richards over the phone and she encouraged them to write down everything that had happened, including any details of emails or screenshots of what they were referring to in addition to how the situations have made them feel and any impacts on their studies. Then to send this to their Course Leader and Dean with the request to know what they will be doing about the issues raised and or the seniors staff members next steps. Next steps A meeting took place with Melodie Holliday in attendance to support the 5 students of colour with the Course Leader and a Dean. The trip was cancelled, apologies were made to the students and a full investigation took place resulting in staff training for the team on the inclusive teaching and learning unit as well as further sanctions for at least 2 members of staff. Additionally, the Course Leader and Dean spoke to the entire cohort and apologised in person and in writing.
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“THE QUESTIONS WHICH ONE ASKS ONESELF BEGIN, AT LEAST, TO ILLUMINATE THE WORLD, AND BECOME ONE’S KEY TO THE EXPERIENCE OF OTHERS.” - James Baldwin
THE SHADES OF NOIR NARRATIVE.
Shades of Noir is an independent programme that supports curriculum design, accessible knowledge, and pedagogies of social justice through representation. For nearly a decade, the programme has reached huge success through research, media, and events through its diverse team of staff and students. However, back in 2009, it was yet a vision. Shades of Noir was founded by Aisha Richards in 2009. It was informed by Richards’s “Any Room at the Inn”, a scoping study that looked into the transitions of art and design graduates from higher education into the creative industries, particularly graduates of colour However, she noticed that students of colour were increasing
across higher education but she had not seen the same developments in the industry. She found it concerning - Where did they go? She interviewed 19 graduates from UAL and found that a majority of these graduates were getting jobs. However, they were concerned about the progression and the glass ceilings for people of colour across the sector as there were very few accessible examples. Richards concluded that the root of exclusion and inequality within higher education and the creative industry was affected by raced and gendered identities, when at the time, it was mistaken as solely a socio-economic issue.
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Though her claims were supported by data, her conclusion brought a lot of resistance and hostility. In response, she drafted a proposal for an exhibition that responded to some of her findings. She created Shades of Noir, initially an exhibition featuring artists of colour. Unfortunately, with a lack of financial support, the exhibition wasn’t realised. Rather than just an exhibition, Richards decided that it was going to be a platform. It started with multiple events and panels, featuring Artists of Colour as well as causes around social justice and diverse representation. In 2010, UAL agreed to fund the organization. They also agreed to fund the original exhibition, that was eventually called “Happening to Be…”. Nothing like this had been done before. A large population of non-white attendees at an art event on University grounds made for some interesting and uncomfortable discussions, behaviours and practices. Alongside the exhibition, Shades of Noir continued to organize and curate other events with diverse panels Richards believed that not only do people of colour need to be heard, they have to have their cultural capital reflected in every aspect of their educational experience for social justice to take place. So what does this mean for Shades of Noir and what will it be? Richards decided that it would be a social justice platform that both shared and created content to support and inform.
It has become a platform that encouraged discussion, criticism and a place for research that informs the full circle of art, design, communications, higher education and so much more… Alongside exhibitions and panel discussions, Shades has published magazines and has successfully generated a significant online presence. Most importantly, Shades focuses all its efforts on developing and supporting students at its core, with a constant ambition to do more and be impactful through collaboration. With nearly a decade of delivery, the Shades of Noir team has grown and continues to grow in quantity and diversity, with many of the students being part of the change they want to see, as well as building on those that came before. However, our values remain the same Everything we do is for students, in the hope that generations to come will not have to face the same injustices that others before them had experienced and that these students continue to make a change.
Watch here: youtu.be/V8owW9vvom4
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TEACHING WITHIN TIMELINE. 2016 M A
2017 M J
TW2 31 October 2016 TW1 attended their induction morning and officially started the programme.
TW1 Started the PgCert and Teaching on their placement courses. The first TW Prospectus was developed in preparation for the recruitment of TW2. A new prospectus is now produced yearly and works to include voices from all cohorts.
In response to #UALsoWhite Aisha Richards presented the intervention, now know as, ‘Teaching Within’ to UAL’s Mark Crawley, 17 August 2016 Dean of Students.
The first TW Open morning launched with a panel based event aimed at prospective participants, UAL academic and management teams. 9 September 2016 Months have been abbreviated for space: M is for March etc.
4 March 2016 #UALsoWhite was launched by the ARTS SU. Principally led by Bee Tajudeen.
All UAL Deans were introduced to the programme and placement courses were selected.
Key Events: The planning for the next cohort begins. An open morning is run for prospective participants. An induction day is run for the new cohort. The new cohort starts their PgCert and teaching on their placement courses.
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2019 M A
Montana Williamson rejoined Shades of Noir to lead on the development of the Teaching Within Programme.
The TW team develop and begin running seminars which support the cohort with their PgCert. Shades of Noir develop their own introductory teaching course ‘Fact not Fiction’, to replace UAL’s Thinking Teaching course.
2020 M A
In April 2018 the first set of case studies and review session occurred with stakeholders from courses, exec board and the TW community.
Planning for TW5 commences to include a new open call application process. TW5
TW4 Image 38
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TEACHING WITHIN CASE STUDY.
ENGAGEMENT AND SKILLS.
Snapshot: Shades of Noir (SoN) was established in 2009 by Aisha Richards after discovering some startling statistics relating to the attainment figures of students of colour within Higher Education. In response, the organisation was developed to ‘provoke, challenge and encourage dialogue and cultural value on the subjects of race within Higher Education, the creative & cultural sectors’, through digital content, events, advocacy and support networks. Richards is the Director of Shades of Noir, managing a team of academics and students at the University of the Arts London in initiating and supporting activities around social justice, inclusion and representation that affect policies, processes and people. What challenge did you want to address? ‘Teaching Within’ seeks to address the underrepresentation of people of colour as academics within the University, and wider cultural and creative sector, and the knock-on impact this has on BAME students’ attainment and career opportunities. Richards found through research that People of Colour (PoC) were over-represented in administrative roles within the institution but seldom found in academic ones. In a bid to change this she developed the programme. ‘Teaching Within’ is a development programme for aspiring teachers of colour in creative arts and design in Higher Education. The programme was designed by Richards and is delivered by SoN within the university to address the low employment rates of academics of colour in elite staff categories within higher education institutions (Adams, 2017). SoNs works supported by, but independent from, the University.
What did you do? Teaching Within provides paid teaching placements with a comprehensive and layered support package, including a Postgraduate Certificate (PgCert) in Academic Practice and access to networks of academics of colour. A key characteristic of this programme is that is not based on a deficit model – m ost participants are alumni of the University and are successful in their creative careers and high achievers academically. All participants have found that while they successfully completed degrees, they were unable to transition into sustainable teaching posts. Richards negotiated host courses with the University and pulled together existing training and support mechanisms, which includes bursaries. Now onto its 4th cohort, the programme takes in 20 new academics a year and lasts 18 months. What barriers did you face? The main barrier faced in establishing the programme was the pre-existing culture of the university (and sector, and society), i.e. low awareness of the barriers faced by people of colour, and a lack of understanding about why an intervention was needed. Some participants faced challenges in engaging with, and being valued by, the wider team. This was explored through a workshop developed by Richards and based on the accounts of participants, 60 university staff attended and were able to work through issues without personal judgments.
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The event proved to be a learning experience for all at which unconscious/conscious biases were addressed, microaggressions (Gabriel & Tate, 2017) unpacked and white fragility (DiAngelo, 2011), managed, as well as the affirmations as to the importance of the positive experience and retention of programme participants reinforced by both Richards and senior members of staff for the changes in culture to take place. What were your measures of success? The main goal was that course participants complete their teaching hours and PG Certificate, and are retained as academic staff in UAL or another university. Over the first two completed cohorts 33 out of 40 completed the PgCert successfully and 29 of the of 33 have been retained as lecturers at UAL. The positive impact on participants’ careers in teaching is evident, and increased diversity within the University has taken place. As the programme continues further impacts will be measured over time, but the feedback from programme members speaks of an enriching experience that is radically improving the prospects of minority groups and attitudes towards diversity within the University. Additionally areas of research, curriculums and teaching practices are evolving around social justice which can in part be attributed to the Teaching Within programme and its participants.
What advice would you give to organisations wanting to do this themselves? This approach – of providing specific roles and training support to broaden workforce diversity – could be applied to any organisation, not just a University. However, a fundamental issue to consider is that there is simply no point introducing diverse initiatives without at the same time looking at the broader culture which is in play. Additionally, it is important not to underestimate the need to train the existing staff who will also need support with any initiatives in diversity. With adequate training that is fit for purpose in inclusive practice, issues around subconscious or conscious bias can be effectively dealt with over time with existing staff, which will create necessary space to introduce new measures to combat preexisting biases as a collective community. Organisations that attempt to deal with the complexities surrounding barriers faced by minority groups are making an investment for the future that will be of benefit to everyone especially as society continues to evolve. Statement: Although the following graphs covers cohort 1 / 2, as of 2020 we are moving into the recruitment of Cohort 5
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IN CONVERSATION WITH DEMELZA WOODBRIDGE.
ROYAL COLLEGE OF ART, UK.
Shades of Noir would like to thank Demelza Woodbridge for taking the time to speak with us. What course did you study at UAL and what is your practice? I studied a couple of courses at UAL. I did my BA in Graphic Design at Camberwell and I graduated in 2001. I then had a really long gap from education. I came back in 2016 and did a graduate diploma in Fine Art at Chelsea. I consider myself a visual artist and I work in performance and sound installation. I also consider teaching a part of my practice.
What inspired the pieces submitted for the Tell Us About It and why did you want to take part in it? The piece that I submitted to Tell Us About It was inspired by my time at UAL. I wanted to take part because I wanted other students like me to have more successful time and to benefit from my experience and hopefully, my experience would help them learn at UAL. I think it is really important for other students of colour to realise that they are not the only ones, as I felt really isolated in my time at UAL. I am hoping that other students know about the Tell Us
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About It archives as it is important because once you know that other people are having the same experience as you, you don’t feel so lonely and it makes it a little bit easier. How has your practice developed since you graduated? When I graduated from Chelsea, I went on to do an MA at Temporary Art Practice at the RCA, specialising in performance pathway. Doing my MA gave me an opportunity to really explore my performance practice. For the first time ever, I was actually able to work with professors and tutors that also had a performance practice, which was great. So now I’ve kind of not come back full circle, but I’m in a position now where I’m looking to explore other areas of my practice. How has UAL contributed to your professional journey? At UAL getting my final quantification, having had a brilliant course leader named Katrine Hjelde, she was really supportive of me and gave me some great advice because I was finding it really hard during my time at Chelsea. I found it really hard connecting with the cohort, which is a really important part of learning I believe. Especially within Fine Art, connecting with the people that you’re learning with, that is where you are going to learn from more so than the tutors, I believe. So, she gave me some really valuable advice about connecting with different cohorts within UAL, saying that if the cohort I had wasn’t helpful or I wasn’t able to connect with them, that I should try and find my cohort, which is exactly what I did.
She also told me to follow what I was interested in. She empowered me to find my own learning and find my own resources, and to find areas that I was interested in rather than doing what I was told or doing what I was asked. She helped me to understand that education is not so much about being told what to do but it is about you finding your own education, your own learning. And this was really invaluable advice. Then following on from that I was asked to take part in Teaching Within due to being part of the Tell Us About It programme, and that is developing my academic practice. As part of the programme, I am studying a PG Cert in Academic Practice in Art, Design and Communication. Finishing my MA and then going on this course – to be fast-tracked to becoming an academic – is an incredible opportunity that is facilitated through UAL by Aisha Williams from Shades of Noir. Being part of the SoN programme has given me confidence and empowered me to pursue my ambitions as a creative practitioner. What advice can you give to students currently studying at UAL, especially those from disadvantaged backgrounds? Don’t be intimidated. Realise that you have just as much right as everyone else to be there. Don’t be afraid to ask for help and assistance and keep asking for help and assistance even if you don’t get it the first time. As I mentioned before, I think education has become such a business so don’t fall into the role of being a consumer – find your own path, find your own education within the system and feed yourself; don’t be afraid. I found it really difficult being a student of colour; from dealing with micro-aggressions to having knowledge presented to you by
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people and from people that don’t look like you. To find strategies to get on, to not let that get in the way of your learning is really hard. To get by you have to kind of almost inhabit two bodies in some way. You have the ‘student body’ and then your ‘personal body’. Why should you be separated? Other students don’t have to separate themselves like that. If you have not got someone there, i.e. a tutor that is looking out for you, even a strong cohort or a little group of friends, then it can be really lonely and that really holds you back. So, I think it is really important to try and find your network and find your community and don’t hide away - be present. What has been your most memorable project so far? They are all memorable, but I would say the piece that I submitted to the Tell Us About it was really a breakthrough work for me in the fact that it brought together my musical and arts practices to create this work that spoke directly about my own experience. The work is called Big Invisible Fridge which is a metaphor for whiteness and as a response to my time as a student in UAL. I was very frustrated about how it felt that we’ve changed very little since I graduated in 2001. So, for me to kind of take that experience and translate and transform that it into song and present that as an artwork was a bold step for me within my practice.
How do you keep yourself motivated? I am quite a motivated individual. I am always striving to reach a place, even though that place might be unreachable or impossible by other people’s methods and standards. It is my goals and my visions that keep me motivated. The times when I am feeling unmotivated, I reach to my community, my friends and the people around me. My mum is a big inspiration for me. She’s a woman of colour. She’s been working in the NHS for over 45 years. Just her stories and things that she had to deal with coming to the UK from the Caribbean, the nonsense and the injustice and all of what she has had to put up with, but yet, she managed her family, she’s managed to maintain her job. She’s managed to get to a certain position – she would have got higher has she not been in the body that she is in. But I hear, I remember her stories and see where she’s doing and I think, ‘wow, you know?’ Things have changed in that we experienced this oppression in a very different way then our parents did. It’s a lot more invisible. It is way more ingrained within the system. It is a lot more insidious. So, I think about my mum, and she really motivates me. I think about what my grandparents had to deal with. You got to keep on, and also, I look to the future for that as well. I don’t have children myself, but that’s not really the point. It’s about embracing this idea of community and looking to the future, I heard Angela Davis speak at the Southbank about her own activism and people asked her similar question about how she keeps doing what she’s doing and she talked about how
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things don’t happen instantly. We are so used to things happening instantly with access to most things that we think that change is the same and it is not. You have to think about your moves from a long-term perspective. What I am doing now might make a difference tomorrow, next week or even in five years time and maybe in 30 years time. Therefore, I think it is really important to just remember that change is gradual. Is there a message you are trying to convey in your creative expressions? My creative expression is changing. When I first started making work in a dedicated practice – about three years ago – my practice and my expression was very much a reaction to the system that I was part of. A lot of that was dealing with western supremacy, systems of knowledge and politics of space. As a performance artist, I am always thinking about the performativity of the body and how our bodies are always performing. Therefore, being in a female POC body, I’m always performing this kind of message. Often in my work, I was trying to highlight and draw attention to the kinds of landscapes that different bodies inhabit and give ‘form’ to power dynamics that we might experience in our day-to-day lives. I have always felt this kind of urgency in my work to talk about these other things that I have experienced because I feel that it’s important, not only to connect with other people that might be experiencing those things but in the wider sense to create a space for people to reflect upon
their own complicity within these power dynamics that are at play. So, I really saw my work as this tool to allow this access, but now am very much considering what does my work look like without that? How would my work develop without that? But it always comes back to being present, about me being present. Being a female POC, living in London in 2020 - just to be making art is a radical thing. So, no matter what I do, that is always the bottom line. It’s like, ‘I’m here’. How do you reflect on your work? This is interesting because I have been thinking about this a lot lately. Doing the PG Cert where we are thinking about pedagogy, a lot of it seems about reflection and artistic practice is about reflection – that is how we learn, that is how we grow and how we move forward and develop our work. But I don’t think I have ever consciously reflected, it’s almost that I don’t even notice that I’m doing it. So, I’m trying to be conscious and capture those reflections and materialise them through writing or audio recordings. Through blogging them you process them, which is helpful for me. I also think talking to people, talking to my community of artists or friends is a really helpful way to stimulate reflective thought. Interview by Suprina Gurung.
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“EDUCATION POLICY IS NOT DESIGNED TO ELIMINATE RACIAL INEQUALITY BUT TO SUSTAIN IT AT MANAGEABLE LEVELS.” - David Gilborn.
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SAFE SPACE CRITS. Do you produce or aspire to produce artistic work which will help you to become an active agent for change and social justice? Is your work often about your identity, race/inclusion or marginalisation? Do you have lived experience of discrimination and/or racism which influences your creative output? Then come to Shades of Noir Safe Space Crits, a small group setting in which you can present work exploring a range of issues. The sessions are facilitated and run by experienced creative teaching practitioners who have lived experience, historical understanding of marginalisation and a commitment to social justice pedagogy. Safe space crits use critical analysis and the careful consideration of issues of oppression to provide both deep knowledge and a direction for the application of that knowledge in students artistic practice. Safe space crits are an additional resource offered to students from marginalised backgrounds. Spaces are limited to a maximum of 12 students and booking is essential. Safe Space Crits is run by Dr Kwame Baah and Samia Malik.
Safe Space Crit 「安全 空間 - 作品辅导 」 你是否制作过或渴望通过制作艺术作品 达到积极正面的社会改革和社會正义？ 你的作品是否常围绕著自我本体论，种 族包容论，与边缘化压抑论進行创作？ 你是否曾经历过歧視或種族歧視，此 经历是否影响了你的创作或灵感? 若同意以上任意问题，那Shades of Noir是属于你的地方。 「安全空間 - 作品辅导 」由 Shades of Noir所免费经营。 人数少而精的针对性辅导, 在此你能 自由的探索和发表对于社会人文艺 术等一系列议题的质问与创作。 由不同领域，经验丰富的在职艺术家带领 此辅导课程。亲生经历过社会边缘化的 他們具有丰富的教学经验，对排斥边缘 化历史的理解，以及对社会公正教育学 的承诺。利用批判理性分析，具有针对歧 視排挤等社会问题的包容和理解，「安全 空間 - 作品辅导」能为学生在艺术实践上 提供更为深刻的知识，指导，和应用。 「安全空間 - 作品辅导 」是一个专门为被 排斥边缘化的学生所额外开设的免费辅 导的资源與机会。作品艺术辅导一次最多 容纳12人，请填写以下列表完成報名。若 報名额满，请在等候单上留下你的姓名。 如有空缺，我們会第一时间尽快联系你。
Book your Safe Space Crit space at: shadesofnoir.org.uk/safe-space-crits/
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Dr Kwame Baah. Dr. Kwame Baah is a Colour Scientist, Researcher and Educator focused on eliciting clarity for targeted audiences. His colour science research work focuses on alignment visualisation of colour difference metrics for displays, substrates and skin colour. As an educator, Dr. Kwame delivers workshop content on a scheduled basis for Shades of Noir.
Dr. Kwame conducts weekly Safe Space Crits sessions in the Camberwell College of Arts and London College of Communications for Shades of Noir. These sessions are a small group setting in which students can present their work exploring a range of issues. These crits are an additional resource offered to students from marginalised backgrounds. Dr. Kwame is currently studying for an MA in Academic Practice, which will facilitate his development of Research in Arts and Inclusive Teaching, after having completed a PG Cert in Teaching and Learning.
Samia Malik. Samia Malik is an artist and designer. Malik’s central focus of her art practice has been focused on issues of racism, intersectional sexism, islamophobia and broader social injustices. Malik is the director and co-founder of WOCI (Women of Colour Index) Reading Group which was created in at Women’s Art Library at Goldsmiths University in 2016. Currently, Malik’s role at Shades of Noir is as an Associate Lecturer on the Safe Space Crits, staff development training and the Trigger Warning programme.
All of these activities utilise Malik’s extensive research interest, expertise and commitment to social justice practice as a creative activist academic.
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ORAL HERSTORIES/HISTORIES OF SOCIAL JUSTICE NARRATIVES.
University of the Arts London past and present (1977 – 2020 ) staff contributors managed by Sabrina Mumtaz-Hasan. Conflict The genesis of this project began with a presentation at the University of the Arts Attainment Conference 2018, by Aisha Richards within her keynote speech titled ‘Looking backwards to move forwards’. Within this keynote, she spoke of ‘misappropriation’ and ‘plagiarism’ which are attached to social justice work. She presented a 6-page document listing some of the ‘work’ by staff within the institution both past and present dating back to 1989. When considering areas of social justice activity, resistance and intervention, the University’s History Project only identified a handful of individuals of colour with a dominance of white contributions; therefore adding to the conflict of systemic erasure of marginal voices, narratives and ‘work’ that we know are at work in archives all over the world.
Approach and sensitivity As the researcher managing this Shades of Noir intervention, my method in practice is to remain as impartial as possible and equally support individual contributions with similar lengths of time for each interview. To consider interviewee narratives, their tone of communication with me as the interviewer, the nuances in how they are still manifesting pain to past resistive actions they have felt; and acknowledging the reality for some there still may not have closure from facing institutional negligence against their bodies. All aspects I have identified as pivotal research contributions for the individual legacies documented. Through this method, narratives are being shared and contributions clarified from the persons themselves who are the advocates for both large scale and incremental acts of social change. It is important to note some contributions have been in anti-racist practice and others have been in social justice, whereby both have a focus on the institute and the marginalised communities within them. On current reflection, the project has demanded I question my position as the interviewer to consider why the responses I have been receiving are open or closed, with additional institute explanation or unspoken expectations. There is a lot that is said throughout each interview by each individual’s non-verbal communication. This project is informing and framing specific and personal definitions of what social justice truly means through the lived experiences of the important contributors who perform active legacy each day in their UAL roles and in retirement from their posts.
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Expectations and Future Growth The Importance of Reflection • Preparatory research as part of this project and seeing the extensive bibliography of all the important work they have done, in hindsight I felt that my expectations have been unrealistic in regards to the outcome(s) of the interview(s); that I, in some cases, expected the participants to speak and communicate with me based on how they have written. Whilst this was not always the case, a clear point of reflection for me is that my own expectations throughout need to be adjusted and I myself become more ‘adaptable’. • I anticipated that this research would inform members of staff and students both in senior (management) positions and fractional (HPL) posts in illustrating the importance of having a diverse and supportive teaching cohort. It is important to hear the testimonies and see the faces of those this project elevates as having a ‘legacy’ within H.E. - it is important to note that ‘representation’ is not just visual, but intersects with audibly being able to hear the tone and sentence structure of a person’s narrative. It is very important that staff and students of colour are given the opportunity to hear someone that speaks like them, sounds and says phrases that are familiar to their experiences and culture; the value and importance of this for any individual is in abundance.
• Oral communication has a ‘co-operative sense of spirit’. As such, I intend the project to develop into an auditory format alongside written communication which is imperative for formal and organised text throughout. The only aspect I am yet to troubleshoot is how best to illustrate non-verbal communication which takes place during the interviews. To problemsolve, the written transcripts should be modified (as standard) to include bodily gestures and purposeful pauses performed by interviewees as more is communicated, in my opinion, through non-verbal communication; and therefore its inclusion is essential. There is evidence of non-verbal communication in the audio transcripts; in some instances which includes the sound of paper shuffling, long purposeful pauses, or the hitting of the table/desk when specific words are being communicated to show passion and action-based involvement. An example of this can be heard during an audio transcript when the interviewee hit the table during and after words such as ‘anti’, ‘woman’ and ‘bias’.
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Research & Future Growth
• Publishing and accessibility in a variety of formats analog and digital formats - such as the designation of categories within social justice using tags, for example are essential in demystifying the type of information our audience could learn with.
Future Growth in Interviewees
• Anonymous contributions to be considered and audio redirected to this effect - continued attempts to problem-solve the issue of ‘anonymous’ via potentially using a voice-actor to re-record the original audio transcript. • Thematic mapping of all legacy contributions and asking questions to critique of my position in this process throughout. This includes: º
How do the interviews thematically communicate with each other?
Where are they positioned?
How best to reframe the project in order to make it purposeful, not chronological?
What areas do each interviewee discuss, and what keywords accurately frame their responses and experiences?
By asking ‘How would you define social justice?’ In each interview, how does this develop the term through the experiences of each interviewee?
Does every interview need a response attached to it such as additional resources and observations, and how this has impacted my understanding of the specific areas in which they discuss individually to increase the proposed dialogic approach?
A recent development has been including ‘Shades Family and Friends’ to this scheme of work. This is an area which I am hoping to develop in the future. I have begun interviewing Teaching Within (TW) participants and will speak with all cohorts inclusive of TW4 (2019-21). I also endevour to interview members from (GEMS) also known as the Group for the Equality of Minority Staff’ (of which there are 200+ members) as I recognise that each member has their own set of social justice and/or anti-racist activity and projects which they have lead and/or participated in. Similarly, this presents the opportunity to interview UAL-based Contributors to SoN inclusive of Phase 1-5 Team Members and Creative Database participants. Considering the value of ‘speech’ as essential to teaching practices and archival formats there are, in my opinion, benefits to having multimedia communication in all areas of this project as everyone receives information in different ways.
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Auditory Learning is a strand of learning methodology which is being considered alongside the written elections to be as beneficial to learning, i.e. learning through ‘hearing’ remains very emotive and engaging as an archival format as a teaching resource too. Three things I have learnt so far throughout this intervention are: 1. White facing academics may use the term and accept the responsibility of doing ‘social justice’ work but are often unable to give a definition in comparison to the academics of colour with lived experience of being social justice itself. 2. Some academics of colour who have done this work still feel the endless pain felt throughout their time at the institute and have completed their posts without being given the closure they deserve. 3. My position in terms of my personal and physical characteristics as the interviewer has a lot of weight to how the conversation will pan out, which I did not initially see but I am now beginning to finally challenge as a contributing factor to the success of an interview. Oftentimes it has benefitted the quality of openness I have received because of my position remaining unsuspected and disarming.
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BLACK FEMALE PROFESSORSHIP ARCHIVE: EXPERIENCES AND CAREER TRAJECTORIES.
Archiving experiences to Black Female Professorship in the UK, managed by Rayvenn Shaleigha D’Clark.
The project itself coincided with the 10 year anniversary of the Shades of Noir programme, as well as the appointment of Richards in 2020.
Approach and Sensitivity
The genesis of this archive began shortly following the release of the damaging statistics surrounding the participation levels of Black [Afro-Caribbean] women at Professorial level, pushed in public discourse by Nicola Rollock’s timely Report ‘Staying Power: The Career Experiences and Strategies of UK Black Female Professors’ (UCU, Feb 2019). The 40-page document commissioned by the University and College Union (UCU) was the first study of its kind in the UK, exclusively focusing on the career experiences of 20 of the 25 Black Female Professors (circa Feb 2019*) and their journeys to professorship using a one-to-one interview methodology. The report not only explicitly questioned race and gender equality within higher education, but it also revealed the culture of bullying and stereotyping against black (female) academics, offering ‘future recommendations’ that enable Black female academics to progress and succeed (Rollock, 2019, p.5).
The central cohort (approx 36 individuals identified as originating from AfroCaribbean heritage) were gathered via the Black Female Professor Forum (BFPF) which is organised by Professor Iyiola Solanke and lists over 130 Professors across 25 subject disciplines participating in 64 institutions (circa March 2020).
This identification was, in fact, similarly acknowledged by Aisha Richards as early as 2009 - having founded Shades of Noir the same year - in her scoping research report ‘Any Room at the Inn: BME Journeys Into Creative Employment’ (Sep 2009) which explored the transition and experiences of graduates of colour from art, design and communication higher education courses into creative industries. Richard’s concluded that the root of exclusion and inequality within the higher education sector and creative industries were directly affected by raced and gendered identities.
As a writer and researcher tasked with managing the initial build of this archive, it was imperative that I elicit the testimonies of the women using a standardised interview approach; this would enable me as the principal researcher to probe with few leading statements or disruption to the process of ‘storytelling’. It is important to note that through this methodology we wanted to gain an experiential illustration of their (lived) experiences, as opposed to gathering data later quantifiable in statistical form. To be able to fully consider the interviewee’s narratives, in hindsight, more time should have been spend in the preparatory stages in regards to my positionality and, more importantly, how to mediate difficult conversations surrounding conflict, vulnerability, unresolved pain and anger (especially from those still presently participating in their awarding institution), as well as developing a keener understanding of anonymity and confidentiality which becomes vital to the process of ‘trustbuilding’ and ultimately my ability to properly archive their contributions.
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It was vital that each interview remain confidential and each participant was given the same amount of time to deliver their testimony; as such the interview questions and blurb for the project were provided in advance regardless of the ‘style of interview’. This is pivotal to the research methodology of this project in order for the archive to remain equal and neutral for all participants.
It is important to note that as an outcome of the interview all participants receive a written transcript of the interview (verbatim) in which they have not only first refusal (non-release of transcript) but overarching editing rights. This transcript is reviewed only by the principal researcher, the Editor at Shades of Noir and in some instances Aisha Richards as Director.
The approach to interview took 3 formats: face-to-face (on-site), via Skype or over the phone; subject to availability.
Expectations and Future Growth
The one-to-one interview approach was aided by a standard set of questions related to issues of abuse (racial stereotyping and racial microaggressions) resistance (explicit and passive bullying), socialjustice activities, self-care and strategies for survival (excessive workloads), advice to future generations (mentoring and ‘pipeline’ succession), White female academics and allyship (hyper-vigilance versus advocacy), promotion and progression (transparency and fairness in policy/process), invisibility versus hypervisibility and the culture of higher education to name a few starting points. This was of great significance as it streamlined the narrative from all interviewees to a dialogue that specifically related to the trajectory of appointment, whilst allowing participants to situate themselves more individually within a much wider cultural, political, and social context. *Through this methodology, participants unknowingly demonstrated the interconnectivity (within gender confines) of abuses suffered throughout their journey to a professorship regardless of the year of appointment, locality of the institution, subject specificity or ‘time spent’.
As of March 2020, this archive is ongoing as participation levels slowly increase (60% of the cohort being appointed in the past 5 years [Rollock, 2019, p.4). As an ongoing anthology, therefore, it is imperative that the contributions of this slowly growing cohort are acknowledged as being highly valuable for now and future reflections upon the higher education sector. It has been suggested that we extended the invitation to the wider cohort listed on the BFPF due to the identification of a ‘political’ blackness that encompasses those of African, Caribbean, Asian and Arab descent, seeing commonalities in their shared oppression. As such, a revised invitation is being sent out which offers the opportunity for participation on the condition of ‘self-identification’ in a bid to not make any assumptions in regards to capacity within the project.
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Undoubtedly, this project emerges as a means to celebrate the valuable ‘livedexperience’ and cultural-capital of black female academics, whilst continuing to centre strategies to overcome oppression, exclusion and marginalisation within criticalrace and feminist theories as cemented within their individual testimonies. Through this project, we lay the foundations for future resistance.
Three things I have learnt so far throughout this intervention are: 1. Ongoing pain and closure: It becomes difficult to divorce yourself from the testimony of the abuses suffered from the interviews, many of which remain unsolved. Often, it became necessary to have a debrief immediately following the interview as a mechanism to show support and empathy whilst distancing this from influencing the interview process. This lasted no more than 15 minutes and was ‘off the record’. 2. My positionality: Transparency regarding my motivations within the project became a principal concern within the core cohort. As a ‘trust-building’ exercise, therefore, my visibility as principal research becomes central to the level of openness afforded to me from the interviewees. 3. Recommendations: Whilst particular attention is paid to mechanisms of abuse and how to eliminate these behaviours at each stage of the career trajectory, as a form of self-reflection it is important to consider the real-life policy implications that could result from these testimonies.
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TRIGGER WARNING: INSTITUTE OWNERSHIP. Trigger Warning: Institute Ownershipâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; is a collaboration between Shades of Noir and CSM Museum Archive Collection. This educational group project has been established in order to support UAL wide student-led change and is supported by a social justice teaching framework that encourages critical dialogue. Designed by Shades of Noir with the CSM Archive team this project highlights a range of problematic and or challenging artefacts within the collection creating opportunities for creative critical learning, reflection and discussion. These artefacts evidence the historical white dominance of institutional ownership of archival material within the Museum. In this project, we have been critically engaging with 6 artefacts and focusing on 1 artefact per workshop. The structure of the workshops is tailored to the type of artefact that is being discussed and responses collated in accordance with anti-racist and social justice methodology. We view this collaborative project as an opportunity to open up dialogue and challenge the historical white canon. The project works with UAL students who wish to make work exploring issues located in social justice. Facilitators work closely with students who develop anti-racist responses which document their interactions with the artefacts.
To listen to the Trigger Warning: Institute Ownership Exhibition Podcast, visit: anchor.fm/shades-of-noir/episodes/ Trigger-Warning-Institute-OwnershipExhibition-Podcast-ea5kcf/a-a1a7qrs
Anti-racism pedagogy doesnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t mean the erasure of painful history, but to embed teaching practices that encourage understanding and learning with historical context, multiple narratives and empathetic support.
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TRIGGER WARNING: INSTITUTE OWNERSHIP. ANONYMOUS.
Existing in a space like ------------------- as a conscious and visible Muslim woman can often feel like roaming around a black hole with lots of eyes on you. I think that the discourse surrounding race and topics of that nature is very much unspoken about and lots of students and staff don’t want to confront it; it emerges as tension in the air that you either feel or choose not to feel.
Every couple of weeks, the workshops started off with collectively all of the workshop participants trying to understanding keywords definitions such as colourism, exoticism or anti-blackness (a serious issue in many communities, even communities ‘of colour’). We would then confront work from the ------------------------------------ as a group and respond to it in some way.
From the beginning of my ------- journey, and going to the Safe Space Crit’s held by the Shades of Noir team as often as I physically could was very helpful. Understanding that I wasn’t alone and that this tension was tangible was important in learning how to comfortably seat my work within matters such as race, religion and culture. As well as this, the Safe Space Crits validated any experiences I felt and I’m sure many have felt when surrounded by a majority white cohort - this then led me to apply for the Trigger Warning: Institute Ownership Workshops.
In hindsight, what these workshops really gave us was a sense of validation; validation in being upset and in understanding the emphasis of trigger warning definition.
When I saw the advertisement, I knew I had to go for it; to be able to analyse these controversial, racist and highly racist, combatting artefacts with academics who weren’t white was something I had been waiting for. My main issue with exploring these topics with my white tutors is that they often feed me wrong information, felt that the topic was too sensitive to respond to, or through micro-aggressions would put my ideas down as though it was an attack on them as individuals. It is ironic because understanding and dismantling White Privilege is something that they must be apart of, yet we are the ones always having these discussions.
If you have ever faced prejudice in life due to your skin colour, religion, and or class, chances are when you come face-toface with this prejudice within a Museum or Institution setting, you wouldn’t be shocked; you might simply roll your eyes at its familiarity. Our painful history is so casually placed on display that it is easy to be desensitised or feel as though it is normal to come across past violence and bigotry that we are still affected by today. These workshops widening our knowledge, and most importantly aid us in performing worthwhile critique its context, especially when it didn’t have any descriptions alongside it. Further, as Trigger Warning was a paid opportunity, for me this placed economic value on our learning which felt even more important throughout this process, especially considering the cost of a university education.
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Some workshops were very emotional, but within this safe and comfortable setting, we were given permission to feel, to speak, to express anger and hurt and then to try and move on through creating. It was quite a beautiful process. One session that stuck out to me was session surrounding the Calypso and Telemague Textile; visually woven into the artefact are images of rich white men and women alongside a portrayal of black men and women in a demeaning and exoticised way. We were told that a lot of these pieces were displayed or kept without context despite its racist nature. Our task, inspired by Titas Kaphar’s work, was to take apart and cut out any uncomfortable imagery within the tapestry in an attempt to recreate a whole new tapestry as a new group tapestry work. Working as a group, it gave us all an opportunity to reclaim history, even if the subjects of the pieces weren’t from our cultural background, the feeling was still very familiar. It was incredibly satisfying to challenge, analyse and critique the tapestry within its difficult context, but I was comforted by the aid of our Shades of Noir academics. Every so often as ‘People of Colour’ we notice these issues early on within an institution or space but feel powerless to change things. Shades of Noir, however, gave us as an opportunity to critically analyse and take control of our narratives in an effective, change-making way.
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TRIGGER WARNING WORKSHOP. STUDENT 1
Personal experiences. The dye books highlighted a part of history that usually I feel like we relegate to ‘history’, we sweep under the carpet because it skews our pre-conceived narrative history. Joyce Clissold’s books that’s what it was like back then, the disgusting use of derogatory racist and racialised colour names, might suggest to me how far we have come but its framing and its examination through the exhibition leaflet, not having to handle them with gloves, feels like a way of not valuing the historic side. When I look at the writing in the 2015 dye book, I see something that is familiar, an author who is likely to be so unsure how to examine this clear racist language that it is swept to the side and avoided as a subject, a relatable fear. For me, the worst thing in the world often feels to be to cause offence on a racial level. and is a reminder that these things need to take centre stage.
Real Dirty, real dirty, dirty skin, hyperpigmentation, hairy, noodle arms, brown, murky, monkey. When first looking at this piece it is disguised as an intellectual piece, an arty-farty I’m so smart study, you don’t have to be educated to see past this façade, you see the words red Indian, you see the word n***** and immediately shut down, this is no longer a study, this has removed all credibility, trust, I can no longer look or take it in as something valuable, I don’t want to cancel racist art, I want context, I want the truth, I want to see the truth before I look inside the book. I don’t want to be fed the idea that these are intellectuals when they are blinded by their lack of knowledge, they should not be able to speak unless they speak the truth. I am the colour I am, but I am more than just a colour. STUDENT 3 ‘N***** head brown’ – a term that I can use to describe my complexion and the new sofa. Both inanimate objects according to society, My skins a darker hue, so they wouldn’t even hire me, the weight of colourism I feel is in everything I do, from jobs to family and looks around me, even my tattoos, so dont tell me you ‘see no colour’ when at just 16, I tried to bleach my skin too.
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Never mind??! This celebration of the very ‘great’ textile practitioner Joyce who branded colours in the name of the N blue, in the name of ‘red skin’, is just being ‘witty’, according to the 2015 university publication. Never mind your uncomfortable for being addressed, the academic art world whispered to me: never mind being objectified, categorised, stereotyped. You are in the academic realm, the white cube, the neutral space where only beauty and aesthetic is talked about, so aloof, this gallery castle floating on the cloud, the room asked me to forget. The light in the room of aesthetics is so bright that is asked me to bleach out my skin. Never mind those details, she is great, the beautiful print of publication said she is great. She is witty. I sit in this bright and light room of ‘pure’ art, beauty, academics… Is this a lightened up room, that murmurs ‘never mind, never mind, never mind never mind’ to me, or is this a pitch-black-hole?
As I am told to look at a DIE book, my head felt light and the heavy wrinkled brain aches mildly, tilting down and bending my neck like a crane to view scribbles of writing I can barely call legible. I am fed up with constantly feeling fatigued day in day out, the body feels dizzy almost half of the time. Most of you have consistently scolded me for looking into parts of history and providing attention and critique about just anything as a common hungry and suffering poor person with no position or voice anywhere really, besides scrunched up pieces of paper and the quivering dark and sadistic cold of my bedroom. The majority of humankind are deeply and routinely prejudiced in language and in smaller things like body language, whether this be to race, gender, identity or sexuality. You ignore modern and historic issues and global issues in countries you deem not as valuable or worthy of your attention. Next time you look away from me, I will look away from you too.
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TELL US ABOUT IT (TUABI ).
This programme of work was created in 2009 by Terry Finnigan and continues to be archived at the Archives and Special Collections Centre (ASCC) at London College of Communication, as it continues to grow. This programme of work embraces, affirms and presents high achieving UAL students of colour voices through the creation of artifacts, where they reflect on their learning across their degrees. These artifacts are shared with new staff and new students so they become aware of the importance of difference within the student body and how it can enhance the learning experience.
Shades of Noir has now brought this to our audiences to be available to be viewed and utilised as teaching and learning tools and research. To learn more about the â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;Tell Us About Itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; programme, visit: www.shadesofnoir.org.uk/ artefacts/about-the-tell-us-about-it-archive/
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T: Hi, my name is Tabitha Austin and I’m the Tell Us About It Content Developer for Shades of Noir. G: And I’m Georgia Clemson, and we’re in the Archives and Special Collection Centre where I work as an Archives Assistant. So the Centre’s based in the new College of Communication, but we’re not a college archive, we’re for the whole university, so anybody can come in. And we’re part of Library and Academic Support Services. And we’ve got about twenty collections here, but today Tabitha and I are going to talk a bit about the Tell Us About It archive. It’s a collection of student artworks that have been made by students who have achieved highly in their course but also come from backgrounds that have been historically Othered in academic institutions. And we’ve been collecting them since 2007. And obviously a great range of disciplines is represented in this group, so the archives may involve different formats. Some are just written statements, and some are a piece of sculpture or a piece of clothing or a video or something like that. But all of them respond to their experience studying at UAL and the things that at times held them back but also what helped them. And tips for other students for how they can deal with the experience of studying and any obstacles that they may face along the way. I suppose the archive is different from all of our other collections in the way that it’s added to every year, so it keeps growing and growing. The Tell Us About It archive is almost like a living archive in that sense.
T: So how’s it—how have people really interacted with the archive? G: So the main way that we use the material in teaching and learning is we use it in staff training workshops a lot. So we will take some of the material out to another site, another college and teachers will look at it, teacher trainees will look at it. And also we’ve used it in student workshops for brand new students from overseas, to help them sort of settle in a bit and see what kind of things they might experience along the way, studying in London. So it’s important to be used with the teacher training just because it can give teachers more of an understanding of different backgrounds of the students that they might be teaching that they may not even be aware of and of how that can affect their experience studying. So if they read the response of a student who’s been through that before, it can help them to maybe make changes in their style of teaching… T: To better practice inclusive pedagogy. G: So another way that we’ve been using the collection is also that Tabitha and I, we’ve been working together to digitize all the artworks in the archive so that we can make an online showcase for the Shades of Noir website.
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G: So why do you think that this archive is important to be accessible online for the Shades of Noir audience? T: It’s important because having the digital collection online is a really important resource for students who might feel isolated. Having these reflective responses from students who have already been through UAL can help them to feel less isolated in their academic experience. And it also fosters a consciousness within the culture of UAL for the presence of students from historically marginalized backgrounds and an appreciation of their contributions to the university. And of course, digital access is important because it’s not always easy to come into the archive and check things out, even though I highly recommend you do.
‘The voice of our students is so very important to the development of all aspects of an institution, our pedagogy and our aims to make change positively for our students of the future. Sharing this archive through Shades of Noir supports my vision for the contributions of “Tell Us About It’ to be more accessible and have impact and a legacy beyond any given moment of time’ - Terry Finnigan (Higher Education Academy National Teaching Fellow) Credit With Tabitha Austin and Georgia Clemson. Filmed and Edited By Inês Alves. © Shades of Noir 2017.
G: I mean, that’s one of the challenges that we’ve sort of had to deal with in digitizing it is that we want it to be as good of experience online as it is in person for people who perhaps can’t make it in. And I think it’s been a really fun challenge actually and it’s been good to spend time with the material. T: It’s been a great problem-solving exercise for both of us to figure out, “Well how are we going to hang this 3D model of bicycle that’s completely made from textiles?” It’s been a lot of fun in that way. G: I definitely would recommend other people to come in and experience it in person if you can. So you can book an appointment, which I’d recommend. And we’ve got appointments from Monday to Friday from one until five in the afternoon.
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TESTIMONIAL 3. Before starting the ----------- I had completed a ---------------- at -------------------- During this time, I was pushed and urged to develop my work and I cannot sing enough praise for the tutors I dealt with. It was this experience, and how the ---------------------- course was sold to us, which led me to apply. I was urged to join the course, encouraged that my --------- -------- work and more experimental approach to ------------------- would be a great fit for ------------l. Upon starting the course, it became very clear to me that whilst our class might have been particularly diverse (especially for the type of course), our tutors were not. Whilst I appreciate that the tutors are practitioners, I always felt that their approach to teaching was incredibly lack lustre. We were urged to produce work which mimicked what was already out there, it seemed like we were producing work that the tutors would have made themselves.
no help. In fact, out of the several emails sent, I only received a reply to one, where I was directed to the -------- -------- page outlining the universities stance on mental health - and no more. During my time, and especially at the beginning of the course, I tried to meet with tutors to explain how I felt, to explain my circumstances and my worries. All too often I was ignored, whether the tutors themselves are just being stretched too thin, or be this due to outstanding prejudices, I do not know, but this cannot and should not continue. I for one, no longer attend. My leaving process was also delayed due to lack of communication, with my dismissal forms having to be signed by --------- who I had never been taught by. It was also not until I had spoken to ------ that my concerns had ever been heard by someone. I urge you to take this opportunity to make some real changes, this problem will not be solved with the graduation of this year.
I felt incredibly alone during my time at -------------------. I was balancing my studies, a job and weekly physiotherapist meetings which meant I had to take time - Anonymous off where my appointments could not be rescheduled. As a result of the pressure, I was struggling with my mental health and when I reached out I was met with
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“ALL TOO OFTEN I WAS IGNORED, WHETHER THE TUTORS THEMSELVES ARE JUST BEING STRETCHED TOO THIN, OR BE THIS DUE TO OUTSTANDING PREJUDICES, I DO NOT KNOW, BUT THIS CANNOT AND SHOULD NOT CONTINUE.”
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STAFF MOVING ON… SHADES OF NOIR, UK.
This interview is with a white male academic within an arts subject specific institution who studied the Inclusive Practice Unit within the first years of its design. He has chosen to be anonymised as is available for all people who contribute to Shades of Noir for all sorts of reasons. It’s been ages, how are you? Good thanks, I’m sorry that it’s been such a long time and really you have no idea how much yours and Terry’s teaching changed me. I’m assuming that the change has been positive? Yes I think positive, I’d go as far as saying maybe transformational. Really changed me and this is why I made contact. When I saw the submissions form I knew it was time to talk with you. Really, time to talk about what? To say sorry to you. Really Aisha, maybe to Terry too at a later date but to you really. I’m sorry. What are you sorry for? I’m sorry that I didn’t do anything when the other students were dismissive or rude to you. This is the part that has really stayed with me, I didn’t recognise these people that were so rude and aggressive towards you or myself in my silence. You not Terry. I know that I could have said something, done something and I didn’t. I have been living with regret all this time.
I have to say that I wasn’t expecting this. I really appreciate it, it really was bad behaviour and it has changed me too. I mean you saying sorry, I appreciate that too but really I am the teacher in that scenario and I have learned as a black teacher from these experiences too. Do you think that this changes anything? I know that they respect, respected you but I’ve been thinking about this for awhile. I think that they were threatened by you, your words and maybe even what was said in that space out loud. Do you mind me being frank? I prefer that. I think student/staff relationships are complicated but I do think that you being black and a woman suggesting prejudice at play was too much for them (us). I have gone through it in my head many times and given Terry was there presenting similar content and they were different with her, you being black can only be the reason that they/ we were different. It’s hard to talk about this with you…it really is hard. What’s hard? Good question. Hmmm talking about this, not the apology. Yes talking about how I witnessed a group of academics be aggressive and target you and I did nothing, this is hard. I really, I should have made a formal complaint. I think because it was definitely bullying behaviour. As the person who watched and did nothing I think I am part of the problem. This meeting is going in the Shades of Noir publication and what happened, what I witnessed needs to be there even if it’s hard. I am a bit embarrassed but I had to say something.
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So now these years on, what would you do differently? I think...I’d like to think that I would say something. Something like you know that you are shouting and I’m not sure that you are listening? Maybe I’d walk out? Maybe I would still be frozen in silence in the moment but make a complaint after, not wait so many years to say I am sorry? The way you handled what happened was so professional and composed but you shouldn’t have to deal with that.
thing to do but it is hard because maybe...I think it will open up a conversation, maybe emotions, maybe the same aggression that you received and I don’t feel equipped for this. I’m sorry. I feel embarrassed by...I am sorry it’s just...I’m trying to be honest, this is the least that you deserve.
What do you think I could or should have done differently? Nothing. You presented facts with theory with questions. That is academia. I just think we were not ready for these facts from you.
Do you think that I am used to facing racism from or by my peers? Yes and I am disgusted by this.
Why these facts and why from me? I think that raced information can feel very personal even when what you presented was national data, I witnessed this first hand. I think many took it as you were calling them racist. As you or Terry rightly pointed out it may have been the first time a black academic was teaching us...I don’t think this was easy for some. Ok are we still being frank? Yes. Do you think their behaviour was racist? Hmm I guess it was... nope I know it was and it is this that is and was hard to digest. Would you say that to them? Hmmm I’m not sure. I mean... I said to a couple of them after that session - it was really wrong to behave like that. If you have just said that my race impacted how they responded to me negatively, why is saying that this is racist behaviour a problem? I’m not trying to trick you and this interview will be anonymised but this I think is an important question. It is a really important question and I see that saying someone is racist is the right
I appreciate that you are trying. Do you think I am used to dealing with racism then? Yes.
Do I deserve racism? No. So then why do you protect your peers emotions when they present racist behaviour? I want you to know that I see that you are uncomfortable but you are trying to share with me openly. I need to know, scrap that...in fact I need you to think about who you protect and why. 1 - I understand. I really do. I don’t know why. Maybe it’s because I don’t want to be in your position. That came out wrong. I really don’t know what to say. Maybe I am protecting myself. I am not sure. This is actually what makes you an amazing teacher. You don’t give answers you make everyone grapple with themselves. It is hard...I have tried to apply this to my teaching. It is a really powerful skill. Can we go back a bit - You are right that I have experienced racism all my life and everywhere. In my mind most black people will have had similar experiences, even when they don’t think they have because it’s systemic. What is still hurtful is knowing that my pain is second at least, even to people that cause me pain or harm. Does that make sense? I wish it wasn’t like this and I wish that I was a better person to stand up. Look even now...I had hoped to be able to show you that you
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have made a difference to me, my life and my practice. Instead I have just pedaled backwards to protect myself. I don’t know what to say. To be honest it doesn’t surprise me but you are on a journey. You chose to contact me directly to apologise and share. I appreciate that this was not easy for you. Tell me how has the unit impacted your practice? Do you need a break? No I’m fine. Well Shades of Noir is not only on our reading lists but I also programme some of the articles into my teaching. I am amazed at how much it develops every year, I really don’t know how you do it. I get all students to read, think and share in class. This has proven to be a real gateway for empathy. I also share often with my team what I’ve read on the site and we talk about what it means. I think this has made a huge difference to our understanding of our diverse student cohorts over the years. I know...I know now that I’m speaking with you that I have to do more work on me. This I guess reinforces that, that unit was a start. You did say this...I don’t think I really understood this at the time. A rude awakening but maybe I need more time. This time being interviewed...was more learning for me. The unit and what you and Terry taught us in that really short time...as you said started something but it really isn’t enough is it? I can’t believe that I’m protecting people who shouldn’t be protected to protect myself. Can you believe I am saying this? I can unfortunately. I see it and experience it all the time. Look I don’t want you to feel bad and I know that you came to share and you didn’t know what would be asked, neither did I, but this is real dialogue. I appreciate that the unit informed your practice and your thinking - this is definitely a win but there is more work to do. In my opinion this is lifelong work so you have to decide if this is what you are seeking. I know that you don’t have
to. I see many who present this ‘racism is not my problem or real’ all the time…this unfortunately isn’t a life I chose but one I have been born into. I love my blackness I just wish others would see what I see. I know… I realise that now. I think that again talking with you openly, opens my eyes to more. I’m feeling disappointed with myself but maybe I have to. I’m sorry that you feel like that. I don’t want to lie to you. Over the many years since you were my student I too have changed, developed and learned a lot about people and myself. This includes being honest and supporting the uncomfortable nature of the honesty and I hope always that people see these moments to move their own thinking on as I do. You have always been honest and thoughtful. I absolutely respect what you do. I can only imagine how difficult it must be. All I know is I am trying to do better... It’s fine as I am learning along the way. Really it’s been great to see you and hear what you’re up too. Thank you for coming and sharing. I appreciate your honesty. Aisha before we end the interview I just want to say thank you. You and Terry are amazing and really the best and bravest teachers I have ever met. I reckon next time we speak I will have better answers and be moved on more. I hope that I haven’t let you down. You could never let me down if you are thinking and trying. You know it’s all complicated and very difficult physically and emotionally for everyone. Thank you for coming in really, fantastic to see you and hear you - you take care and I think that is a wrap.
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IN CONVERSATION WITH ANGELA DRISDALE-GORDON.
SHADES OF NOIR, UK.
Shades of Noir would like to thanks Annabel Crowley and Angela Drisdale-Gordon for taking the time to speak with us. Can you start by introducing yourself, how long have you been here and your various roles within the institution? Angela Drisdale-Gordon, currently the Head of the Further Education Office which means that I have an overview of all the pre-degree programmes across the university. I have been doing that since 2016 which was a nice contrast to what I was previously doing across my teaching life as Course Leader on various courses - at different levels - including (but not limited to) Fashion Design (Business and Marketing) mostly at LCF. What is great about this role is having an overview of the university and so now I can see not only the different personalities of the college, but the inner workings of the university in terms of the ‘Bigger Picture’. In terms of my other interests which concern Attainment - I recently found files from 1994 that revealed ideas about the attainment gap between black students and others which shows you how long this has been on the agenda. Fast forward to 2019 and sometimes it feels as if we haven’t moved on any further than that, and to a certain degree I do feel a little bit exasperated by that very fact. Because it feels to me that it is either the university not taking it seriously at all - there is definitely more of an awareness of the issue in relation to the Inclusive Unit and that it gives tutors a modicum of insight into the other - but that I feel what I have witnessed is really powerful in term of what students on the PGCert bring to the agenda.
It is really powerful that you mentioned 1994 - when we talk about ‘Attainment’ we talk about a period much later than that - and that it is evident that you have been witness to the issues of Black Student Attainment for the past 25 years... Black Academics - and black senior members of staff - that I worked with around 10 years ago - have all left now through redundancy or through being invited to leave - to me it was a shame because it meant that a lot of the work around attainment at that time was lost. I then found myself at LCF as the only individual who was expressing disquiet about it - which I must say that within my career as a black academic when I could have rightly felt embittered about it, I felt that I just had to be here, as a physical presence for the students, for the staff to show that you could successfully get through this, to complete courses and go on to have a long-lasting career in academia. There is a lot of research that could be developed about the ‘Black Academic in a Creative Setting’ particularly, and my position of being firm but fair - getting my students prepared to be professionals in the industry through meaningful conversation, and who was always a priority for me - it should be happening as a matter of course and so it feels funny for me that we are coming full circle and that we are all recognising that we have to ‘know our students’, understand and identify their aspirations and monitor their development. I feel that there is this whole notion at HE level that students don’t need much support, and that’s my job as a teacher in getting them to their end goal. When I was running, in particular, the BA in Fashion Design and
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Angela Drisdale - Black lady arms out in front of a revolving door
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Marketing, I would always have the highest number of WP students and in terms of our cohort it was an incredible mixed and we didn’t have the issue of huge Attainment Gaps because the team were working with students all of the time to ensure that we didn’t have a failure. It was about giving students every opportunity to do as well as they can. But it is clear that this doesn’t persist across all courses. I know that of course now there is a lot of pressure in terms of contact time and other factors such as that, but we can be creative in terms of how we bond - in more positive and meaningful ways - and connect with our students. So I feel that in terms of the Inclusive Unit you are enabling staff to do that. You said the word ‘meaningful’ a couple of times which has really landed for me and personally I think this idea of learning through conversation - or discursive learning - is a really important aspect of this Unit. So, could you talk to me a little bit more about what a meaningful conversation means to you? So for me when I was working with students the very first thing we would do is a process called pen portraits and it was so fascinating when being at one of the Inclusive Unit classes to see that this process was still being used by one of the tutors. And it is so simple but effective in terms of asking really random questions, but it gets students to talk to each other about themselves, to share experiences, to bond, to get to know each other and we didn’t have that very specific and modern kind of cultural segregation you see in the classroom today. What you saw when you looked across the room was a melting pot of understanding - minus the conflict - as from the very beginning they were allowed to bond which made such a difference in terms of how they progressed on the course. So it’s about making sure that you see every student and have the time to find out how they’re doing on your course. While some found it difficult to have me charting
their progress, at the end feedback was always very positive in terms of thanking me for keeping them on track throughout the course. So, in terms of the work that students eventually produced, both I and the students understood the journey that they’d gone through and again those meaningful conversations came through as an academic response to this particular kind of tutelage. There’s a very strong academic theme in what you just said, but there is also the idea of each student being witnessed - in recognising that they are there and you were looking for them - which you mentioned in typical HE style in terms of giving them the resources and sending them off - whilst what you’re describing is very much the opposite…. As I mentioned previously, there weren’t many of us that we’re doing that. How other academics saw me and believed that my approaches were a little bit scary at times made me doubt my approach, but I always understood and truly felt that it was validated by the feedback that I got at the end of the course. Just thank you’s from past students that recognise that whilst I was tough it was always on the tangent of getting them to do the best and be the best. I’ve tried in all aspects of my life to do the best that I can and always with integrity and I think that one of the reasons why I’ve stayed for so long within this profession; having that strong sense of self which is cultivated by recognising the similarity in backgrounds to some of the students I taught. Recognising that from a really young age I didn’t want to be doing what my mother had to do to look after us was for me always the push and at school having teachers who were determined to get the best out of me it really opened up my world in terms of allowing me to see all the things that I could do with my life. In allowing me to recognise that this is where I wanted to be.
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You made me think about the importance of having tutors that may not have the same experiences you, but perhaps hold some experiences that mirror yours that enable them to approach you with that kind of compassion and understanding. Do you see this approach in the Inclusive Learning and Teaching Unit? It is difficult to say as I have only witnessed a couple of sessions. I think what becomes really difficult is having such a small amount of time to get across the ethos of their ideas and most of them (students) really manage to do that incredibly well. As I have said, a lot of these approaches, if they are really allowed to develop within courses, could make such a significant difference. That is why I am of the belief that it needs to be centrally disseminated across the university and that there needs to be a place where the students can show the types of initiatives that they would wish to implement within the university courses, much wider than just speaking to staff about it during one-to-one tutorials. Extended as invitations to Senior Management and beyond and inviting them to come to things that will really make a difference within the university. And that I think this is part of the frustrations in the sense that this feels to be a quick win that the university can adopt in making these processes mandatory, yet I still don’t understand what the resistance or reticence is - it probably won’t even cost that much and that in terms of the benefits it will far outweigh the costs of implementation. But make it mandatory so that it becomes part of the ethos of all who enter the institution as an AL, teaching staff and non-teaching staff etc. because it is clear that an understanding of what we are trying to do is still very patchy and not everyone gets it. It is about making sure that the new staff that are coming in know and understand that they have to do this. But I think that once you get past this, and understand that education is for all, the power that it could have in terms of our Attainment statistics I think that you can make a difference in an instant.
I often think of the Unit as a space to humanise the statistics, and you really think about yourself and students as ‘whole human beings’. You are given resources to reflect on issues of race, religion, gender etc. on these different aspects of identity that within higher education feel that we have to hold back or hide away or ignore as some kind of inconvenience. Well, how do you feel about the Unit? Well, I am a graduate of the Unit and from my perspective I came from a very academic background so I had read around some of the resources that are provided within the Unit, but not in such detail or in this way. I had always encountered these subjects in a very theoretical sense. So having to go on the Unit and discuss these issues, and blog about them, really felt like a bearing of the soul that was both freeing and painful. It made me think about teaching as a ‘Creative Practice’ itself which have you alluded to many times in this conversation in terms of the mechanics of teaching - of how you hold space and then push students to reach their full potential, but I think often that gets left behind in an environment such as this. I agree with you. Sometimes it feels as if we have forgotten what we are here for. We are ultimately here to prepare young people for the world out there as they leave University and you can do that whilst also leaving space to have fun as well. But what I thought about that process is that it engenders an ability to prioritise different demands of the role and creating a space for it to happen, and to be there with students whilst we’re doing this together helping them to become autonomous, disciplined individuals and creatives that can thrive within the environments that they wish to occupy. So for me, it is the reassurance that ‘yes, this method of teaching
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does work’ and within the challenges of mental health and all the other challenges that young people face, it becomes even more important to make time for those kinds of conversations because there are so many individuals out there that really do not have that kind of support. I feel that in terms of the universities priorities, it all boils down to what we do with them in the classroom. Two words are emerging in my mind from what you just said: compassion and rigour; A rigorous creative practice taught in compassionate ways. Absolutely, and I make no apologies for that at all because I know that it works and I think it’s got something to do with me and as individual and all my experiences throughout my life and the notion of being a black academic, unfortunately, it is the reality of having to be seen to be doing more. I know and understand that. It’s part of my DNA and it’s how I’ve gotten through this. There is always this notion where I know I have to try that little bit harder to be recognised or just to be seen to do things properly. It is a lot of pressure, however ultimately if you always just try to do the best you can you will get your just rewards. I think it is really interesting to say that I have taught for a number of years and realising that no matter how long you spend with an institution much like this, sometimes it just isn’t enough. I always make the comparison that if I was a white member of staff with the same kind of ethos that I’d probably be Dean or Head of College by now. I have of course applied for higher position jobs and been told to do a number of additional certifications for my application to be considered and so knowing that I could have done that job, I do feel that in regards to my position within this whole agenda and always saying what I feel people need to hear - even if it’s very explicit in nature - to a certain degree I feel as worked against me but that it is one of the things that I am not embittered about
because I have found my place in life and for me when I leave my place at UAL in 2020 I can be satisfied with all that I have achieved because I have done the right thing in terms of how I’ve carried myself and my students. You are extremely important to GEMS and within this institution, many talk about you with such reverence and real respect. But for the fact that you’ve been here for about 32 years now as a black academic - which cannot have been easy - and there are those within our network at early stages in their career who are really struggling and seeing you in the position you’re in and still speaking your truth is hugely important. At this final stage I want to ask you what are your future hopes for this institution? I hope, and I mean really hope that all of you will carry on this work and that whilst cracks are appearing and things are shifting for me the frustration is that these shifts just aren’t coming quick enough. But as I said earlier, I feel that there are some quick wins and there are some initiatives that are working and proven to be effective so let’s roll these out across the university. Let’s make them mainstream in regards to what we’re doing and let’s be brave, be courageous. I think that in regards to Shades of Noir just keep forging ahead. I will always be around spiritually, and the fact that I am an unofficial mentor to a lot of people just by being here and making the space to talk to people, I feel that that it is such an important thing to do. My hope is that there will soon be some really senior members of staff who are of colour and that in the next few years this actually happens. I do ultimately feel that everybody has to own this issue and at this very present moment, I just don’t feel like the whole of the university really gets it. To explain why you’re doing this, and that until it is really owned by everybody, the change will remain slow.
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“AS THE ONLY STUDENT OF COLOUR IN THE CLASS, THANDIE FOUND HERSELF HAVING TO DEAL WITH THE BACKLASH THAT CAME FROM HER PEERS WHO INSISTED THAT REVERSE RACISM EXISTS WHILE AT THE SAME TIME CLAIMING THAT THERE IS NO SUCH THING AS RACISM ANYMORE.”
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IT STARTED WITH THE TEACHER. When I first met Thandie it was upsetting. I went to look for her in her tutor room and this room was hard to find. I asked several very ‘trendy’ looking students if they knew her and they looked at me blankly. I went in the room to see in a corner sitting quietly a very studious looking young black woman sitting alone. I must admit I found it so sad that you could see and feel the disenfranchisement. It was as if she was being ostracised!
The tutor did not attempt to manage the situation and it very quickly escalated resulting in Thandie feeling disconnected from the course, the course team and her fellow peers only two-months into a two-year post-graduate programme. Thandie began to see a counsellor for several months about this incident as well as the escalation of hostility on the course which included the open display of stereotyping and aggression by staff members towards her. Thandie experienced this on an individual basis, in front of other students as well as passive aggression from staff and students, which mainly took the form of undermining and or trying to silence Thandie. She was advised to contact Shades of Noir by a member of the counselling services team.
Thandie, a 21-year-old female student, was in the first year of an arts-related course and was the only person of colour in her year group. According to this student, twomonths into the course a team member introduced the terms ‘racism and racist acts’ in a session for discourse amongst the student body. The white female tutor (and self-declared ‘feminist’) introducing the ‘Hi Aisha I am okay. I am battling with a lot of terms made some insensitive remarks, which anxiety and I am finding it difficult to come Thandie responded to in an attempt to into class but I am trying to manage it and stay correct what she considered to be problematic calm. I haven’t heard anything from anyone statements. However, what followed left about the case or any developments. Thank you Thandie feeling isolated, vulnerable and alone. for checking in on me. I hope you are well also.’ As the only student of colour in the class, Thandie found herself having to deal with the backlash that came from her peers who insisted that reverse racism exists while at the same time claiming that there is no such thing as racism anymore. Seeing the hypocrisy of the statements, Thandie was left to defend her viewpoint entirely on her own which left her feeling like she was under attack.
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Action Next steps The student contacted Shades of Noir and ‘Hi Aisha, I have got the emails between my was offered an appointment to talk over teachers as part of the freedom of information the phone with Aisha Richards. This was request and they are just horrible. The way followed by a face to face meeting with Aisha they speak about me in them is unsettling.’ and Melodie Holliday. During this meeting, it was clear that this student was in a lot After lengthy investigations by a Dean, of distress. Aisha escalated this by making Thandie’s complaint was not upheld. The contact with the students union and Deans. student continued to be in contact with Aisha, Contact was made with the course teams and which meant that she was then supported Thandie attended a meeting accompanied in the appeals process (including gaining by a student union representative as it information via a freedom of information had been revealed that she had previously request) and attending all consequent been going unaccompanied to meetings. meetings with Aisha who accompanied Shortly afterwards Thandie decided to file her. This included a meeting with a panel a formal grievance against several members who were responsible for making the appeal of her course team. When the staff received decision. This panel was the only other place notification that there was a complaint against that had a person of colour in the position them, Thandie was summoned to meet with of having the power to review Thandie’s a staff member on her own and told ‘are you evidence, as well as listen to her experiences aware of the trouble that you are creating?’ besides members of the Shades of Noir team. The entire case took until Thandie completed the postgraduate course to reach a conclusion and was successful through the appeals process. Most of Thandie’s claims were upheld on grounds of racism and a number of steps were taken by the institution, which supported this student and reprimanded some members of the staff team. Aisha and Melodie continue to be in contact with the now graduate.
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IN CONVERSATION WITH GREG MESSIAH.
LEADER FOR BA (HONS) DESIGN FOR BRANDED SPACES AT LONDON COLLEGE OF COMMUNICATION, UK.
Shades of Noir sat down with Gregory Messiah to discuss his long-standing career black male academic with over 10 years service in FE and 15 plus in HE and the triumphs of establishing GEMS (Group for the Equality of Minority Staff) as UAL largest and longest-standing staff network who have successfully lobbied for and seen the development of policies in recruitment, interview processes and committee structures.
Greg Messiah is now the first-year Leader for BA (Hons) Design for Branded Spaces at London College of Communication. His research interests include the visual language of design and issues around widening participation and social exclusion of minorities from post 16 education. In addition to his Course Leadership, Greg is a ‘founding’ member of the University’s largest and longest-standing BAME staff network GEMS, as well as a participant in the University’s Outreach forum. We would like to thank Greg for taking the time to speak with us.
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Can you please give a brief overview of your role and practice? My role has been as a lecturer. I have managed a number of courses, of late, over the past 15 years since I have been at LCC at various levels. I have led the former access course and the ABC diploma in retail and display. I then went on to become the course leader for the Foundation Course at LCC, before being handed the role as Course Leader for the BA Interior Design. I have established a reputation as being the Course Leader who takes over courses that have been run out. So I have managed three courses on run-outs, all successfully, taking them from often very low NSS scores, up to an incredibly good score of - 95% for the old BA Interior Design course, and about 85% on the FDA; on the BA spatial, I’ve got 70% or so per cent I believe. So primarily, my practice has been in academia around teaching. I have had opportunities to do research but was focused on the actual teaching in first-year and that transitional period between (FE) Further Education and HE (Higher Education) which I think is often overlooked. I believe that the college itself wants it to work, but I think other academics see it as a difficult period and they want to work with thirdyears. I quite enjoy working with first years. I quite enjoy that kind of sense of connectivity with FE, which, I cut my teeth on many years ago, and I really enjoyed that kind of buzz and excitement around experimentation and the approach to design. I initially studied Molecular Engineering but found the mathematics too much so found my calling in Product Design. I then went on to do Spatial Design in Architecture as an MA. I have worked on a number of our projects such as the post-grads to PgCerts and within that, I now have 30 years of experience in education, most of it in teaching. So I think I’m very knowledgeable about the education world at this point. My personal practice involves consultation on projects and some private teaching. I have a lot of friends in different colleges who I advise and write projects especially for FE; not so long ago, I got involved in a project
in Northampton Museum to develop a set of projects that engaged non-traditional learners with the museum practice and alongside that, I write for the European Palm Society and talk about the use of plants as a substitute for technology such as air conditioning using ‘green thinking’. A massive skillset. Can you tell us about your long history at UAL - as a black male academic with over 20 years of service as a practitioner? I started off at UAL when it was the London Institute in the early 90s as an associate lecturer where I was basically told I wouldn’t go any further. I think I was told (over a pint in the Bush Ranger pub in W12) that not because of the way I looked, but because there weren’t any kind of opportunities for (black) men [at the moment]. Was that by a superior? I was told by a manager friend and not by way of a direct line manager, and so I was offered a post as a technician, which I was told, would suit me better but it was a sideways move; I really enjoyed it. I actually enjoyed the technician’s role. It also gave me the opportunity to do my work in terms of my own design work and gave me a workshop to work in. Give the credit to UAL, they did encourage me to go and do a Masters in 2000 and that kind of changed everything because soon after we suddenly had an Ofsted inspection. The conclusion was incredible as we found out that a lot of the academic staff that had been there for years - since I studied there as a student back in the mid-’80s. Many had been teaching since the early 70s had never done the degree qualification; that exposed that kind of ‘flaw in the system’ where we had staff there that had come in through the ‘back door’ in the ‘good old days’ when it was word-of-mouth that you were awarded a teaching position and they hadn’t had to do a degree, let alone a PGCert, and yet they were in positions of academic authority.
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The inspector said, ‘it’s amazing that your technicians are the most qualified members of staff’, but we weren’t academic staff, we were only there to support. I think that kind of got me thinking, ‘surely I must be good enough?’ There were a number of barriers that kept springing up. I believe in the MA; I got a really good grade in the MA and I was told that once I get my MA, there’d be no stopping me, but every time I went for posts, I was quietly told ‘you know, you won’t get it anyway as it has been earmarked for somebody else.’ So that was quite a common or reoccurring rebuke. You know, colleagues saying ‘Oh, you know, I wouldn’t waste the time’ and I was thinking ‘well, no, this is not going to stop me’. I did the MA, then the PGCert and during the PGCert, I actually met other BAME colleagues from across UAL who had the same problem. At the same time, we were in the process of setting up the BME group, which is a forerunner to Shades of Noir (SoN) and GEMS of which I was one of the ‘founding fathers’ or ‘mothers’ of that group. So that’s where I met people like Angela Drisdale-Gordon who said, ‘this is ridiculous, why don’t you do an academic post? Folk Avril Horsford and we kind of got together and we lent on the then ViceChancellor Sir Michael Bichard and actually to give him his credit, he said ‘let’s meet and talk about things.’ And it came out. A lot of the frustrations and disappointment of working for a huge outfit like UAL because on the outside everybody thought ‘you know, those black guys are happy’ or ‘ those black colleagues are happy, they must be grateful’. That was always the first impression that we got and it was always an eye-opener, especially for Bichard as because he suddenly was told, graphically, how we see it. That emboldened me to actually say ‘actually, I’ve done what I’ve done as a technician and the next step is now to be given the opportunity to become an academic.’
I started running parts of the short course units and I went off to do my PGCert, and when I came back, I realised I could not go back into my former role. At the same time over at LCC, they advertised for a 3-D design lecturer, which I went for, and I got the job on a temporary basis, but still, Chelsea (College of Art) didn’t want to let me go as they’d rather keep me as a technician. That said, they then let me go for some reason? I think that was bloody-minded of them, some of my colleagues at Chelsea were funny to me afterwards and refused to speak with me. So, in the end, I got the move that I wanted, and when I actually applied to the job I got it as a permanent post. One or two people that I credit for a lot of support in the early days at LCC were Anthony Parsons (who retired about seven years ago) and Nikki Ryan who is now the Dean of Design at LCC; she was a fantastic support in the early days and really did support and she understood the importance of having good [BAME] staff in a college with high BAME student numbers. I think that she recognised too, the frustrations of some of the BAME staff. I recall being a student back in the 80s, you were lucky to get a few persons of colour; I think on the whole, across the first-year, the Textile, the Public Art Courses, the Product Design Course and Interior Design course there were probably about 100 students, and I think at max, there were around 10-12 students of colour in each year. There were a couple on my course (inc me). I recall that wherever we went into college, people would literally stare.
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As a founding ‘father’ or ‘mother’ (member) of GEMS - largest and longest-standing staff network - how, in your opinion, has the positionality of PoC / ‘the black male’ has changed over the last 20 years? Marginally. I think that at LCC Natalie Brett has been a very good Head of College in the respect that she supported and encouraged change and the new roles at LCC. I’ve been over to Chelsea a number of times to speak to the handful of BAME colleagues and they think that literally nothing has changed since I left in 2005. I look around and the student populations have hardly changed. I think it’s got far more Asia Pacific-centric, at the expense of, I think, both white and black home/English based students. So, no, it hasn’t changed much. I think LCC has changed a lot. There are more BAME academic staff, and the ones that are here, like myself and a few others, we have a very close bond where we actually aren’t frightened to highlight things that we think are wrong; A few years back, we have an exhibition about skinheads that caused a lot of controversies and it was highlighted by a colleague and very good friend of mine who thought it was actually insensitive to black people. So, I think they learned their lesson from that Reflecting upon that then, do you feel that the original aims and objectives of GEMS as a community have been met? I think when we started off back in the early millennium years (back in back 2001) I think the initial objectives were to be able to voice our - I won’t say grievances, cause it’s not about grievances or of having an axe to grind - but I think it was a forum that we could actually express ourselves openly without any recrimination. But I think there is still, amongst certain work colleagues, this myth about ‘can black men be trusted?’ “Can they be trusted?’ ‘Do you have to supervise them all the time?” Or can they manage themselves and manage
the work themselves and students?” I feel at times it more of “Let’s put a black man in charge of it and see if he screws up?”. I have run a number of courses. I had led the Interior Design course 2011-15 and a certain member of the senior management team questioned ‘could I do it?’ But Nicky Ryan said ‘I have absolute faith in Greg to run the Interior Design course’ and the reply was, ‘are you sure?’ And Nicky said what are you getting at? and he (from anecdotal discussions) ‘well, you put a [black] man in charge of a course like Interior Designer, which has a substantial white and Asian Pacific population... Can he do the job? Yes, I have absolute faith in him. He can do the job’ to which I said to Nicky ‘would he have done that to a white male?... probably not!! Do you think he would have said the same if you were a black female or female of colour? Yes. I think he would have. Not as much because I think again, it goes back to masculinity. Asian people don’t fear women of colour, they fear men of colour. Yes, They have this kind of suspicion, and the irony of it is that my mum is white and Jewish descent. But they never talk about that side. They focused on what they think is the negative side, the black element of my culture and knowledge. They know that their (unconscious) bias is wrong, but it consumes them quite often. In regards to diversity in education, ‘why does race matter in my learning environment’? Because society’s diverse. For engagement. I had a good chat with Stephen Reid a few years ago - he’s been a very good source of support - and he was saying that we need to kind of engage and recruit. We need to reflect at UAL to the demographic of London especially, which is 40% those from minority communities and yet UAL is still way beneath - it is at about 12%. You know, if they (students) don’t see any role models, any BAME staff that they can actually look up to - and in this respect, I don’t really mean
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‘lookup’ to as we’re not ‘daisies’ - but with whom they can associate with, I think that’s a very poor reflection on who we are as both a learning institute, but also as a society; even in our microcosm of a society in academia, we should have people that students can associate with as a normality, you know because they don’t see BAME lecturers in the studio they then think that’s normal. Just to have white middle class, 50 something middle-age grey, white men. That was an academic. And that’s quite often the image that they want to perpetuate because it sells to the Asian market, sells to the North American market. It sells to any market who thinks that the English education system is like Harry Potter? I mean, there’s still parts of education or academia that exist like that, but that is something that is almost like an anathema. It’s archaic. So where do you think that resistance comes from to not want to diversify the staff? I think sometimes it’s again, unconscious bias. It is sometimes economic as well. Does that emerge in your mind as an ‘unconscious bias’? What I think is that it is conscious sometimes. I think it’s blatant. I think they hold a stereotypical view; they have a fixed view and it’s often caused by something that may have happened at the interview. Again, I did a CSM two years ago where one of the applicants said something and you see the panel’s faces almost like [*pulls a face*], but then ironically, a white female colleague said exactly the same thing and they didn’t even raise an eyebrow.
Would you say that there have been moments where you have to perform or you have had to combat against fixed-views and stereotypes surrounding you as a black male? [*Pause*] For myself, I make it clear that… There are times where I have felt that I have to prove myself. Right? When I took over the Spacial Design course in 2017 it was struggling. It has a 40 something per cent NSS (National Student Survey) score, and I felt that I’d been given this course to look after to kind of bring it up to about the threshold which was 70%; it was the fourth course that I had been asked to look after and drag out of the trenches. And I don’t mind doing that. Yeah. I didn’t mind at all. That being put before me. Yeah. But I did feel at that time, and for the first time in ages that my performance would be scrutinized. To keep throwing, you know, Herculean challenges at me and I, and each time I prevailed. This was the most difficult one. It was a course that was forced on me because the Course Leader left to set up another course and it was a very difficult course because she was very popular, well theoretically and very popular and it was run by a very good Course Leader. But I had for some reason struggled. You’ve got a 45% NSS score and it’s almost like they put me in the challenge of a group, knowing or thinking or hoping that I will equally get roasted. Why would they do that? I think... I think… I think they did it… It was always like… [*Long Pause*]
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It goes back again to having to prove myself. It made sense that they wanted me to prove myself again... After all your years here? [*scoffs*] You’d be surprised. It wasn’t a fluke that I got good NSS in the previous courses. This was something that I did because I’m good at my job [*scoffs*] As a black man, you’re constantly proving yourself. Going back to your question. We’re constantly having to prove ourselves. You’re constantly seeing that, you know, that anyhow, that you constantly have to prove, you know. You’ll be too young in all due respect but our parents would say ‘Oh, you know, when you get old you know, son, you gotta, you know, it’s hard out there and not, you have to prove yourself not only as a man but as a professional black man.’ Also as a professional man. Also as a black man. Because they’re waiting for you to trip up and they can say ‘well look we put them in charge and he screws up.’ Yeah, not ‘we put a man in charge and screws up.’ Not ‘we put that person in charge, but we put a black man in charge’ and it’s almost like you feel it all the time. And I was talking about this with colleagues at LCC the other day. We feel it a lot. Not just one or two of us, but as a collective; we feel that that sense of is always something that we have to do… ...collective as in ‘about men’? No. Women also. BAME staff. Female staff. [*overlap in voices*]
Ok. And we sat at tables at lunch about seven of us and we felt that as a kind of consensus that amongst a lot of us that they keep handing us things that are difficult. You know, you, we know that we are in the situation where, well, should we question if a white colleague would be handed this, in this way, at this time? [*Long Pause*] So I do believe that we have to prove ourselves… They say, ‘twice as hard…’ ...or it’s just, you’ve got to work harder. I can’t put my finger on it. You just have to work harder. And you’re conscious of yourself. Sometimes it makes you very, very conscious. I wonder ‘ am I actually what you want?’ ‘Am I doing the job properly?’ Am I actually successful? I’m actually good at my job. And you do question yourself sometimes. Racism isn’t just about moving from white... ...to black… Yes. It’s very complex and it is rooted very much in colonial mentality; whereas quite often the South Asians saw themselves as the white man’s equal, black men were beneath them. Yeah. I mean that makes it even more tricky then. When you’re, I mean, you’re navigating an environment where stereotypically we do say it’s almost white people versus people of colour, and so to throw in the mix that they’re inter-personal feuds happening also… When we first started GEMS back in the millennium years and would invite South Asian colleagues, or those of Indian Pakistani ancestry, they didn’t want to get involved. Because they did not… ...want to associate themselves with black people…
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Because they themselves do not identify themselves as ‘black’... ...or people of colour. They see themselves as Asians who are the Europeans equivalent… But they saw themselves in physical terms and in racial terms as European. And it goes with the colonial mentality where the hierarchy, even amongst the South Asian community at Chelsea… We had quite a few South Asians amongst the community and there was a kind of hierarchical ‘pecking order’ and we all saw in the Asian community, whilst they then saw black people as beneath them. I think quite often the system overlooks and ignores the kind of complexity between different minority groups, for example in the Asian, and even amongst the black community. There’s still that hierarchy about West Africa versus Eastern Caribbean. And I think, to me, you can’t turn the clock back and you can’t write a wrong by making another row.
Then yes and no. But again, I grew up in a society, in the era, where it was very much that Anglo-Saxon Educational System, not even British but very English and I felt that, I felt at the time, it’d be nice to know about the truth. I think what you need to do is to find a way in which you can merge the two schools of thought so you can retain the best of what the system has, and at the same time, you can introduce new material about how we integrate and how much integration there has been in society, in history, for example. You keep the good. There are lots of elements of the curriculum that are fantastic. You don’t just change it because of political correctness. Again, back to what I was saying before, you don’t right or wrong by introducing numbers wrong, and I think for the sake of the curriculum you don’t just chuck out everything. You integrate new ideas of philosophies and all science, the good stuff that exists already as you want them to experience in teaching them, together.
The final question I have is about what are your thoughts on the ‘Decolonising the Curriculum’ movement? I think you can’t force it. I think you’ve got to let the decolonisation happen over a long period of time. Do you think decolonising is the correct term? Well, no! Because I mean it’s a term of use - if you mean less anglicised then ‘Okay’.
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AUTHENTICITY + EMANCIPATION.
DARREN FARRELL, BA INTERIOR AND SPATIAL DESIGN LECTURER, CAMBERWELL COLLEGE OF ARTS, UK.
Black Male Masculinity in Architecture and Interiors Education Author Biography Darren Farrell is a designer, academic and researcher and trained in MA architecture, BA interiors, BA graphics and PG pedagogy at the Royal College of Art, Ravensbourne, Central Saint Martins and London College of Fashion respectively and has taught in a number of design schools including the Bartlett MA Architecture, Ravensbourne BA Architecture + IDEAs and the London College of Communication BA Interior Design. Having worked for a number of architecture and interior practices including Volume 3 Architects, Desitecture, Paul Daly Design Studio and Building Doctors; he is currently developing research interests that focus on the investigation of sound-based, synaesthetic qualities of the built environment. There is currently a lack of access and retention for Black males in architecture and interiors education. Why is that the case? In the interest of lifelong learning, and inclusion we can speak of the role of masculinity in this. Call it one of the two consensuses on the planet. The process of change to a more representative, supportive model needs to be accelerated so that Black male representation at all levels is proportionately equal to representation in the mainstream population; and the needs of the Black male students who have yet to be caught let alone slip through the net are positively met.
Firstly, can we agree that masculinity is indeed a cultural construct in part? In consideration of the fact that we might agree that gender identity is in part a choice, we might also agree that we choose a mask, but from where? Which ones are available? Which ones are permissible or acceptable and to whom? Rather than a hormonal, Fanonian mask (Fanon, 1986), we instead opt for a culturally constructed skin through which we gaze. The rules are set and projected by the cultural skin of which the mask is composed. How is the skin constructed? Is it or are they, the skin and the mask, at once performance and purgatory? McGuire et al quotes Connell and O’Neil et al to describe the construction of Black male masculinity in the following terms, ‘Many scholars have argued that [Black] men are socialized into and rewarded for expressing hegemonic masculinities (Harper, Harris, and Mmeje 2005). Plainly stated, hegemonic masculinity relies on misogyny and homophobia, in part, as a means to enforce rigid and limited gender norms and expressions (Connell 2005; O’Neil et al. 1986). These versions of masculinities rely on and reinforce the oppression of women, marginalization of some men, and limitations for all people.’ - McGuire et al, 2014 What of sanctuary for the Black male in the architecture and interiors educational and industrial landscape? Where is it to be found? We can question its existence in physical space. Although the virtual realm helps us to understand myriad possibilities which is one of the many reasons for its use.
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It is teased and stretched, mapping to our physical coordinates until the face, the skin and the mask all fit, lest they slip. In this process, we can question how an elitist profession such as architecture and interiors, founded on and in part driven by privilege, admits in seriousness, a working-class, Black male. In turn, what of the popular, commercially driven, Black, hyper-male mask? Relationships between the learner and the venue, the deliverer and the peers of education and industry are played out through a range of projected masculinities by the individual. McGuire et al argue,
curricular development bodies within UAL such as the Academic Enhancement Model (AEM) and the Decolonising the Arts Curriculum group. In reference to the curricular engagement of two investigated United States case studies Price argues, ‘Yet, to acquire the diploma, Marcus had to endure a curriculum that he felt did not represent his needs or interests as an African American man, and Jeff moved to a predominantly White, middle-class school in which he was to be a stranger, socially and culturally. The diploma, then, represented a number of complementary and sometimes contradictory meanings to these young men. These meanings became enmeshed in a process of contradiction, affirmation, and resistance as they experienced the institution of school and the world beyond as workingclass, African American, young men.’
‘McClure believed participants’ hegemonicAfrocentric masculinities resulted from their need to distance themselves from negative portrayals of Black men in media and society— often characterized as deficient, pathological, and dysfunctional (Hunter and Davis 1994; Gibbs 1988; Oliver 1984). Participants believed most Black men were seen as such and those - Price, 1999 who departed from this popular narrative were viewed as aberrations. Frustrated by such racist Whiteness theory predicates that one stereotypes, many participants intentionally must be unaware, wilfully or otherwise, of aligned themselves with people, organizations, structural racism against people of African and educational experiences contradictory descent, Black people and Blackness. to prevailing narratives about Black men.’ Kehinde Andrews posits (Andrews, 2016) that Whiteness is projected from a position of psychosis. It could be argued that the - McGuire et al, 2014 Black male architecture and interiors student How can such a threat and an affront cannot reasonably, psychologically afford to as myriad Black male masculinities be engage in the process; which in turn presents deconstructed for consumption beyond the problems for recruitment and retention drives. proprietors’ palate, without bleeding into Perception dictates that the individual must and deluging the inner ear, eyes and nose have saccharine-strength and wilful silence like some sort of cultural sinusitis? What in relation to the spectrum of daily, hard and does this mean for the Black male diaspora soft, racist projections and microaggressions. in UK architecture and interiors education An expected default role of Black prowess and industry? It has been widely discussed and aggression must be withheld so that that Black males find it harder to access the Black male student can engage with and retain their places in architecture and and use their ‘sensitive’ sides to make work interiors education and industry because, while being educated and programmed by without the appropriate social, cultural and institution and culture. This situation alone economic capital their roles are undefined, constitutes the psychosis Andrews speaks unsanctioned and unsupported. Consequently, of. Quoting Majors and Bilson, McGuire’s Black male occupancy of the same roles account of the ‘coolness’ of the Black as their White counterparts becomes male student serves to communicate how problematic, as identified by research and masculinity constructs serve to constrict and 170 // INCLUSIVE PRACTICE: ALCHEMY - TRANSFORMATION IN SOCIAL JUSTICE TEACHING.
dullen Black male attainment resulting in a marred experience of education and industry. ‘.…Majors and Billson suggest that being ‘‘cool’’ also entails appearing restrained in high-pressure situations and responding in an emotionless, stoic, and unflinching fashion. Regardless of whether it is expressive or restrained, the primary goal is to remain calm, detached, and seemingly in control amid social chaos, discrimination, and trauma.’
Price’s position serves to communicate possible agents of gender construction for Black male students. He continues by examining relationships between acting White and peer acceptance,
‘At the same time, he recognized that his actions clearly evoked conflict. “Don’t hate me,” he said, as though he knew that his actions clearly represented a political act, one that might not be approved of by his peers. For Jeff, who spent 2 years as a sophomore and struggled to get - McGuire et al, 2014 good grades, acting White was not just about getting ahead through getting good grades If the student is primarily concentrated on and acquiring the diploma. Acting White, in presenting an affectless position and physical it-self, was synonymous with being a “proper front in what could be viewed as a volatile person.” His commitment to believing in the and hostile environment, at what point does importance of acting White to get ahead seemed the Black male student allow the mask to slip to intensify after his entanglement with the and engage and learn? Price communicates criminal justice system and as he moved to these points further, dictating further facets private school. But Jeff was not always like this. of the construction of Black male masculinity “I was brought up where I used to be around in the US education system; a model that a whole lot of Black people and stuff, but bears relevance to the UK system due to [now] I relate more …to more proper people.’ the shared histories and sociologies of transAtlantic, enslaved, African, diasporic people. - Price, 1999
‘...Jeff chose to change his sense of cultural self and be a certain kind of student to connect with teachers whereas Marcus chose to use his sense of cultural self to challenge teachers. Jeff was partially able to accomplish this through his experiences at a private, predominantly White, middle-class school. Through their relationships with teachers in different institutional contexts, the young men were learning about power in relation to knowledge and power in relation to the social identities of their teachers, and they were also enacting certain kinds of racialized masculinity through these relationships. Their versions of the racialized masculinity, which they enacted with their teachers, may not define their identities as working-class, African American men, but the versions certainly represent a dimension of their social identity in the making.’
Architecture and interiors education, a system that recruits more women than men, at large offers in part the Black male student an elixir, a permanent break from the presumed, surreal black hyper-male hegemony. A reskinning and detribalisation through an emotional pedagogy and community of practice. Which re-skin should one choose? In this sense, we could view the participation of Black men as a sort of intellectual tourism, a schism and an anomaly (Alexander, 2006). The non-committal stance of a visaholding tourist stands as an advantage and a disadvantage. How might Black, male students be rendered visa-exempt? McGuire et al detail how stereotypical Black masks of masculinity are used to deal with how individuals are perceived as people let alone fellow practitioners in the following ways,
- Price, 1999
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‘To make sense of contradictory ideals conveyed by Black undergraduate men in their study, Harris, Palmer, and Struve (2011) employed the ‘‘cool pose’’ concept. Majors and Billson (1992) described cool pose, a particular masculine strategy embraced by many young Black men to cope with racism, oppression, and marginality, as ‘‘a ritualized form of masculinity that entails behaviours, scripts, physical posturing, impression management, and carefully crafted performances that deliver a single, critical message: pride, strength, and control’’ (p. 4). Accordingly, cool pose embodies expressive styles of dress, speech, and other behaviours that are stereotypically associated with Black male pimps, athletes, and rappers.’ - McGuire et al, 2014 McGuire continues identifying a possible way forward, based on the matriarchal mode of the culture of descendants of enslaved African people; detailing how Black male students might embrace their feminine side in the following way, ‘Spillers claims, in contrast to conventional Eurocentric categorizations of gender ordering, that ‘‘it is the heritage of the mother that the African American male must regain as an aspect of his own personhood—the power of ‘‘yes’’ to the ‘‘ female’’ within’’ (p. 80). This provocative invitation transgresses the distinct borders of heteropatriarchal manhood; meaning, manhood dominated by heteronormative notions of what it means to be a man in such a way that is explicitly oppositional to and distinct from what it means to be a woman.’ - McGuire et al, 2014
In conclusion UAL initiatives such as AEM are achieving good gains in their construction of processes to enable change. Perhaps the way forward to avoid detribalisation is to build within, in a similar vein to SoN’s Teaching Within programme which has been rolled out across UAL, thereby systematically strengthening existing networks and pedagogically framed ventures and experiences. UAL ventures such as AEM, SoN and GEMs as well as the work of organisations such as the Stephen Lawrence Charitable Trust should be supported if we are to thoroughly unpack and redress the balance of access and retention for Black males in architecture and interiors education as well as the wider industry. We can also learn from institutions such as Ravensbourne which traditionally has a high BAME and WP home intake due to thorough and intensive recruitment programmes. Most importantly Black males must be allowed to express their gender identities in ways which are individually authentic if longevity and retention are to be maintained. The research by the mentioned practitioners and organisations evidence that curricular, teaching and assessment reform will be a pivotal way forward to safeguard Black, male, architecture and interiors educational and related industrial journeys. Curricular change to ensure that the lens through which curricular elements are selected and delivered reflects the full breadth of human architectural expertise. Teaching and delivery changes that are mindful of the complete spectrum of biased engagements in relation to the socially, culturally and economically muted experiences of students. Finally, assessment changes to ensure that teaching practitioners are actively and acutely aware of the range of subconsciously driven biases that affect students on a range of levels. There are many facets to this iceberg of a discussion. There is thankfully also great potential for change at all levels. The bottom line is that it starts with each individual.
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Copy of Black and White portrait of a man (Theaster Gates) staring directly into the camera.
Bibliography Alexander B K. (2006) Performing Black Masculinity: Race, Culture and Queer Identity. California: AltaMira Press Andrews K. (2016) The Psychosis of Whiteness: the celluloid hallucinations of Amazing Graze and Belle. Journal of Black Studies Burke P, McManus J. (2011) Art for a few: Exclusions and misrecognitions in higher education admissions practices. Page 60-71 (Inclusive Practices, Inclusive Pedagogies Learning from Widening Participation Research in Art and Design Higher Education Edited by Dipti Bhagat and Peter O’Neill) Fanon F. (1986) Black Skin, White Masks. London: Pluto Press Finnigan T, Richards A. (2015) Embedding equality and diversity in the curriculum: an art and design practitioner’s guide. London: HEA
Freire P. (2000) Pedagogy of the Oppressed. New York: Continuum Mallgrave H F. (2011) The Architect’s Brain: Neuroscience, Creativity and Architecture. London: Wiley-Blackwell McGuire, Berhanu, Davis III, and Harper. (2014) In Search of Progressive Black Masculinities: Critical Self-Reflections on Gender Identity Development among Black Undergraduate Men. Men and Masculinities 2014, Vol. 17(3) 253-277. DOI: 10.1177/1097184X13514055 jmm.sagepub.com Price G N. (1999) Schooling and Racialized Masculinities: The Diploma, Teachers, and Peers in the Lives of Young, African American Men. Youth Society 1999 31: 224 DOI: 10.1177/0044118X99031002005 Segal L. (2007) Competing Masculinities (III): Black Masculinity and the White Man’s Black Man. In: Slow Motion. London: Palgrave Macmillan
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IN CONVERSATION WITH THEASTER GATES.
ELENA ARZANI, CENTRAL SAINT MARTINS, UK.
Copy of Black and White portrait of a man (Theaster Gates) staring directly into the camera. Image 58
Theaster Gates is an American social practice installation artist and a professor in the Department of Visual Arts at the University of Chicago. Gates’ practice includes sculpture, installation, performance and urban interventions that aim to bridge the gap between art and life. Gates works as an artist, curator, urbanist and facilitator and his projects attempt to instigate the creation of cultural communities by acting as catalysts for social engagement that leads to political and spatial change.
Elena Arzani’s interview with American interdisciplinary artist, Theaster Gates. Interviewed by Elena Arzani. Published by Shades of Noir. Edited by: Jorge Aguilar Rojo.
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YUWEN HSIEH LONDON COLLEGE OF FASHION, UK.
留學的日子，在許多人的人生中都是珍貴 的時光，對我來說也不是例外。在異地 好不容易習慣了當地的生活，在返家後 常常會出現不適應的「後遺症」現象。 過去無論是從東京還是紐約回到台灣， 都有短暫的後遺症現象。例如從東京回 到台灣，突然間不習慣台灣人較自在隨性 的文化，到餐廳用餐一開始常覺得服務 生不禮貌。在紐約適應了西方較直接、為 自己爭取利益的文化，回到台灣職場時 常表達意見而被認為是不尊重上司。 最令人難受的是，時常會想起留學時的 時光。以生活品質來說，居住在台灣其實 是相當舒適的，整體而言物價較低，生活 步調也相對輕鬆。然而身為攝影師、藝術
創作者，對我來說創意產業的環境以及 人們對於多元化、民族議題的敏感度是 相對重要的。每個城市各有好壞，但是現 在身處在倫敦，面臨簽證即將到期的處 境，卻有種身不由己的感覺。儘管想辦法 找出延長簽證的辦法，英國工作相關的移 民簽證政策讓留學生找工作難上加難。 每次出國留學都是心境上的轉變，不同 文化的洗禮、衝擊，和與人們之間建立的 友誼關係，都開闊了我的視野。對於留 學後遺症的應對，有些人或許帶著對異 國的思念，漸漸融入國內的工作、生活 環境。而我想我仍會抱著對國外生活的 執念，想辦法再次向異國城市出發。我 懷念的不只是倫敦、紐約、東京絢麗刺 激的藝術環境，更是獨自奮鬥的自己。
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POST OVERSEASSTUDY SYNDROME. YUWEN HSIEH, LONDON COLLEGE OF FASHION, UK.
NB This piece of content is in Chinese, as such, it is open to interpretation and in some cases misinterpretation if using a translation application or tool. Additionally, there may be terms and or phrases that are unable to be translated. The days of studying abroad are precious times in the lives of many people, and it is no exception to me. It’s hard to get used to the local life in a different place. After returning home, there is often a “sequel” phenomenon that is not suitable. In the past, whether it was from Tokyo or New York, there was a short-term sequelae. For example, when I returned to Taiwan from Tokyo, I was suddenly accustomed to the culture of Taiwanese people who were more casual. When I went to the restaurant, I often felt that the waiter was impolite. In New York, he adapted to the culture of the West directly and for his own interests. When he returned to the Taiwanese workplace, he often expressed his opinions and was considered to disrespect his superiors. The most uncomfortable thing is that I often think of the time when I was studying abroad. In terms of quality of life, living in Taiwan is actually quite comfortable. Overall, the price is lower and the pace of life is relatively relaxed. However, as a photographer
and art creator, the environment of the creative industry and the sensitivity of people to diversity and ethnic issues are relatively important to me. Every city has its own good or bad, but now in London, facing the situation that the visa is about to expire, there is a sense of involuntary feeling. Despite trying to find a way to extend the visa, the UK-related immigration visa policy makes it harder for foreign students to find a job. Every time studying abroad is a change of mind, the baptism and impact of different cultures, and the friendship established with people have broadened my horizons. For the response to the sequelae of studying abroad, some people may gradually integrate into the domestic work and living environment with their thoughts about foreign countries. And I think I will still hold my obsession with foreign life and find a way to start again in a foreign city. I miss not only the artistic environment that is stimulating in London, New York, and Tokyo, but also the one who struggles alone.
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ON VERNACULAR AND BELONGING.
MIKAEL CALANDRA ACHODE, CENTRAL ST MARTINS, UK.
The Centrality of Language and Cultural Economy in the Classroom.
financial discourses without any meaningful conversations around existential standpoints.Â
Belonging is not an easy process, it dema nds reciprocity, security, empathy and orchestrated exhibit of all the aforementioned in order to reinforce their meaning and value. In a very hyper-dynamic geo-political and historical territory, as the one we are currently living in, where common ground is regularly encouraged without a convincing delineation of the structural agents stimulating such discourse, belonging becomes singularly thorny since reciprocity, security, empathy and display seem to be exclusively rooted in the
This argument becomes even more flagrant once we realise that access to the territory of mutuality in dominantly white institutions, seems to be increasingly encouraged in conversations where cultural capital and ideological identities can be traded with ambitions of social mobility. Which, I think, makes absolute sense because characteristic sentiments of belonging can find their meaning only within specific economies which in turn are situated within larger ideological, aesthetic and fundamental discourses
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that can be embraced either through acceptance, submission or compromise. As non-white members of the creative community however, forced to live across multiple and juxtaposed cultural timelines and economic territories, we are constantly required to find continuity between these multiple dimensions at play beyond our assumed adherence to white economies, whether inclusive or oppressive. In this intricate setting, Teaching Within and Shades of Noir, have been and are, a beautiful shelter along my way to selfidentification in the complex economy of design in which I graduated in 2012 in Design for Graphic Communication. Both structures have been an invaluable source of uplift for me being part of the contemporary African and black creative landscape, and ultimately the engine behind a call for integrity and maturity with inescapable, radical and arduous repercussions in my personal life. More than that, while nurturing sentiments of self-worth and self-actualization, Teaching Within and Shade of Noir have also motivated me to constantly rethink and redefine my sense of belonging as POC operating in white economies, creatively and ideologically. This revaluation encouraged me to reflect, during the 13 months spent in the PGCert in Academic Practice for Art and Design, about what must be the fundamental changes necessary to truly nurture an environment with sustainable and authentic conversation around tropes of inclusivity, equality and justice. Finding your voice and your identity in an environment you perceive as alien can never be an easy task for anyone. A component that has predominantly characterised the first stages of my return to higher education, has been the sense of inadequacy every time I’ve entered the classroom. While the elective course unit I’ve chosen, was undoubtedly positive either in terms of engagement and learning, given my interest and familiarity
with good part of the subjects covered, other units proved to be more challenging. At first, during the first months I concluded that the sense of inadequacy was simply a symptom of the impostor syndrome that get hold of most students when facing new learning challenges. And it remained my evaluation for quite a while. Till driven by my skepticism, I decided once for all to deconstruct the dynamics at constant play within the classroom and understand how they ultimately made me feel. And that’s where I started noticing how verbal language and jargon were actually used in the classroom not only necessarily to facilitate the communication of sophisticated concepts but also with parallel purposes of their own. Without indulging in Marxist theories in which I have no proficiency at all, I learned, session after session, that language in the classroom was also employed as a weapon of class war, as a tool for social seduction and very often, paternalistically as a blatant intellectual scarecrow against those like me, who were unfamiliar with the academic environment. It was a foundational moment because it prompted me to translate actively and constantly, in my own terms and vernacular, what other fellow-students or tutors were actually trying to say and what their statements implied culturally and ideologically. Basically, I was constantly engaged in a process of identifying which economic and ideological domain made their statements valid. The feeling of inadequacy quickly disappeared and I became intrigued by the mechanisms of social and political encoding that drove most lecturers theoretical eloquence. After the first months of the course, I wanted to devise a tool that could help me monitor quantitatively the impact of my inclusive interventions. At a later stage, while developing my Self Initiated Project still focused on demonstration of the efficacy of Inclusive Teaching, I’ve started realising that Inclusivity wasn’t embedded exclusively in the ideas and notions that are conveyed and discussed in
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the classroom, inclusivity also starts with the language we use in the classroom and the cultural and political economy it belongs.
emphasize specific elements within an existing song through devices such as equalisation, effects and talking.
The ideological and theoretical domain, our concepts and language emerge from, allude to broader semantic connotations and conversations. The same use of a quantitative tool to monitor the efficacy of Inclusive Teaching anticipates a deeper ideological and cultural ecosystem. Stage after stage these reflections, stimulated by my tutors and my Problem Based Learning group, led me to embark in an attempt to answer my research question, only after translating my understanding of the question in my own vernacular and in my own terms, culturally and ideologically.
Therefore I coined a term. Lesson Dubs.
Coming from a music background I started reflecting on the concept of rhythm and how it is applied in pedagogy. I started looking particularly into lesson flow where rhythm is regularly applied in the classroom. Lesson flows or plans are the convention used to arrange elements in a teaching lesson. They are signs for a linear journey towards specific learning outcomes. In this sense the lesson plan is a map which connects factor A (students) to factor B (learning outcomes). However this approach to lesson plans lead us to think about lesson plans commonly as linear flowcharts. Certainly lesson plans can also unfold across irregular flows such as mind maps and so forth. This lead me to think that lessons plans are also rhythms. Therefore if linear lesson plans are concerned mainly with the direction of the lesson, rhythms might be focused on the interaction of specific elements within the lesson. I have then designed a workshop session where specific elements of inclusivity determined a change in the rhythm of the lesson (chart attached). At a later stage of my research I realised that using rhythms to isolate and emphasise some elements within a song is a technique very similar to dub music. Dub, which is also the origin of the remix, is a technique pioneered by Jamaican producer Osbourne “King Tubby” Ruddock in order to
A lesson dub is a technique through which I would not work only in a linear sequence (vertical or horizontal) to achieve a learning outcome, but also in session or in depth to accentuate specific elements. Now, a lesson is arguably a dub by nature because students always feed the intended plan with specific elements. However a dub cannot be a dub without the intention and the control of a producer. Therefore a lesson dub can be only in place when a facilitator is at the controls and is able to turn off and on the knobs according to the session inclusive needs. My conclusional reach was fully intentional, I wanted to demonstrate my tutors and my peers, that I have firstly understood my question in my own terms and in the language I consider my own; I then wanted to demonstrate that I understood the semantic and cultural economy that lead the acceptance of lessons plan as linear flows. It’s a language rooted in traditional and analytical European tradition of thought. I wanted finally o demonstrate as POC student that not only I was engaging with the tropes of inclusivity, I was also unpacking and reconstructing accepted conventions in a language I had a connection with. Paradoxically the intention to use the theoretical basis of a music technique to evoke a broader cultural economy came from Jacques Attali, a white social theorist and economist who informed and ignited many neo-colonialist policies of the FranceAfrique. My intention was sparked by his essay seminal essay “Noise: The Political Economy of Music” where he asserts that “music is a superstructure to anticipate historical developments, to foreshadow new social formations in a prophetic and annunciatory way”. Not only did I find his consideration very true, think about how Jazz for example influenced the development of Dadaism and
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Cubism and how they have consequently informed the development of Modernist and Postmodernist school of thought in the West. But I also find it very natural, because music in its purest form is the most striking attempt of human beings to manage and arrange abstractly resources close to them to make sense of the reality they are surrounded by. However I don’t find it hypocritical to borrow a concept from a white neo-colonialist. Culture is an outward gesture and by default becomes always conversation while Identity being an inward pursuit is a very personal journey. Individually and collectively. The problem arises of course when we try to trace boundaries between individual and collective, and that what conversation are useful for. Borrowing alien concept can never be bad as long they have a continuity and functionality with our foundational basis. As token lecturers, in the plain acceptation of the term and without any negative nuance, we are often expected to demonstrate familiarity and dexterity with Eurocentric ideologies which send us to multiple dimensions and timelines I mentioned in the beginning of this text. Such familiarity doesn’t necessarily imply our acceptance of the cultural and political economies that sustains such ideologies, I just demonstrate our ability to master such concepts convincingly. Demonstrating POC students that we can engage with Eurocentric cultural vernacular and ideological economy can’t be accepted as a measure of reciprocity. We don’t exist to help pupils to become fully functioning multicultural citizen in the Eurocentric understanding of the term. We cannot be managed by white appreciation or white guilt, as commonly demonstrated by white delight or surprise when we exhibit our dexterity with Eurocentric speculative tradition. We must be managed by our articulated understanding of our own identities and the cultural and ideological
economy they stem out from. And institutions must proactively accommodate contexts and structures where such understanding can be explored. It is not our duty to do so. And simply because our fellow white lecturers are not expected to do so. The introduction of diverse languages and vernaculars therefore is aligned with the influx of diverse resources as tangible actions to decolonise the curriculum and offer a fairer, just and inclusive society. I believe my reasoning is coherently in line with Duna Sabri’s report on “Students’ Experience of Identity and Attainment at UAL” since a proactive and mindful integration of language with an intentional use can help students “benefit from a significant level of reciprocal recognition from their tutors triggered by a common connection”. In this case, vernacular. As token lecturers in a dominantly white institution, language and vernacular become a powerful measure of our identities but also an inevitable political signifier because they carry the strata of the journeys our communities have embarked through all these centuries of oppression and subordination. Which leaves me unavoidably with fundamental ethical questions too. Given our particular journey as POC academics, where our vocation is informed and sometimes determined by our political frustrations, can we separate our vocational voice from the political one? As educators we are ethically obliged to abstain from political considerations and provide exclusively Teaching & Learning and not politics in order to help pupils develop their independent ideological perspectives. However is this idealistic position sustainable and coherent with the struggle of justice and equality? Pupils develop in a pedagogic reality which is inherently political. National curriculums are firmly political and laced with fundamental aspects of national cohesion and hegemony. Consequentially as supposed role models for POC and white students alike, I believe we have an ethical obligation to adopt
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A collage of a person wearing a jacket, face, four children on thier head, set in a room with shelves of books.
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vernaculars and cultural economies that can inform pupils professional progress and their outlook on society. Especially in a climate where terms such as globalism or inclusivity are adopted by corporations that placidly perpetrate the continuation and dominance of white financial and cultural economies. Recent events in the Fashion and Lifestyle industry have forced me to reevaluate my position as non-political lecturer, because these are exactly the industries where pupils will find opportunities to affirm themselves professionally. When Gucci and Prada faced a backlash for their strategic use of Jim Crow imagery and responded with a swift scheme I sensed an interesting way to provide a problem and offer a solution while sustaining business as usual. Not only the timing and dynamic of their apologies was ridiculous. They reaction of POC creatives around the world was even more puzzling and absurd. I’m under the impression that Global (white) lifestyle powerhouses, helped by middle class POC creatives, are nurturing ideas of inclusivity to retain middle class POC customers while offering POC creatives and potential stakeholders, paths to social mobility and self affirmation. This rhetoric is extremely fallacious because it just contribute exclusively to the survival of these corporations of the ideological and cultural economy they stem out from. White bourgeois culture. Why as POC communities we always think that we must offer our resources (of any kind) to alien communities instead of restructuring and strengthen ours? Why are we so inclined to codependent relationships? Instead a stupid call for cultural segregation my argument is a refutation of traditional civil rights ideologies where a continuity between black and white communities must be always at play. Mutuality, respect and inclusion do not equate with co-dependence. I’ve recently read
Benedict Andersons’ ‘Imagined Communities’ which made me wonder whether we are fundamentally spiralling towards issues that have already surfaced in the 20th century in colonial communities for instance, where creoles and POC administrators who used to travel to metropoles, thought that they were in the same socio-historical position of their European counterparts simply because they were bound by the same cultural ideologies and aspirations. History proved them wrong. They never sat significantly to any executive table with any true degree of agency without explicitly or implicitly accepting the fundamental rhetoric sustaining ultimately the survival of oppressive structures. And that’s because they refused to acknowledge the true biological and instinctual nature of power. Brands and Corporations are the new power structures and de facto the new nation/states, and is that what us as POC intellectuals and creatives can offer to the world and ourselves? After being the very first victims of white capitalism? And I’m not against capitalism at all, I am arguing that, yes we have POC and white intellectuals and creatives interested in the process of social change and social justice, however that social change can be actualised only by white allies letting POC go and define their narrative in the global landscape, in response first to the dynamics of global (white) capitalism! Us PoC’s need to be liberated and mainly from the perceived image we have of ourselves, which has been shaped in our psyche through all these years of cultural and economic subjugation and subordination. If we are looking for real, sustainable change we need a paradigm shift where we redefine through tangible actions what identity, agency, power and economy mean to us.
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IN CONVERSATION WITH STEPHEN REID.
DEPUTY VICE- CHANCELLOR, CHIEF OPERATING OFFICER & RACE CHAMPION OF UAL, UK.
Shades of Noir sat down with Deputy Vice-Chancellor and Race Champion Stephen Reid to understand more about his multiple roles within the institution, exploring his long-standing social justice activities and his views on the lack of leaders of colour. We would like to thank Stephen for taking the time to speak with us.
What kind of social justice and anti-racist activity or projects have you been involved in and lead throughout your career? Currently I am leading the Race Equality Charter Mark. I lead and have been leading for some years the Race Champions Forum. I have also for some years - ever since champions on the executive board were identified - wished to become and be nominated as being the Race Champion. I have undertaken work through the Education & Development team in HR, improvements in the policies and the activities of that team and of HR. I have contributed to Staff Development thinking Education &
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Development matters, and have contributed ideas and taken steps in areas surrounding our Recruitment Practices. What are we doing about addressing those implications meetings, during tasks, and during undertaking, so I am forever asking myself what could be done to help any Education & Development issue, but also asking others to reflect on Education & Development implications? I hope to have helped rebalance some of the ways in which we behave at UAL. What activities have you carried out as Pro-Vice-Chancellor? For example, when it came to the Race Champions Forum - which I have been leading for some years - I would engage with and invite individuals from across the University to come to meetings. Termly we would discuss some of the processes that UAL practice, whether it be a recruitment process or the selection of individuals for example. We would discuss whether that route for
selection was appropriate; whether it could be improved; whether or not the training that we were undertaking was relevant. For example, we introduced breaking bias training which must be about three years now since we introduced it. Perhaps part of my effectiveness was to suggest that this should be a mandatory training program for all staff, and it now is a mandatory program and it wasn’t just the content of it, which I actively contributed to, but it is also even with the naming of it because at one stage it was going to be called unconscious bias training. What do you think about that? I don’t like that term at all. I think that excuses behaviour to call it ‘unconscious’ which, in reality, I think much of it is conscious and knowingly undertaken and so instead we discussed ‘breaking bias’ and that could be so-called ‘unconscious bias’, but very definitely it’s ‘conscious bias’.
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With your Role as ‘Race Champion’ can you talk a bit about that in terms of how that came about? We have an Executive Board and a number of ‘Champions’ as they are called who volunteer essentially to undertake particular roles in the institution. One of the roles, besides your day-to-day job, for example beside me being at Deputy Vice-Chancellor was talked about maybe four or five years or something like that was whether or not we could have a role that will look at, for example, LGBTQ+ or disability or race. I volunteered to undertake the Race Champions work in the absence of somebody else who might indeed be more suited - my reference there and what I mean by that is that we have one person on the executive board who is BAME. The director of HR Naina Patel. Given that we were each able to volunteer for something, I volunteered to undertake that in order to say, well, hold on, these injustices that occur I personally believe that these are injustices. So I could be supported by Naina and other staff like Aisha (Richards) who is very supportive. But it doesn’t necessarily mean that they need to be Champion - the Champion. I would willingly withdraw if people thought there was a better person to be a Champion. I’d willingly sacrifice the role, but at the same time, I willingly undertake it very willingly. I believe I have a 100% commitment to it. I want to focus on the different kinds of activities that you have done. To support at events. For example, there was a presentation I was invited to do to an audience of about 500 people. I remember it particularly well because there were about four Deputy Vice-Chancellors or the equivalent on a panel and we were asked to explore what we were doing in terms of the Education and Development activities inside our institution. I remember that the other presenters talked in terms of ‘well, they’d started, let’s say an improved recruitment process for the employment of staff’. I started from a different premise. I
started with the observations which went something like: ‘I was a very privileged white person’. ‘I have been brought up in a nice part of the country.’ ‘I’d been to a Grammar School.’ ‘I had been to three of the best universities in the world which I have a privileged education.’ ‘I’d worked for some of the finest organisations in the world’, including certainly in Britain, including the BBC and Imperial college. So, my world is completely ignorant of the reality of that world. And therefore, in order to overcome that we needed to have people who felt like to operate in that context; what it felt like to be the recipient of this degree of unfairness. So I was trying to articulate a rather different perspective of what I would like to do... If you could highlight potentially where the university ‘was’ and where it is ‘moving to’ and the differences that you have seen within that? Well I suppose you have to recognise that would be the appointments of people of colour to any senior positions inside the university. The development of the Academic Development Fund (ADF); the ADF and the appointments made against the ADF. Those would be illustrations where I think we’re moving in the right direction. I think another bit, incidentally, which is called ‘white fragility’ or ‘white backlash’. That is if you talk to some of the people here inside UAL, they will say there’s very definitely evidence of that. So it doesn’t necessarily make progress in this direction forward-moving, it is definitely issued laden. That is something that people have to get used to. They just have to be steered in the right direction. That’s not the way it’s going to be here.
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So could you define what Could you name some of these policies social justice means? you are making reference to? I think you’re asking a million-dollar question ‘Dignity at Work’ is a progressive policy. I there. I don’t think there is a moment of suspect that most institutions have nothing social justice. There was no such thing, but like our ‘Dignity at Work’ policy. They what that is, I think, is a set of practices really do not. So I think that we are making and procedures and behaviours in a society progress. I am not complacent about this which need a questioning day-in-andat all. I just think it’s a good thing to have day-out; what it is that they’re revealing started and there’s further work to be about the society, and whether or not done, but it’s for many institutions that they need to be supported or opposed. So don’t even get it; they just don’t get it. there’s something to do with [*air quotes*] ‘equality.’ There’s something to do with equal So then what would you say your view opportunity which represents social justice. is on the lack of leaders of colour? I hope that it will be changed. I believe Do you think social justice is it will be, and I think that [*laughs*] well more ‘practice-based’? the more people who enter the profession For me, it is a whole set of practices of Higher Education management, the and it is a whole set of activities. I am better it will be. The more diverse will looking for greater understanding... be the representation, he more attuned, therefore, will be a management team What is your view on the lack of be in exploring the issues it faces. leaders of colour in senior positions? [*Laughs*] Let’s talk a bit about the catalyst for It needs to change. There are ‘no ifs or volunteering as ‘Race Champion’. buts!’. It just needs to change. The content Right, if you go back to a long way, when of the curriculum needs to change. And I was 18 I didn’t go to University. I went I think, as I understand it, the University to work because my A-Levels weren’t good is making quite a lot of effort in order to enough. When I was working, I decided to remedy those issues inside the curriculum. do a project which was on dockers in the It may not be fast enough and I’m not docklands and I learned within my privileged claiming it is. I think there’s quite a lot of grammar school background something people who would recognise it as a problem about inequity and injustice. I would and universities are inherently, like most attribute this as an ‘eye-opening’ experience. education institutions, conservative, so it is quite difficult to push them along. Yet You mentioned reading, reading when you look at UAL, some of the imagery about people of colour and maybe that we have, some of the subject areas even by them. Were there any kind of that we cover, I suspect that most would poignant books did you read at the argue that we’re quite radical; that we are time that became part of this process? quite progressive. I mean, some of our HR I think then, a couple of books in fiction policies as well, people would say they’re terms are things like Andrea Levy’s Small quite ‘progressive’ and I think that’s good! Island (2004) which offers insights into what it was like to be a person of colour which people like me wouldn’t really have realised. Things like Inglourious Empire (Tharoor, 2017) which is another non-fiction book, which is talking about the way the British behaved in India. Books like - strange things like the book, um, Beloved by Toni 188 // INCLUSIVE PRACTICE: ALCHEMY - TRANSFORMATION IN SOCIAL JUSTICE TEACHING.
Morrison (1987), an entirely different sort of book, a world described. Things like An Orchestra of Minorities (2019) by a guy called (Chigozie) Obioma. You read these texts (fiction) and you read them and you realise it’s, it’s so far away; So this is how they managed to get their education? Or this is how valuable they think education might be? Or this is the experience in which they underwent? And it’s illuminating! So when people ask about race matters, I don’t necessarily steer them to books - there is a book out at the moment - or a few months ago - titled ‘How to be an Anti-Racist’ (Kendi, 2019) or ‘Why I’m No longer Talking (to white people) about Race’ (Eddo-Lodge, 2017).’ They are definitely informative and the fiction sucks you in. In a way, the texts of non-fiction may appear dry, may appear as ‘‘oh yes that’s what I must do.’
Whereas with fiction you get some feeling of goodness: ‘is this what it was like?’ So I recommend they read fiction. What positive ‘outcomes’ have you seen in your position? I would like to think that people believe [*slides paper*] that people like me are trying; that we are making a difference in terms of our practices, the values that we have when we articulate issues, in addressing the problems. There would be practical things like the training that we have on recruitment practices, and indeed the curriculum. So I’d like to think that people like you would go away and say ‘actually, I can feel that these people do value whatever it is they are doing. That it’s not just tokenism. That they actually believe in this and they’re doing their best’. It may not be good enough, but they’re doing their best!.’
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Could you discuss ‘just one’ positive impact or a change that you have noticed since becoming Race Champion? A single criterion… [Long pause] I suspect that would be measured by the fact that my teams treat this seriously; not as something that they can be lighthearted about. They know that if I am talking about a people of colour ‘issue’ that this is a serious matter and they had better listen. What resistive behaviours have you noticed in your role? Let me answer that slightly differently and tell you that the resistive movements in my life have not been in UAL. They have been among my friends who I believe have found my drift in this direction to be difficult for them to cope with. More simply, they are uncomfortable with my views on race. So I have had to move away from those people who don’t share my perspective.
So, my final question. What advice would you give to the next generation of people in positions like yours? First of all, build your awareness and be bold, connect and read. Don’t necessarily read texts but read. Just continue to contextualise your understanding. Read. So if you had to put it in one word: ‘courage’. That’s the word, courage! To listen to the audio of the interview, please visit: anchor.fm/shades-of-noir/episodes/ Interview-with-Stephen-Reid-ec85dq
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JAYDIN - A MATURE STUDENTS EXPERIENCE. WHAT MORE DO I NEED TO DO?
“I’m experiencing a mix of reactions overall, an aggressive curiosity, distrust which could possibly be even fear. I’ve witnessed bag clutching, the act of talking directly to an acquaintance whilst almost using them as a human shield to avoid communicating with me, to outright avoidance.” Jaydin is a 26-year-old mature student in her first year of a BA course. She is the first to study art in her family and after working within the medical field made the decision to, as she puts it ‘follow her dreams.’ The first thing that Jaydin became concerned about happened on her very first day at the University. Tasked with her first group project on the course, she was shocked to find that she was seated with all of the black students on her course, which were 4 in total out nearly 60 students. She remained in the same group all day, meanwhile, no attempt was made to integrate the group and the lead tutors who were facilitating the session failed to notice or acknowledge how this might impact the Black students on their first day. Since the University demographics differed considerably from the demographics of the local community. On her first day, Jaydin was left with feelings of isolation from the rest of the groups despite making several attempts to talk to other non-black students. Sadly, this continued into the course. However, in contrast, some of her peers had recognised one of her strengths and had come to rely heavily on Jaydin’s organisational skills, abilities to meet deadlines as well as understand what was required of her by the course. Students would come to
Jaydin for support with their work and to clarify instructions that had been given to them by the course tutors. This placed an exceptional pressure on Jaydin, which resulted in stress-related symptoms. Added to this some of the students began to resent the fact that in order for Jaydin to survive on the course she would have to prioritise her own work over supporting them. As a result, Jaydin started to experience a number of microaggressions which took the form of: •
Being asked if she ever thinks a Black guest speaker ever washes his dreadlocked hair?
Asked if she is able to wash her hair in her braided style?
Asked what race she preferred to date?
It was suggested to her by a peer that he should dress up as Jaydin for Halloween
A student engaged in kicking her chair continuously while she was trying to work
After refusing to advise her peer about his work he sarcastically stormed off and said aggressively “Ok Mother.”
On occasions, Jaydin would find particular students who would stare at her for long periods of time which became unnerving and a distraction in lectures.
Jaydin was continually asked by other students to show her work to them and when she did not some of her fellow classmates behaved in a rude aggressive manner
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“I’M EXPERIENCING A MIX OF REACTIONS OVERALL, AN AGGRESSIVE CURIOSITY, DISTRUST WHICH COULD POSSIBLY BE EVEN FEAR. I’VE WITNESSED BAG CLUTCHING, THE ACT OF TALKING DIRECTLY TO AN ACQUAINTANCE WHILST ALMOST USING THEM AS A HUMAN SHIELD TO AVOID COMMUNICATING WITH ME, TO OUTRIGHT AVOIDANCE.” 192 // INCLUSIVE PRACTICE: ALCHEMY - TRANSFORMATION IN SOCIAL JUSTICE TEACHING.
Despite all of the above Jaydin was continually asked to update members of her cohort about assignment requirements and course information. The impact of this behaviour on Jaydin meant that she was unable to feel comfortable in the workspace leading to periods in which she was unable to go into the University due to the stress of having to manage this behaviour by herself. This led to her receiving aggressive attendance letters from her course tutor, which impacted further because Jaydin was now being identified by course tutors as an absentee student that would be recorded. Jaydin did eventually pluck up the courage to talk to the Course Leader about the conduct of her peers. However her claims were dismissed and the behaviour by her peers deemed as the typical actions of younger people, blaming the behaviour on immaturity and suggesting that this would either blow over or it was Jaydins responsibility to get over it. The Course Leader also stated that since the students largely worked in a self-directed manner that tutors could not be accountable for behaviour that happened as a direct result of students having access to and working in studio workspaces when the tutor was not present. This left Jaydin doubting whether she could justify seeking help and secondguessing as to whether she was over-reacting to behaviour that she should just accept as normal. She became despondent, isolated, confused and began to wonder if University was right for her as all the signs suggested that she did not fit in. After an unsuccessful attempt to visit a councillor Jaydin decided to reach out to Shades of Noir directly.
Action The student contacted Shades of Noir and was offered an appointment to talk with Aisha Richards and Melodie Holliday. Following this Jaydin then attended an emergency meeting with the course leader accompanied by Melodie to discuss the issues that had arisen in this first year, so far on the course. Despite Jaydin being a mature student. It became necessary to discuss codes of conduct among students and subsequently whose responsibility it is to ensure the safety of all students in the learning environment regardless of age in this meeting. Next steps The Course Leader agreed to start by having a chat with the entire cohort regarding codes of conduct. This did not happen and Jaydins situation worsened. Subsequently, Aisha called a meeting with the Course Leader, Program Leader and a Dean at the request of Jaydin but without her present. Jaydin had put in writing that Shades of Noir was to represent her in this meeting. Post the meeting the Dean presented Jaydin with the option to remain on the course and reassured that the staff team would be given training via the Inclusive Teaching and Learning unit in order to increase their awareness of intercultural and antiracism frameworks within an arts educational environment. Jaydin also had the option to transfer to another course on a different campus. Jaydin opted to move to a different campus to study and was encouraged that the course team would still complete training on the unit to further support students in their understanding of group dynamics within the context of race. We would like to say that at least one of those students - black students - left the course, and as expected all communication with the previous course has ceased to continue.
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IN CONVERSATION WITH SICGMONE KLUDJE.
SHADES OF NOIR, UK.
Decolonising Textile Design Education We caught up with knitwear designer, textile lecturer, Shades of Noir graduate, and Teaching Within cohort 1 participant Sicgmone Kludje to speak about eurocentric textiles education, African textile design and her inclusive teaching practice. Can you introduce yourself in a few lines by telling me what you do? My name is Sicgmone Kludje. I have a background in textiles; I graduated in Textile Design specialising in Knitwear from CSM. I’m the cofounder of a collective called Black Girl Knit Club, and a textile lecturer at UAL. I’m currently in a new role at Chelsea as a lecturer in Critical Practice, encouraging students to reflect on how they bring theory into practice within their textile practice. I’m a combination of designer and teacher; I see myself as a practitioner, a designer, but teaching is part of that practice. What is your origin story - how did you come to do this? What drew you to knitwear in the first place? I did my foundation at CSM, then my BA degree in Textiles Design, specialising in knitwear. The first time I learnt to knit was during my degree course, I loved how experimental the process of knitwear was and how you could incorporate a range of different patterns and techniques into your work.
African textiles, in particular the kente cloth. I then began to fuse my two interests together, combining African textile design and knitwear.After graduating from CSM I worked as a freelance knitwear designer and also a stylist for H&M. I then set up my own business, and spent two years combining African print with knitwear as part of my brand ‘SICGMONE’. I am always trying to bring my West African heritage into my practice as this is a big part of my identity. I enjoyed working as a freelance knitwear designer, but then I reached a point where I needed more purpose to what I was doing. I had briefly run knitwear workshops as part of my business and loved working with students and exchanging knowledge, so I decided to go back and do a PGCert and the Shades of Noir Teaching Within programme offered the support to make this possible. I picked the Inclusive Practice unit as my elective, which meant exploring ways of making the curriculum more inclusive through different theories, bringing theory into practice. I was really able to use this whilst teaching on the BA Textile design course at Chelsea, for example creating a micro-teaching workshop that used object-based learning but also referenced designers from a range of different cultural backgrounds as an intervention to make the curriculum more inclusive.
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Who are your inspirations, in your fashion design and in your teaching? During my year out, I explored my West African heritage by working in the design studio of Kofi Ansah, seeing how he worked and assisting on design projects with the Ethical Fashion Initiative. He was my mentor and a huge inspiration in terms of me understanding the cultural significance of African fashion and textiles. Also South African designer Laduma founder of Maxhosa by Laduma, he creates South African-inspired knitwear, I’m so inspired by his whole way of using and looking at African craft in a contemporary way from a knitwear perspective. In my teaching practice, I am inspired by Professor Carol Tulloch, a professor at Chelsea. Her work focuses on cultural heritage and personal archives and style narratives of the African diaspora, she is also a fellow of the V&A in visual culture. She’s someone who inspires me, especially as a leading Black female professor. I am also inspired by the author and professor bell hooks and her theory on a transgressive approach in education, where educators can teach students to “transgress” against racial, sexual, and class boundaries in order to achieve the gift of freedom when learning. She writes about this in her book Teaching to Transgress: Education as a Practice of Freedom. This is an approach that I try to use to engage students with their learning.
can bring that into their practice. They are coming from different cultural backgrounds and identities, it’s important to understand different perspectives. It’s not just them as designers, that’s so important in education. I co-founded the Black Girl Knit Club in January 2019. We create an inclusive space and learning platform for other Black female knitwear and craft designers of colour. The club teaches different knit skills as well as a space for women to build their confidence and network with other creatives. We set it up because there was a popular hashtag ‘#diversity’, and we recognised a lack of diversity in crafts. Our Club is all about empowering women of colour with skills, using knitwear and crafts as a tool to do that, along with online content about different Black women and women of colour designers doing amazing things in crafts. We run monthly workshops and recently did a collaboration with Wool and the Gang, for Fashion Revolution Week this March, it was a workshop about sustainability in fashion. Since Wool and the Gang create their own recycled jersey yarn, we spoke about why sustainability is important in knitwear and attendees were able to create their own jewellery using WATG’s recycled yarn and our sustainable yarn we have created using upcycled wax print cloth from our own African heritage. We are using craft to enhance skills within the BGKC but to also open up the conversation about diversity within the current craft industry.
What is the significance of education and teaching to your practice? In terms of knitwear, enhancing students’ skills; but in terms of theory, the students are really improving their critical awareness, whether that’s cultural identity or inclusivity, and that means they are becoming more well-rounded designers, becoming more aware of the importance of identities and what they bring to the topics of their practice. For example, I did a workshop on culture and colour, about how different colours have different significance in different cultures. We had a discussion about that, how they
My experience of being a student at CSM has shaped how I approach topics within my teaching. There were only two or three Black students in our cohort, and we struggled with not really having references to knitwear designers of colour who we could relate to. That experience really informed how I teach, especially in terms of the wide range of resources that I use. In the Inclusive Practice unit, we had to create an intervention, and I wanted to make the curriculum more inclusive for students highlighting more designers from different backgrounds, since it’s usually so eurocentric. I brought this
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learning into my studio space, with students referencing the Shades of Noir Terms of Reference journals, and Tell Us About It artefact objects as discussion points for discussions for theories related to self identity. That was the starting point for me learning about inclusivity methods and how this could also relate to how I teach knitwear. It really shaped the way I work as a lecturer now. Towards the end of my BA, I joined Shades of Noir as part of the Phase One team. That helped me as at that time they were building up a team and a network. I could refer to the team for support, and I met my mentor Kofi Ansah, who would often come to London. My year out working with him really built up my confidence to refine my direction. Before that, I couldn’t relate to the way the world was working and the references I was taught. I came back to CSM with a different kind of direction, but being there at the time was a struggle. That experience has definitely shaped the way I teach now. I am always trying to make sure that students from all backgrounds have references that are broad, that students are able to tap into their own narrative. All their experiences are different, so that peer-on-peer learning is really important. What opportunities (if any) does teaching hold for you for radical social change? The Inclusive Practice unit is a perfect example of how teaching can impact social change. All of the existing lecturers coming into the unit were coming from different perspectives. For example, learning about critical race theory in education and about eurocentric curriculum can challenge the way we think about things, for instance, when I was in the unit I met a teacher who worked at CSM, she recognised that the course was currently very eurocentric. She wanted to make the course more inclusive by bringing students a global perspective on fashion history, so she asked me to do a lecture on the history of the kente cloth through fashion. It’s allowing students to learn about design from a different cultural perspective. Changing
course curricula, widening the students’ perspective in that way, that brings about social change. Individuals changing the way they think they can create real social change. What needs to be done in the future to continue that social justice work? I think that things are definitely changing, especially work around decolonising the curriculum, the work the Terms of Reference journals are doing, what Shades of Noir are doing, bringing students different perspectives on different topics, on identity, race, privilege. There has been a lot of change, but there are things that definitely could be done to decolonise the curriculum more and for students to have positive experiences but interventions such as Shades of Noir are already paving the way in so many ways for positive change. What advice would you give your younger self? Don’t give up. It gets better. Your narrative and your identity are so important to your practice, so always include it. I would always struggle as a student for direction because I was looking at others, but you can’t detach from your own narrative. Look for more opportunities to expand your craft, competitions, opportunities to travel, use your time while you’re still in uni to use every opportunity. Interview by Florence Low. Photographer: Lydia Garde.
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AN ACT OF RADICAL COMPASSION.
RAYVENN SHALEIGHA D’CLARK, CHELSEA COLLEGE OF ARTS, UK. How can you teach radical compassion within an arena practicing (white) privilege and power?
I was recently asked to write a piece exploring the Inclusive Teaching and Learning in Higher Education Unit (Finnigan and Richards, 2016) and what I hoped would be covered in the Unit. As someone who hasn’t engaged with the unit, I must admit I hadn’t a clue about what response I would write. Utilising my insights based upon my experiences of Higher Education (HE), I suppose my most immediate thought was the designation of term alchemy as a first response - alchemy defining as a ‘seemingly magical process of transformation, creation, or combination’ (Dictionary.com), or more simply the art of causing change where there is no division between spiritual (self-improvement) and physical (methodological) practices, it more broadly characterises the act of breaking things down and reconstructing them into something else - something entirely different. I suppose then the title for Shades of Noir’s (SoN) upcoming Terms of Reference (ToR) publication ‘Alchemy - Transformation/ Formation in Social Justice Teaching’ feels perfectly placed within this discussion. I think it is OK to admit that I have a very limited amount of experiences - reflecting upon the length of time I have spent in arts education - within HE in comparison to some of my colleagues-peers. I also think that it is OK to admit that this is not a hindrance to my contribution in the field, nor in my exploration of this Unit. And so, based on my ‘limited’ experience I suppose that in answer to the question ‘what do I
hope would be covered in the Unit’, my answer would be the teaching of compassion. Compassion feels whispered in hushed tones within HE, and there feels to be such duality within the discussion of whether it is more important to (critically) teach inclusive debates from a wide spectrum of institutional perspectives, versus the belief that we all hold within us a basic understanding of compassion - or empathy (that some argue cannot be taught past childhood) - that we should be exercising within this dimension. I am of the opinion that compassion, and that very genuine sense of sorrow for the suffering of others and consequently the desire to alleviate it, should be a standard virtue. Hence ‘radical compassion’ as defined by philosopher Khen Lampert in 2003 - first appearing in Traditions of Compassion: from Religious Duty to Social-Activism (2006) - goes a step farther, leading people to act with compassion not only when it is inconvenient, but also when it is both difficult and/or dangerous. Lampert identifies compassion as: ‘[...] a special case of empathy, directed towards the “other’s” distress. Radical compassion is a specific type of general compassion, which includes the inner imperative to change reality in order to alleviate the pain of others. I have noted that compassion, especially in its radical form, manifests itself as an impulse. [...] and proposes viewing such an inclination as the product of cultural conditioning.” Lampert, 2006. This state of mind, according to Lampert’s
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theory, is universal, and stands at the root of the historical cry for social change (ibid.). However, Angela P. Harris’ view, as described by Derrick Bell in Critical Race Theory: An Introduction (2012) asserts that ‘empathy is not enough to change racism as most people are not exposed to many people different from themselves and people mostly seek out information about their own culture and group’. With the tools and practices of radical compassion we contemplate upon the need to cultivate - or more simply ‘teach’ empathy as a respectful understanding of another person’s experience. But how do you begin this discussion? What should never be questioned is the compassion of the action. Developed by Aisha Richards and Terry Finnigan in 2011 with the support of Ellen Sims and Hilaire Graham within University of the Arts London (UAL) - as a selfselective Unit - Inclusive Practice training reveals the radical power of compassion to enact revolutionary changes to the mindset of its participants; highlighting the liberatory value of training all studentfacing staff in social justice pedagogy, it goes lengths in allowing participants to reflect upon their own position and assumptions surrounding an increasingly diverse population of students, furthering their own empathetic understanding of differences in student experiences. I have personally experienced, witnessed and been privy to a great many things that exemplify the monoculture within HE, and in spite of this it still feels to me to be a very
difficult thing to witness and recount past experiences of the huge lack of compassion that many display on a day-to-day basis, particularly from some student-facing staff. Again, here the idea of alchemy again enters the conversation: The inclusive practice unit has been described by many graduates as ‘transformational’ in its presentation of intersectional theories, it similarly becomes an opportunity to offer reflection that undoubtedly influences their current teaching practices, impacting academic practice through evolution. Aisha Richards once told me that ‘policy tells you how to do things, it does not show you how to [care]’ (ibid.) and this couldn’t be more to the point. Of the many things I have learnt about the Inclusive Unit, what I hold close to my heart is that we all must admire Richards’ unwillingness to compromise, the unit symbolising the first great step towards radical compassion for all within HE.
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Bibliography: Shadesofnoir.org.uk. (n.d.). Inclusive Practice: Alchemy – Transformation in Social Justice Teaching. [online] Available at: shadesofnoir.org.uk/inclusive-practicealchemy-transformation-in-social-justiceteaching/ [Accessed 4 May 2019].
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Crenshaw, K. (1989). Demarginalizing the intersection of race and sex: A black feminist critique of antidiscrimination doctrine, feminist theory and antiracist politics. U. Chi. Legal F., 139. Chicago.
Hatton, K. (2015) Towards an Inclusive Arts Education. London: Trentham.
Finnigan, T. and Richards, A. (2016). Retention and attainment in the disciplines: Art and Design. [online] Higher Education Academy, pp.Pg 11 - 13. Available at: www.heacademy.ac.uk/system/files/ ug_retention_and_attainment_in_art_ and_design2.pdf [Accessed 4 May 2019]. Ladson-Billings, G. (2001). Crossing over to Canaan: The Journey of New Teachers in Diverse Classrooms. The Jossey-Bass Education Series. Jossey-Bass, Inc., 350 Sansome Street, San Francisco, CA 94104. En.wikipedia.org. (n.d.). Radical Compassion. [online] Available at: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/ Radical_compassion [Accessed 4 May 2019]. Bhagat, D. and O’Neill, P. (2011) Inclusive Practices, Inclusive pedagogies; Learning from Widening Participation Research in Art and Design Higher Education.Croydon: CHEAD.
Friere, P. (1970) Pedagogy of the Oppressed. London: Continuum.
hooks, b. (1994) Teaching to Transgress: Education as the Practice of Freedom. London: Routledge. Morgan, M. (Ed.) (2013) Supporting Student Diversity in Higher Education: A practical guide. Oxford: Routledge Richards, A. and Finnigan, T. (2015) Embedding Equality and Diversity in the Curriculum: An Art and Design Practitioner’s Guide. York: Higher Education Academy Scotland. Lampert, K., Compassionate Education: Prolegomena for Radical Schooling, University-Press of Amer., 2003 Lampert K., Traditions of Compassion: From Religious Duty to Social Activism, Palgrave-Macmillan, 2006 Image Citation: Shades of Noir (2017). Aisha Richards. [image] Available at: shadesofnoir.org.uk/suartsteaching-awards-2017/ [Accessed 4 May 2019]. Shades of Noir (n.d.). Terry Finnigan. [image] Available at: shadesofnoir.org.uk/terry-finniganresearch-specialist [Accessed 4 May 2019].
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THE WEAVE (2020).
KANA HIGASHINO, CHELSEA COLLEGE OF ARTS, UK.
The Weave (2020) is inspired by textile artist Sicgmone Kludje’s Black Girl Knit Club. Knitting and weaving is a metaphor for the intimacies and intricacies of inclusive practice. To me, the Inclusive Practice unit is about finding the right balance between individuality and community.
The ‘strips’, already possessing their own unique colours and patterns, interlace oneanother to create new patterns and structures. Ultimately, it illustrates how diverse collective practices can be.
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THE GAP. HILARY WAN, LONDON COLLEGE OF FASHION, UK.
What do you want to be when you grow up? My career decision has swayed from left to right throughout my years of undergoing different levels of education. My first career choice was to be an alien, until my mother told me that alien is a character identity not a career, and it is physically and genetically impossible to become one. Then, my second choice was to be in the police, which is a more feasible choice than an alien. However, I didn’t reach the minimum height requirement for the police, so I needed to bid goodbye to that. I switched from multiple careers along
the way till I finally settled on choosing fashion design as my university major. Now, I am in my final year of university, I still do not know what field of career that I will work in. To me, all skills are intersectional and can be applied to different careers. However, the reason for my struggle isn’t because I am indecisive or couldn’t find a job. The problem is finding my own definition of “success” in life. When someone said, “This person is very successful.” We immediately think of wealth or fame. In fact, the definition of “success”
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is favourable or desired outcome of the attainment of wealth, favour, or eminence (Merriam-webster.com, 2018). The gap is created by the lack of representations of virtues in both media and education. I can be aiming for any job that currently exists in the world yet finding no one to look up to. I can’t follow the materialised success of another person. On the other hand, the people who are deemed “virtues”, doesn’t seem to own the common definition of “success”. From Brett Kavanaugh to Donald Trump, they can be considered as “success” in general terms (Golshan and Zhou, 2018). They are wealthy, and have acquired the highest position a person could get in their field. But are they the people who I want to be? For sure I would hope that is no one’s dream. Yet their stories are broadcasted through news and were to be known by everyone.
Bibliography Citation: Golshan, T. and Zhou, L. (2018). Where Brett Kavanaugh’s Senate confirmation process stands. [online] Vox. Available at: www.vox.com/2018/9/17/17869368/brettkavanaugh-confirmation-sexual-assaultwhat-we-know [Accessed 21 Oct. 2018]. Merriam-webster.com. (2018). Definition of SUCCESS. [online] Available at: www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/ success [Accessed 21 Oct. 2018].
I am wrestling with the gap between what I want to be and who I want to be. But there should not be a gap. Being a virtuous person is much more important and much harder to achieve than material success. We should be praising and actively seeking out the people who are living by it. There are enough stories of “rags to riches” but not enough stories about “rags” and “riches” with good values. Hopefully in the future, I can find out who I want to be. But at least for now, I want to be a person that lives their life with a good conscious in their heart and has no regrets.
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THE DIFFERENCE YOUR INCLUSIVE TEACHING MAKES.
FAVOUR JONATHAN, CENTRAL SAINT MARTINS, UK.
Diversity and inclusivity seems to be one of the many phrases that is thrown around quite often in universities as a way of creating a safe environment for students, letting them know that these issues are on their minds and it’s safe to be with them. The words exemplify the feeling that “we care about you, your participation, safety and health no matter where you’re from, who you are or your abilities” However action speaks louder than words. For me, I find that university is a place full of diverse individuals from various backgrounds making it a perfect breeding ground for knowledge of different cultures, opportunities and networking beyond your hometown or country. That is what I would hope, but somehow the feeling of loneliness, exclusion, fear and misunderstanding seems to be the feeling that a majority of students from an international background experience. This can lead to lack of interest in taking part in course activities or leading students from a diverse background to prematurely dropout, not making it to the end of their course because they never see themselves reflected in their journeys during their studies. This feeling is in my opinion created (1) teaching staff: firstly from the lack of diverse academic staffing employed within the institution and (2) curriculum design: secondly from the lack of diverse topics
being discussed in classrooms and lectures freely. It is not fair to propose inclusivity and diversity and not display it in your selection of teachers and curriculums. For me as a student studying for years at University of the Arts London (UAL) inclusivity and diversity has become a word that I hear quite often but hardly see being put into action. However after witnessing the presentations from the teachers studying on the Inclusive Teaching and Learning Unit as part of their PgCert or MA in Academic Practice I was really pleased to see the level of their effort, interest and confidence they had in bringing these conversations to the table within the classroom, speaking openly and understanding that the students are able to feel safe enough to speak to them, speak to their peers and have constructive arguments in the classrooms. We had presentations from teachers who understood how the workshop space could be quite new to different students. Students may not understand the terms used during their induction and creating actions that could be put in place is important when making sure the space is understood and the students are safe to ask questions. The action proposed was a visual induction from an ex-graphic design teacher, we also had an inclusive conversation in the classroom about culture and the part it plays in the fashion industry for the students to be able to chat freely about from a fashion communication teacher.
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Overall the ideas proposed were brilliant and I was really proud that they understood the importance of these processes and the impact this has on the student base. •
It helps everybody have a voice
It brings out curiosity and expands the knowledge of students
it helps the students understand particular topics they want to speak about through their practice
Whilst I was really pleased, I remained somewhat fearful that these presentations were made purely to get to pass that stage of their certificates. This only popped in my mind because these actions take a lot of courage to place and I pray the small class of teachers we are fearless and full of resilience so they could open themselves to learn more and bring more to their classes and be part of the change we all want.
However I did still have some concerns after hearing everyone present.
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IN CONVERSATION WITH ROMERO BRYAN.
FASHION DESIGNER, LONDON COLLEGE OF COMMUNICATION, UK. Community Building in the Classroom. We caught up with fashion designer, lecturer and Teaching within 1 participant Romero Bryan to discuss his education experiences as a student at LCF, how this late shaped his approach to teaching as an educator, the need for inclusivity in teaching spaces, and finally what it takes to creating community, safe space and trust in the classroom. Please can you introduce yourself? My name is Romero Bryan, and I am the chairman and creative director of my very own sustainable luxury fashion brand, ROMERO BRYAN. I’m also a newly qualified academic, lecturing in art, design and communication, thanks to Shades of Noir’s Teaching Within program, although I had been teaching for over 10 years prior, on UAL’s Widening Participation and Artscom Short courses at LCF and CSM. I knew this PGCert qualification would help me develop my skills as a teacher in Higher Education (HE), via learning in the context of a specialist arts university. Please can you tell me your origin story? How did you end up where you are today? I started designing clothes at 12 years old. My mum was a fashion buyer, my grandparents were tailors and seamstresses. I had fashion in my genes. I started my education at the London College of Fashion as part of the Widening Participation programme, when I was 15. At the time I was just customising denim jeans into outfits for artists: Brandy, Britney Spears, Christina Aguilera, Destiny’s Child and Mariah Carey, to name a few.
Soon after, I met Samantha Mumba’s stylist, Cynthia Lawrence-John, who loved one of my cowl neck dress designs. However, as I was inexperienced in selecting the right fabrics and developing my ideas to a high and professional standard, with my permission she then had my design made by a more qualified dressmaker. The fabric I had initially chosen wasn’t suitable, as it didn’t drape. What more can I say? Samantha Mumba wore it to the 2001 Brit Awards. As a Black creative, Lawrence-John wanted to support other Black creatives. She recognised my talent and insisted that I go to university to gain a technical formal level of training, to learn skills like pattern cutting, more about fashion in a cultural context, and the value of market research. At Lawrence-John’s advice, I applied to London College of Fashion’s BA Fashion Design Technology (BA FDT) course. However, I was turned down twice, before being accepted on my third attempt. Thinking back now, it wouldn’t have occurred to me to even apply without her advice, as I was the first in my family to apply for a university place. If you don’t have people around you to be able to advise you with their own experience, it just doesn’t occur to you. That was one of the main reasons why being offered my first teaching role on a UAL Widening Participation project, “En-Slaved” by Mrs Angela Drisdale-Gordon, really resonated with me, as I was working with young people a lot like myself, who stood a lower chance of accessing Higher Education. But before even then, as part of my marketing strategy as a young determined creative at 16 or 17 I used to give away free garments to celebrities, in the hopes they’d wear it and raise the awareness of my brand. But
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Grammy Award Winning Artist & Actress Brandy believed in my talent and refused to take anything for free. She insisted on buying my denim outfits, and even paid me extra, with the promise I’d keep applying to go to university to help better myself. Imagine, a young 16 or 17 year old, meeting their idol. Their role model and them advising you not to give up on yourself. It was so reassuring. Too often, just the words ‘I believe in you’ can go a long way. In fact the money she gave me paid for my first two years of university. Once, I finally made the admission to LCF to study a BA in Fashion Design Technology, I decided to follow the menswear path, as during my teenage years, I undertook some formal training at a local Jamaican tailor shop in Harlesden, helping to cut patterns and sew buttons. With strict Caribbean parents, it was going to the Harlesden Tailor shop, or staying indoors to do house chores. There was no ‘hanging out with friends’, which is something my siblings and I joke to this very day, and we see the value in what my parents did back then as it kept us out of getting into the wrong crowd. It was occasional menswear, you know, the ‘Yard-Man’ Linen pants suits, ‘Nigerian Man’ fancy lace shirts with sequin patterns. It was a different culture, it was my culture: Afro-Caribbean Menswear. I wanted to explore the differences in more traditional British tailoring, and maybe explore ways of incorporating the two worlds together, to create something fresh and innovative. However, in the second term, my tutor suggested that I should take the women’s wear path instead as he felt my designs were too flamboyant. Things were very different then, you couldn’t push the boundaries too far in terms of what was acceptable in
menswear, but now it’s much more about fluidity in gender. When I went into women’s wear, I wanted to explore my culture, in terms of reggae music and the dancehall scene, being I am originally Jamaican, with links to Cuba also. Unfortunately, it was frowned upon by the tutors. I guess they were scared that they couldn’t relate to my experiences, in order to help navigate me in my design process. Although, it must be said, I had a few arrogant tutors; if it wasn’t their way, it wasn’t a good way. It was very much a Western approach to the subject areas you were allowed to explore. Anything outside of that was a no-go zone. It didn’t do anything for my self confidence, as a design student. And it’s not like now, where today’s UAL BAME students, have a community of resources, such as Shades of Noir. This generation of BAME students are a lot more fortunate. It must be said, the PGCert was the first time I’ve ever enjoyed a learning experience. I benefited from learning from other professional practitioners and more senior staff members with far more teaching experience, which was of great value to my development as not only an academic but also as a practitioner too. For the first time in my educational journey, learning was fun. The pedagogical approaches by the facilitators were flexible, with blended modes of learning that inspired me, including videos, films, online blogs, physical activities. I engaged critically with policy, practice and research. Not only was this inspiring, it was essential to my development in my move to the world of academia. For the first time as a neurodiverse individual (dyslexia), I felt
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invincible, powerful, engaged, excited. I was learning with like-minded professionals. I made the “life-long friends” I often heard people talk about in worlds away from mine. With just a few marks shy away of gaining a distinction, I achieved a merit. How did your experience from your BA at LCF influence your approach to teaching? One of the things I now try to do as a teacher is to make students’ experiences better than my own experience as an undergraduate, for example respecting other people’s narratives, by allowing them to explore their own identities. I also use this opportunity for me as a lecturer to learn about other peoples’ cultures. Teaching is a two-way exchange process; it’s a very humbling experience. How do you make your teaching spaces more inclusive? Because of my own experience, I believe in the importance of community building. The most important thing I’ve taken from the Inclusive Teaching and Learning in Higher Education (ITLHE) elective (led by Aisha, Terry and Melodie) is the way in which they created the frameworks, via the ice-breaker exercises and their pedagogical approaches, to help build safe spaces in the classroom that allowed us as students to feel safe in our learning and have honest dialogue. That’s how I approach my teaching now. Since doing my PG Cert, I often ask myself how can I create safe spaces for my students, so that they can be eager to learn and exchange honest information. I pay attention to even the little things, such as asking each student to find one song on Youtube to reflect how they are feeling, or their culture. One of my proudest moments earlier this year, was assigning the Fyre Festival documentary on Netflix as homework. One
student, she never did homework. Speaking honestly, before doing the ITLHE unit, in my years prior, I’d probably just tend to focus more on the students that were doing the homework, for they showed their sheer determination, in wanting to do and learn more. But having experienced the different modes of learning on my PGCert, I now had the means and resources, to implement other ways of engaging students. So I started assigning watching and listening homework. This particular student was the only one in the class who had a Netflix account, and she invited all members of the class around to her home, to watch the Fyre Festival. Even the students whose first language wasn’t English went. Even I got an invite (which I politely declined - but it was nice all the same). She was so standoffish, never did the homework, but with trying a new approach to the way she could learn, I made a difference. Skills I learned from the ITLHE elective really helped me in assisting the students learn in non-conventional ways and help the students create those bonds among each other. I believe learning has to be fun, inspiring and relatable, so I am always trying to find new ways of teaching and assessing students’ performance. I’ve found roleplaying activities with students, have definitely taken the pressure off assessments. This one particular instance, I had my students of the CSM “Fashion Design & Marketing” short course, act as if they were at a White House press conference, throwing questions at a panel of designers about their products. And without realising students were being assessed, in terms of how they responded to their peers about their design and marketing decisions. As part of my PGCert, it was paramount for participants to teach a minimum of 36 hours for the year. I was placed by Aisha on the Print Time-Based Media (PTBM) course at Wimbledon. I was so resistant to being placed there, as my background is fashion design, but Aisha wanted to challenge us all, to show us
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we had transferable skills. And she was right, I was able to compare my design process to that of someone doing a painting, sculptor, a visual or piece of performance art. It left me feeling very inspired, capable and confident in my pedagogical approaches right across the board. I’m so excited by education now, thanks to my experiences as a postgraduate student on the PGCert. So much so, I am bursting with this desire, wanting to inspire the next generation of students to keep falling in love with education. How do you use your experiences in the fashion design industry to teach? Generally speaking the ROMERO BRYAN brand caters to the needs of a niche elite audience, so the way we market our brand is very different to how a more mainstream or contemporary fashion brand does today. We rely heavily on both traditional and new innovative digital marketing strategies. The majority of the brand’s clients are elite, high net worth individuals (HNWI) and even members of the world’s royal families. The way we approach the brand’s clients (through our designs and communications) is the same exact way, I approach my teaching: by respecting experiences and respecting boundaries. I share my experiences as a Black creative with my students, such as having to navigate circles where I am often the only Black person at a fashion business event. Because of my experiences to date, I tend to gravitate towards trying to connect with other BAME creatives in the creative industries, those fashion professionals who aren’t white heterosexual males, in the hopes that they can add value to my courses in the form of relatable diverse guest speakers who could help inspire my students with a much needed difference in narrative.
What advice would you give your younger self? I would have told myself to continue believing in myself, even when others didn’t. My student experience as an undergraduate was awful. And even worse, once I graduated, thought, I’ll try my luck at gaining some financial and advisory support from the CFE, to only being told that I should go to my Black community for support funds because my brand ‘looked too Black… the Black pound has no value.... and there was no support for a streetwear designer’. But as you can now see, the fashion industry has changed so much. All the luxury brands are seeing the value in both diversity and in the consumer’s demand for streetwear. I would tell myself, stick to your guns; you are Romero, and that makes you unique. I’ve never shared that story with the public, as I’ve never wanted to sound bitter or sound like the “Angry Black Man with a chip on his shoulder”, but those things that are said to you along the way, they shape you. And in some cases, can damage one’s spirit. However, I’m not angry, no chip on my shoulder, nor am I bitter, and I’m definitely not damaged. I’m just ready to see a change, like how the rest of us, want to feel a change. With all of this baggage of experiences (both negative and positive), I use it all, to approach the way I work in my professional life as a fashion designer and as an academic. And as Aisha always says to me, be the change you want to see! Interview by Flowrence Low
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“WE WERE TOLD THAT WITH THIS SUBJECT, ANYTHING WAS POSSIBLE. IN THEORY THE COURSE LOOKS EXPERIMENTAL [...] HOWEVER THE EXECUTION OF MANY BRIEFS [ARE] NOT CATERING TO A WIDE VARIETY OF LEARNING TYPES AND WORKING TYPES.” 214 // INCLUSIVE PRACTICE: ALCHEMY - TRANSFORMATION IN SOCIAL JUSTICE TEACHING.
TESTIMONIAL 4. O’HONEY STUDIO.
Before university, I was on a ------------------- -------------------- to prepare me for my time at ----------------, on my -----------I was encouraged to be curious, explore, break boundaries and work on finding myself as a designer. I was very much expecting the same from the ---- ----------- ----------------, having been to an open day and spoken to the course leader, this course seemed to position itself as a place where the unusual approach is celebrated, where ‘studio culture’ is important and options for specialising were wide. On the first day, we were shown a presentation of an eclectic range of work from previous graduates and also a big list of careers ranging from ------------- to -----------. We were told that with this subject, anything was possible. In theory the course looks experimental, with briefs like -----------l and the ---------------. However the execution of many briefs in ------------------------------------ is not catering to a wide variety of learning types and working types. In the ----------, I took regular interventions with tutors explaining I felt I didn’t have creative freedom and this was hindering me. At the time I felt my work truly didn’t reflect me as an individual as I was just churning out work that I didn’t have any say on concept or
outcome, and also mindlessly dumped into multiple group projects that did not benefit me in any way. In ------------, I eventually spoke to ------------------, the course --------- at the time as I was ready to leave the course. She persuaded me to stay saying ‘I could do anything I wanted on the course, not just traditional ------------------’. I mentioned how I felt towards all of the tutors we had had so far and how they were all the same type of person, with the light response of ‘Oh, ignore them- they’re just -------------------- ----- haha!’ at the time I didn’t think anything of it, I agreed- they are just in that traditional box of -----------------. On reflection, why not do something about it and make the course more diverse? I feel there is a very real disparity between how the tutors think the course is being received and the reality of how the course actually is. I have had too many conversations with students that feel uncomfortable around the tutors as they often sit across the desk with glazed eyes and little interest when faced with work that is outside their idea of -----------------. I have overheard and had too many conversations with staff batting down initial working ideas from students before they have had a chance to blossom and develop into
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unique work that would have reflected students individually. This has left many without any work from the --------------that they feel is ‘their own’ and would feel comfortable putting into a portfolio. Clearly the course is lacking in diversity not only in gender and race, but in their careers and approach to teaching. Unfortunately ----------- has left, which many were looking forward to receiving as a tutor, being something different. Someone engaging and passionate, someone who seemed genuinely interested in seeing the best out of everyone. Our year group has now invited in -----------------, who comes from a different subject background and also is much more enthused and encouraged when presented with student work. -------------- has truly been what a lot in the class needed, showing interest in all students with a genuine passion for education, to leave it until ---------- to receive diversity and quality teaching like this is too late.
As a new course leader is going to fill the shoes of ----------- I can only hope consideration is being made that they have a genuine passion for education and have the time of day for all students, and have not a limited idea but a creative vision of what ---------------------- can be. Also, many of us are very upset to hear that the ---------------------- is closing and the lack of transparency about this. The ---------------- and it’s technicians (and many other technicians in other departments) have been a space to develop and explore my work when I did not feel comfortable or supported in the ---------------------- --------. - Anonymous
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“CLEARLY THE COURSE IS LACKING IN DIVERSITY NOT ONLY IN GENDER AND RACE, BUT IN THEIR CAREERS AND APPROACH TO TEACHING. ”
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FEATURED CREATIVE. SOOFIYA ANDRY.
Shades of Noir spoke to visual artist, designer and design educator Soofiya about their design practice, zine making, their online and private identities, creating digital space, and visibility through illustration.
I wasn’t comfortable with, and I ended up with Soof the Floof: a genderless, gelatinous little blob, who doesn’t always fit into the world around them, with one eye bigger than the other, a little bit chubby, awkwardly shaped, hairy – but they are lovable.
What inspires you in your art and design practice?
Once I felt safe with the subject area, I felt I could do scary things with the medium, and it ended up turning into an installation at the Photographer’s Gallery. I had never sewn anything before, but I got my mum’s sewing machine and a bunch of felt, I failed a lot but ended up with a felt ‘Soof the Floof’, with felt props that you could mix and match and playfully challenge ideas of gender. It invited visitors to question ideas of gender, how wear gender, how we can subvert, deconstruct and reimagine gender. It’s all about finding points of being challenged though you are apprehensive and scared.
It sounds cheesy, but I’m inspired by myself. I make work out of things that I don’t understand, things that I find confusing or that I’m sad about. Like having too much vaginal discharge. A lot of my projects start with something that’s annoying me, something that’s hard to talk about. Vaginal discharge is gross and disgusting, and you wouldn’t necessarily have an open discussion about it. But that’s the power of the designer or the artist, to find ways of having discussions in an open and accessible way, and you start to break down the stigma and taboo in very small ways. You create projects in a vast array of media, how do you choose which medium you use for different projects? When I want to talk about subjects that are ‘scary’, I start by going to a medium that feels safe to me, like zines. So for example, when I was thinking about feeling ‘lost’ and ‘found’, particularly in regards to gender, I wrote a “Lost and Found” zine. The main character of the zine was Soof the Floof. Soof the Floof came about when I attended a summer school at the Tate on Radical Pedagogy, in one of the workshops I made a body. I had never made a body that looked like mine before, but I included the parts that
How do your identities interact with your art and design practice? For me it’s about using my practice as a method of exploring and experimenting around themes that I don’t understand, for example ideas around race or gender or bodies, and identity is one of those things. It’s a way of unpacking these quite big ideas, like experimenting in a laboratory. A lot of my work in the past year or so started touching on body hair. I started to draw people that look like me, hairy femmes, though I had never consciously done that before. I put these people in my work but not always in a political way, these are just small acts of resistance, to resist normative ways of seeing things. It changed the way I thought about myself.
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I was part of a project called LDN WMN, a series of public artworks across London celebrating unsung women from London’s history, commissioned by Tate Collective in collaboration with Mayor of London. My piece celebrated activist and publisher Jackie Forster, and is situated on Portobello Road. It’s important to me to make visible what I do not see in the public eye, or in public spaces – in this instance, hairy brown women, who are not seen in public spaces, at least not in a celebratory way. It’s a way of opening up dialogues, and to make things the ten-year-old kid that I was never got to see in the world. How do you manage to build such a bright and colourful world whilst existing in online spaces of marginalised people that can often be a place of a lot of anger? I think we all go through a phase of being angry at the world and at politics in some way, shape or form. Sometimes anger can be draining, you can only be angry for so
long until it implodes. Self care is important, allowing yourself to be angry but not overflow in a way that becomes self-destructive. I often get press calls asking me to talk about my struggles, but I don’t want to talk about my struggles. I want to acknowledge that I can’t walk on the street, but for me it’s a part of celebration and pride in what you do. Celebration is part of empowerment, and colour and playfulness is part of that; that soft and forgiving and playful and positive and vibrant space, that’s a space I want to carve for myself. The anger is there and it is important, 90% of my work stems from anger, anger about vaginal discharge or about being marginalised and not seeing myself in the world, not in the industry and not in the TV. Because of that anger I’m fighting to pull everyone up with me. Because of that anger, I want to create those spaces that are colourful and vibrant. I want to leave feeling full, not drained, and I want others to feel that from my space too.
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FINDING INTERSECTIONAL CREATIVES IS EASY. This database aims to bring together our growing community of creatives and acknowledge the expertise of global communities of visionary practitioners. The aim of this database is to support work in the following areas: • Decolonising creative curriculums • Acknowledging cultural currency. • Affirmation of diverse communities contribution to the creative sector. • By making this resource accessible we hope to challenge any assumptions which seek to suggest that marginalised communities have made no significant contribution to the creative sector.
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I chose to study at ---- ----------- for a However, we did have a couple of number of reasons: I wanted the London ------- throughout the year that I and I experience but feel of a --------------------think other students really responded ----, I wanted to study somewhere I would to. Those being the ------------- ran by be free to explore ---------------- and have --------------l and The --------------------the option to experience other disciplines, that ----------- ran. I personally get along and I felt ---------------l specifically would with ------- a lot better so it could be encourage me to grow creatively and partially that but I also think that the way as an individual both inside and outside the ------ were given were better with the of education. Unfortunately, I feel my ----------------- having a mini homage to experience at -------------- did not live up to your ---------------. The over all “lesson” these hopes and expectations. felt more structured, along with the --------------------, they felt more like the ------------------ I was expecting to do while at First year: -----------------. both of these ------- had When I started at ------------- we were a great sense of freedom but also good greeted by a lot of construction work that rigid enough structure i didn’t feel lost or were causing disruptions to class space scrambled for ideas and noise. it was disheartening to learn that the -------------- that I was excited to Second year: attend would lose all of its unique charm I was excited for -------------- after that drew me there in the first place. it felt hearing that we would have ------------like false advertising as I don’t remember ------and I was hoping that this would being told about the amount of disruption bring the much needed diversity to the and the big changes that came to --------tutors. Unfortunately this was not the --------. case. The dynamic between the -- tutors was quite strange. It felt that --- was I also felt that the selection of tutors in the first year was very poor. I had ---------, ------- very much in charge and the other -- felt and -------. The three of them work outside more like Teaching assistants than tutors. There was occasions where ---- would of university in their own studio and share be helming the lessons and ------ would a very similar ------- aesthetic and point of be left to just hand out print outs and sit at view. For classes filled with a wide variety the back. I don’t remember ---- at all, and of students 3 very similar tutors are not going to be representative of all our -------- I don’t think I ever interacted with ---- over the year. The relationships between the tastes, influences and backgrounds. 224 // INCLUSIVE PRACTICE: ALCHEMY - TRANSFORMATION IN SOCIAL JUSTICE TEACHING.
“I ALSO FELT THAT THE SELECTION OF TUTORS IN THE -------WAS VERY POOR. THE THREE OF THEM WORK OUTSIDE OF THE UNIVERSITY IN THEIR OWN STUDIO AND SHARE A VERY SIMILAR ------AESTHETIC AND POINT OF VIEW. FOR CLASSES FILLED WITH A WIDE VARIETY OF STUDENTS 3 VERY SIMILAR TUTORS ARE NOT GOING TO BE REPRESENTATIVE OF ALL OUR --------- TASTES, INFLUENCES AND BACKGROUNDS.” -
-------- (graduating year 2018)
“THE DYNAMIC BETWEEN THE -- TUTORS WAS QUITE STRANGE. IT FELT THAT --WAS VERY MUCH IN CHARGE AND THE OTHER -- FELT MORE LIKE TEACHING ASSISTANTS THEN TUTORS. THE RELATIONSHIPS BETWEEN THE -- ALSO MADE IT HARD TO FEEL COMFORTABLE TO REACH OUT AND EXPRESS FRUSTRATIONS.” -
-------- (graduating year 2018)
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-- also made it hard to feel comfortable to reach out and express frustrations with ----- teaching style or -------, as ------------------------------------------------------------Within the first few classes we were told to put up homework we had done on ---------- up on the wall and --- singled out individuals that hadn’t done work to give reasons to why they hadn’t. This felt like a very secondary school approach for a class of 20 years and above students.
-- didn’t seem to care. My external hard drive broke and I lost all my work from college,---------- and the ------------------------------------------------ and again when explaining this to ----, ---- response was just “ it happens to all of us at least once” I appreciate that realistically I’m a grown ----- and should be able to deal with issues outside of university myself but I feel like brushing off my problems really reinforced my opinion that ---- is unapproachable and cold.
The location of our classes for -------------------- also really did not help. we were The big last project was ---------------placed down in the ------------- -------and the brief was to make --------------. down in the ----------- --------------. This which personally I would have liked to separated us from all of our friends from have made -------------------------------other courses. Of course I recognise that ------------------------ or something that university is a place of education and not would have meant something to me. We socialising but I feel that is important to were only allowed to make work to do be close to friends for support creatively with a handful of topics and I think the and otherwise. Being separate from student participation in this project really friends didn’t allow the all important showed. around half of the class didn’t cigarette or coffee break conversations even exhibit work and the final show had that would allow me to run through ideas a really poor turn out for something that either my peers. was expected to really blow up in a prime location in --------------. I think this really I also had a couple of things happen showed the lack of interest a lot of the outside of university which, when I class had with the project and what the rose to ------- in an attempt of getting course had become. help, some advice or to just explain why my general attitude was off, I was met with very cold and non sympathetic responses. I had been -------------------and had developed quite bad anxiety surrounding being out and about and it brought down my general mood of a while and when explaining this ----- ---
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Again there was a few things that happened in my own personal life that resulted in my mental health being at its lowest in my time at ------------ and I didn’t come in a lot to classes. I tried to open up and express what was happening outside of university to my tutor -------and ---- couldn’t show less interest. which, I understand no one wants to listen to me whine about my personal life but I was left with the impression that he was just trying to escape the room. It would have been helpful to redirect my issues to someone within the university to get me the appropriate help. I was left feeling very discouraged about the way I felt and university as a whole. Dealing with issues outside of uni also lead to really struggling with work and I don’t think any of the appropriate support was given. In tutorials I always felt like I was being grilled about why I made decisions instead of questioning and encouraging me to move forward with my work or move forward with research. A lot of my ideas were constantly shot down and I was told that my work was not “---------------------” enough a lot. The whole year felt a lot harder than I think it should have, I never really felt listened to or supported.
There was also an incident with another student making --------------------- in class and I had told ----------- about this and how it didn’t make me feel comfortable and I didn’t really feel welcome in that environment, she agreed and I felt somewhat in a tricky situation of having to file an official report or not. I chose not to as the student in question was quite physically intimidating and had previously asked other students to “take it outside” in the heat of arguments so I didn’t want to involve myself with that sort of behaviour. The next tutorial I had was with this student which made me feel uncomfortable the entire time. I would have hoped that some planning would have gone in to ensuring that we weren’t put together for group tutorials but I think there was a lack of communication between ----------- and -----------. A huge exception to my ---------------experience was -----------. ----- was really the driving force that helped my actually graduate in ------------. I had gone to -----a couple of times to express my feelings towards the course in -------------- when I felt my enthusiasm in the course drop and I really felt heard. But, it really felt like -------- really didn’t have the power to fix these problems, but I was satisfied having felt understood at least. In -------------after feeling very discouraged with my own tutor I ended up seeing --------- for 1 to 1 tutorials. As far as I know, A lot of other students were also doing this. It really felt like ------- was left picking up a lot of the pieces with some of us. I felt that ---- really
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“THE WHOLE YEAR FELT A LOT HARDER THAN I THINK IT SHOULD HAVE, I NEVER REALLY FELT LISTENED TO OR SUPPORTED. ALMOST A YEAR FROM FINISHING MY COURSE NOW, I HAVE HAD TIME TO REFLECT UPON MY UNIVERSITY EXPERIENCE. UNIVERSITY REALLY LEFT ME FEELING EXTREMELY BURNT-OUT AND MADE ME LOSE A LOT OF FAITH IN MYSELF AND MY WORK; MY CONFIDENCE IN MY ABILITIES HAS REALLY BEEN SHAKEN.” -
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knew how to push me in the correct way and was great at encouraging me to find the drive to complete my course.
I am so happy that -------, ------- and --------- are finally coming forward with their thoughts and feelings about the course and encouraging the rest of us to come forward with our points of views too. after reading a few of the testimonials a lot of the same points are being raised and I feel like the main points are bad pastoral care (or interest?), bad diversity and that people are not being push to their potential.
At almost a year from finishing my course now, I have had time to reflect upon my university experience. University really left me feeling extremely burnt out and made me lose a lot of faith in myself and my work. since graduation I have not pursued any -------------- work. My portfolio is made up of work I did outside of university and I am proud For something that we pay so much for of that work but my confidence in my its such a shame leaving and feeling like it abilities has really been shaken. I feel like was a waste. I feel like there needs to be a my experiences with friends I made on real push to find a diverse range of tutors. different courses and the time I spent This would hopefully expand the range outside of class and working on projects of areas of interest, cultures and points outside of university ------- were much of view and this would allow more of the more beneficial to my future than any students to connect to the tutors and time spent in class. I recognise that I what they are teaching. I wish ----------could have pushed myself more or used --- and ------- all the best and luck going my time at university a lot better like forward addressing these problems! some of my class successfully did. But I feel like I was never really encouraged to really go for it by tutors or ever pushed to - ----------------- (graduating year 2018) my full potential.
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IMAGE CAPTIONS. Image 1
Untitled (2019) Courtesy of Shades of Noir
Bird images (2020) Courtesy of Favour Jonathan Description: Whilst thinking about the Inclusive Practice Unit, I created this drawing showing different birds from land and sea, all different colours and shapes coming together in reflection of different people grouping together within the Unit and learning different ways of teaching inclusively.
Portrait of Jane Elliot Courtesy of Twitter, available from https://twitter.com/BlibriJane
Model Photograph Courtesy of Montana Williamson
‘It all depends on who is telling the story and how you frame it…’ (u.d.) Courtesy of Melodie Holliday
Streams of Work (Diagram, 2020) Courtesy of Shades of Noir
Portrait of Dr Gurnam Singh Courtesy of the University of Chester, available from https:// www.chester.ac.uk/past-events/launch-2014
Portrait of Dr Clare Warner Courtesy of Dr Clare Warner
Groupgradpic (u.d.) Courtesy of O’Honey Studio
Untitled (2019) Courtesy of Shades of Noir
Untitled (2019) Courtesy of Shades of Noir
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History of the Unit [Diagram] Courtesy of Shades of Noir
Portrait of Ellen Sims Courtesy of Ellen Sims
Portrait of Hilaire Graham Courtesy of LinkedIn, available from www.linkedin.com/in/ hilaire-graham-24bb3822/?originalSubdomain=au
Siobhan Clay Courtesy of Siobhan Clay
Portrait of Melodie Holliday Courtesy of Shades of Noir
Portrait of Mary Evans Courtesy of Mary Evans
Portrait of Jhinuk Sarkar Courtesy of Jhinuk Sarkar
Portrait of Jaime Peschiera Courtesy of Jaime Peschiera
Portrait of Carole Morrison Courtesy of Shades of Noir
Portrait of Montana Williamson Courtesy of Shades of Noir
Photograph of Aisha Richards and Terry Finnigan Courtesy of Shades of Noir
Graduation Group Picture Courtesy of Shades of Noir
Iris Ching Man Yau Courtesy of Shades of Noir
Artefact from ‘Iris’s Silk Route’ (2019) Courtesy of Shades of Noir
Artefact from ‘Iris’s Silk Route’ (2019) Courtesy of Shades of Noir
Sharon Bertram Courtesy of Shades of Noir
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Source: Retention and Attainment of UAL Students by Subject 2017/18 Report Date: February 2019 - University Central Planning Unit
Carole Morrison Courtesy of Shades of Noir
Untitled (u.d.) Illustration Courtesy of Sukhwinder Kaur Sagoo-Reddy
Portrait of Bridgette Chan Courtesy of Bridgette Chan
[Diagram] Pedagogy of Social Justice Education Tree Branches Social identity, theory and intersectionality (Aaron Hahn Tapper, 2013)
Portrait of Angie Illman Courtesy of Angie Illman
Portrait of Professor Vicky Gunn Courtesy of Professor Vicky Gunn
Stacey Leigh-Ross Courtesy of Shades of Noir
Untitled (2020) Illustration by Shannyce Adamson Description: This image is inspired by the collection of marginalised voices coming together like a mosaic to form the bigger picture shaping social justice through our individual experiences to collectively form a better learning experience for those who come after us. Each of us a unique fragment, each equally important. Just as we all have a unique fingerprint pattern that identifies only us, so are our lived experiences, insights and intersectionalities. Each of our personal experiences is unique and provide a window into the black experience of higher education.
Illustrations Courtesy of Shades of Noir
Teaching Within (TW) Timeline Courtesy of Shades of Noir
Big Invisible Fridge (take care), Performance, 2019. Photograph: Paul Gregory
Better Late Than Whenever, Performance, 2018 Photograph: Gustav Broms
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Not Today (the refusal), Performance To Camera, 2019
Portrait of Dr Kwame Baah Courtesy of Dr Kwame Baah
Portrait of Samia Malik Courtesy of Shades of Noir
Untitled (2020) T-Shirt Illustration, courtesy of anonymous Trigger Warning participant
Untitled (2020) 4-square Illustration, courtesy of anonymous Trigger Warning participant
Illustration, courtesy of anonymous Trigger Warning participant
Illustration, courtesy of anonymous Trigger Warning participant
Illustration, courtesy of anonymous Trigger Warning participant
Still Frame from ‘Tell Us About It’ Video for Shades of Noir, 2019-2020. With Tabitha Austin and Georgia Clemson. Filmed and Edited By Inês Alves. © Shades of Noir 2017.
Untitled (2020) Illustration by Hope Cunningham Description: “You have to be twice as good as them to get half of what they have” plastered over the school photo of a young girl. The quote comes from an episode of the hit American tv series Scandal and is poignant in that this is a message I’m sure many people of colour have heard throughout their lives, especially in the realm of education. At times, it may feel as though the odds are stacked against us, resulting in a warped sense of self that can follow you throughout your life. This is why the practice of inclusive teaching and learning is so vital.
Truth Bell (u.d.) Courtesy of Daniel Holliday
Identity (2020) Illustration by Naima Sutton Description: This illustration was inspired by a quote included in ‘Darth Punk’ by Ciaran Okikiola Maguire. The quote says ‘identity is an issue you can’t opt out of’ which really struck me as it draws attention to the privilege of those who want to exclude subjects of race and diversity from conversations around education. The illustration is a comment on both the colonialist need to homogenise culture and the way PoC produce different identities to navigate hostile educational spaces.
Portrait of Angela Drisdale-Godron Courtesy of Shades of Noir
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Portrait of Angela Drisdale-Godron Courtesy of Shades of Noir
Portrait of Gregory Messiah Courtesy of Gregory Messiah
Portrait of Darren Farrell Courtesy of Darren Farrell
Portrait of Darren Farrell Courtesy of Darren Farrell
Image of Artefacts (u.d.) Courtesy of Elena Arzani
Portrait of Theaster Gates Courtesy of Theaster Gates
Terms of Reference (ToR) Publications Courtesy of Shades of Noir
Portrait of Mikael Calandra Achode, Annabel Crowley and Rebecca Ubuntu Courtesy of Favour Jonathan
Tâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;esifa  Courtesy of Mikael Calandra Achode
Untitled (u.d.) Courtesy of Mikael Calandra Achode
Portrait of Stephen Reid Courtesy of Shades of Noir
Acknowledgement of The Past, Awareness of The Present and Imagine The Future (2020) Courtesy of Shannyce Adamson Description: When thinking of inclusive practice in teaching and education, I believe that itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s important to acknowledge the past, the histories no matter how oppressive, offensive or uncomfortable they may be. This, in turn, will naturally enhance our awareness of the present, sharpening our collective sensitivity to broken systems or areas of improvement as we begin to imagine a more inclusive and just future that is beneficially for all. That is what these illustrations encapsulate, the collectiveness, coaction and complexity of it all. Things may not necessarily be black and white but that does not mean we cannot work together for a fairer future.
Portrait of Stephen Reid Courtesy of Shades of Noir
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Portrait of Stephen Reid Courtesy of Shades of Noir
Portrait of Sicgmone Kludje Courtesy of Sicgmone Kludje
Portrait of Aisha Richards Courtesy of Shades of Noir
Portrait of Terry Finnigan Courtesy of Shades of Noir
The Weave (2020) Courtesy of Kana Higashino
Portrait of Hilary Wan Courtesy of Shades of Noir
Academic Development Fund (ADF) Event (2019) Courtesy of Shades of Noir
Romero Bryan Catwalk Courtesy of Romero Bryan
Portrait of Soofiya Andry Courtesy of the Artist
Illustration for gal-dem Courtesy of Soofiya Andry
A mural celebrating activist and publisher Jackie Forster on Portobello Road for LDN WMN Courtesy of Soofiya Andry
How am I Feeling? Where do I Belong? (2020) Courtesy of Suprina Gurung Description: Am I fine? Is this where I belong? Not a day went by as I questioned these to myself. I blamed my choices â&#x20AC;&#x201C; maybe my ideas, made up of my identity and culture, were not good enough, maybe I was not good enough. I let my self-doubt hinder me further, nobody would understand me here I had thought. But once an educator made me realise my worth, I began to question others; I began to question the lack of diversity around me. It was never my fault, it was the lack of understanding on inclusivity in the course and the lack of diverse references I was exposed to. No more would I try to fit in. The piece is inspired by my own experience, where I felt disconnected during my studies.
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KEY TERMS. Autoethnography
Autoethnography is typically defined as an approach to research that puts the self at the centre of cultural analysis. Chang (2008) asserts that autoethnography ‘transcends mere narration of self to engage in cultural analysis and interpretation [...] mere self-exposure without profound cultural analysis and interpretation leaves this writing at the level of descriptive autobiography or memoir’ (pp. 43-51). Chang categorises autoethnography into three forms, those that are descriptive/ self-affirmative, analytical/interpretive and confessional/self-critical (p. 39)
Relating to education and scholarship, an academic is a a teacher or scholar in a university or other institute of higher education.
Also known as a 'scholactivist' who intentionally embrace the reality of their work which can lead to social change, purposefully engineering research-action efforts of which there is not a single approach (World University Press). A teacher or academic that engages in bridging the gap between the often asymmetric dichotomy of institutional spaces as ‘Ivory Towers’ versus the agendas of racialised, working-class communities (Huerta, 2018). The activist-academic however occupy a very specific kind of reality, often constrained by structural realities, mirroring the contradictions of educational institutions as simultaneously politically passive and a hotbed of power and politics (Mirza, 2015; Nyachae, 2015).
Academic specialist someone whose training, education, or experience makes them an expert in a particular subject. Educated people and experts: expert, authority, specialist... [only before noun] relating to learning or knowledge in a particular part of a subject or profession. specialist knowledge/training. Agency
Agency (sociology) In social science, agency is the capacity of individuals to act independently and to make their own free choices. By contrast, structure is those factors of influence (such as social class, religion, gender, ethnicity, ability, customs, etc.) that determine or limit an agent and their decisions.
A person of one social identity group who stands up in support of members of another group; typically a member of a dominant group standing beside member(s) of a group being discriminated against or treated unjustly.
Showing discrimination against Black people
The policy or practice of opposing racism and promoting racial equality.
A thing achieved, especially a skill or educational achievement.
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Acronym for: Black And Minority Ethnic
Inclination or prejudice for or against one person or group, especially in a way considered to be unfair.
The belief that sexism, class oppression, gender identity and racism are impossible to separate. These concepts relate to each other through intersectionality
The general point of blackfishing is for a female of European descent to appear of African, Arab, or Hispanic ancestry; â&#x20AC;&#x153;Blackfishingâ&#x20AC;? is a recently-coined term used to describe someone accused of pretending to be black on social media by using makeup, hair products and in some cases, surgery to drastically change their appearance.
Acronym for: Black Minority Ethnic
The term refers to the practices and policies through which powers of society regulate the human body, as well as the struggle over the degree of individual and social control of the body. The powers at play in body politics include institutional power expressed in government and laws, disciplinary power exacted in economic production, discretionary power exercised in consumption, and personal power negotiated in intimate relations
A term coined by the social entrepreneurship organization, Ashoka, meaning one who desires change in the world and, by gathering knowledge and resources, makes that change happen.
The practice of alternating between two or more languages or varieties of language in conversation.
Groups of people who live in the same area, or that have particular characteristics and attributes in common.
Conscious bias is to be aware, intentional and responsive. Significant improvements have been made in identifying and addressing conscious bias in the workplace with laws and policies now in place to prevent explicit prejudices based on race, age, gender, gender identity, physical abilities, religion, sexual orientation and many other characteristics.
is a teaching approach inspired by critical theory and other radical philosophies, which attempts to help students question and challenge posited "domination," and to undermine the beliefs and practices that are alleged to dominate. Critical pedagogy is a philosophy of education and social movement that has developed and applied concepts from critical theory and related traditions to the field of education and the study of culture.
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Teaching critically means that teachers and students are actively involved in constructing, questioning, and deepening the curriculum, probing its relevance and connection to the daily lives of students and their families. For both teacher and student, it means thinking critically and learning to learn.
Critical Race Theory A theoretical framework in the social sciences focused upon the application of critical theory, a critical examination of society and culture, to the intersection of race, law, and power. CRT proposes that white supremacy and racial power are maintained over time, and that the law may play a role in this process and investigated the possibility of transforming the relationship between law and racial power. Cultural Competence the ability for healthcare professionals to demonstrate cultural competence toward patients with diverse values, beliefs, and feelings. ; Cultural competence is the ability to understand, communicate with and effectively interact with people acrosscultures. Cultural competence encompasses. being aware of one's own world view. developing positive attitudes towardscultural differences. gaining knowledge of different culturalpractices and world views Critical Consciousness
Critical consciousness, conscientization, or conscientização in Portuguese, is a popular education and social concept developed by Brazilian pedagogue and educational theorist Paulo Freire, grounded in post-Marxist critical theory Paulo Freire defines critical consciousness as the ability to "intervene in reality in order to change it." Critical consciousnessproceeds through the identification of "generative themes", which Freire identifies as "iconic representations that have a powerful emotional impact in the daily lives of learners."
In the field of sociology, cultural capital comprises the social assets of a person that promote social mobility in a stratified society. Hence, cultural capital is the accumulation of knowledge, behaviors, and skills that one can tap into to demonstrate one's cultural competence, and thus one's social status or standing in society.
Decolonization or Decolonisation is the undoing of colonialism, the latter being the process whereby a nation establishes and maintains its domination on overseas territories. The clarion call however for the decolonisation of the curriculum is a diverse one, not always based on similar concepts and ideologies when used by different individuals or groups. In some versions, the decolonisation of the curriculum is based on a broad understanding of curriculum which makes it necessarily bound up with a proposed decolonisation of the university – in other words, a fundamental change in the nature and identity of such institutions and a dismantling of the apparatus that is perceived to support and continue a colonial legacy, while in other versions ‘curriculum’ appears to be understood mainly as what is taught, requiring an Africanisation or indigenisation of the syllabus to become more relevant to a changing student population
Factors and statistical data of a population.
relating to or supporting democracy or its principles.
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The unjust or prejudicial treatment of different categories of people, especially on the grounds of race, age, or sex
The British Dyslexia Association definition describes dyslexia as "a learning difficulty that primarily affects the skills involved in accurate and fluent word reading and spelling" and is characterized by 'difficulties in phonological awareness, verbal memory and verbal processing speed'
Acronym for Equity, Diversiyty and Inclusion; The Equality Act 2010 legally protects staff and students from discrimination which lays out our strategic objectives on EDI and how instituions intend to implement the Policy relating to our Public Sector Duties, and guidelines
Equal Opportunities An individual's right to be treated fairly without discrimination, no matter what their sex, race or age is. Equality
A state in which all individuals or social groups are treated fairly, equally and no less favourably; be it by virtue of their race, gender, disability, religion or belief, sexual orientation or age. Equality stands for inclusion and is against discrimination.
the fact or state of belonging to a social group that has a common national or cultural tradition or defining a group of people who identify with each other on the basis of shared historical, social, cultural experiences, ancestry which distinguish them from other groups.
Gaslight / Gaslighting Gaslighting, or to gaslight, is a form of systematic psychological manipulation in which a person seeks to sow seeds of doubt in a targeted individual or in members of a targeted group, making them question their own memory, perception, and sanity. Gaslighting involves attempts to destabilise and delegitimize the victim's primary belief system. Human
relating to or characteristic of humankind.
defining human beings collectively.
Not excluding any section of society or any party involved in something.
Inclusive education means that all students attend and are welcomed by their neighbourhood schools in age-appropriate, regular classes and are supported to learn, contribute and participate in all aspects of the life of the school.
Inclusive practice is an approach to teaching that recognises the diversity of students, enabling all students to access course content, fully participate in learning activities and demonstrate their knowledge and strengths at assessment.
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Inclusive teaching therefore refers to the creation of a learning environment which provides all students, regardless of their background, with the opportunity to fulfill their own learning potential and support other students who may wish to learn from them.
Difference in size, degree, circumstances, etc.; lack of equality.
Racial discrimination that has become established as normal behaviour within an institution or organization. Institutional racism leads to inequality
Interfaith dialogue refers to cooperative, constructive, and positive interaction between people of different religious traditions (i.e., "faiths") and/or spiritual or humanistic beliefs, at both the individual and institutional levels.
Internalised Racism Internalised racism is loosely defined as the internalisation by people of racist attitudes towards members of their own ethnic group, including themselves. Liberation
the action of setting someone free from imprisonment, slavery, or oppression; release.
Denoting personal knowledge about the world gained through direct, firsthand involvement in everyday, in qualitative phenomenological research, lived experience refers to a representation of the experiences and choices of a given person, and the knowledge that they gain from these experiences and choices
To relegate to the fringes, out of the mainstream; make seem unimportant: to place in a position of marginal importance, influence, or power
A subtle but offensive comment or action directed at a minority or other nondominant group that is often unintentional or unconsciously reinforces a stereotype
the action of misappropriating something or to appropriate wrongly, more formally it is also termed as 'cultural appropiation' when a different culture adopts cultural traditions of another culture.
A person trained to assist in childbirth.
a small group of people within a community or country, differing from the main population in race, religion, language, or political persuasion or the smaller number or part, especially a number or part representing less than half of the whole.
the ability to move or be moved freely and easily, for example between different levels in society or employment.
Mutual respect is understanding that we all don't share the same beliefs and values. Mutual respect is defined as a proper regard for the dignity of a person or position.
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displaying or characterized by autistic or other neurologically atypical patterns of thought or behaviour; not neurotypical. Neurodiversity refers to variations in the human brain regarding sociability, learning, attention, mood, and other mental functions. Neurodiversity is a portmanteau of 'neurological' and 'diversity that was popularized in the late 1990s by Australian sociologist Judy Singer and American journalist Harvey Blume.The term emerged as a challenge to prevailing views that certain neurodevelopmental disorders are inherently pathological and instead adopts the social model of disability, in which societal barriers are the main contributing factor that disables people. The subsequent neurodiversity paradigm has been controversial among autism advocates, with opponents saying that its conceptualization of the autism spectrum doesn't reflect the realities of individuals who have high support needs
a subtle difference in or shade of meaning, expression, or sound.
cause mental or physical pain to, characterised as a highly unpleasant physical sensation caused by illness or injury or some other stimuli
The method and practice of teaching, especially as an academic subject or theoretical concept.
Also referred to as Self-policing, it defines the act or action of supervising the activities or policies of one's own group in order to prevent or detect and address violations of rules and regulations without outside enforcement
A theory or academic discipline exploring concepts and themes relating to the cultural legacy of colonialism. Critics of this discipline often consider the prefix ‘post’ to be inaccurate as it suggests ‘a moving beyond’ the colonial moment and its impact.
A theoretical approach in various disciplines that is concerned with the lasting impact of colonization in former colonies.
Hatred towards someone based on their identity. Example: An oppressed person of colour can be prejudiced against privileged races but cannot be racist.
A special right, advantage, or immunity granted or available only to a particular person or group.
A lifestyle that encourages the economic growth and development of the black people as a whole with a purpose of increasing the wealth and population of black people around the world.
The Equality Act covers the same groups that were protected by existing equality legislation – age, disability, gender reassignment, race, religion or belief, sex, sexual orientation, marriage and civil partnership and pregnancy and maternity. These are now called `protected characteristics'
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Refers to groups of people who have differences and similarities in biological traits deemed by society to be socially significant, meaning that people treat other people differently because of them
Acts of prejudice, bigotry, and/or discrimination of individuals of one race against members of other races. These acts do not count as racism if they are coming from members of a marginalised race, i.e. black people, as they do not have the social, political or economic power to make their actions oppressive and effective. Racism also refers to institutional, systemic, linguistic and economic structures that perpetuate the idea of racial superiority and inferiority, allowing for a wide range of effects, e.g. skin-bleaching, overrepresentation of PoC in prisons, underrepsentation of PoC in media, the poverty of Africa and its Diaspora community.
describes (psychology) the process of serious thought or consideration of ones own belief or ideas.
(= reasons for acting) In epistemology, and more specifically, the sociology of knowledge, reflexivity refers to circular relationships between cause and effect, especially as embedded in human belief structures.
defined prejudice, discrimination, or antagonism on the basis of race directed against a member of a dominant or privileged racial group.
a place or environment in which a person or category of people can feel confident that they will not be exposed to discrimination, criticism, harassment, or any other emotional or physical harm.
Scaffolding teaching Instructional scaffolding is the support given to a student by an instructor throughout the learning process, In education, scaffolding refers to a variety of instructional techniques used to move students progressively toward stronger understanding and, ultimately, greater independence in the learning process. Self Reflection
Human self-reflection is the capacity of humans to exercise introspection and the willingness to learn more about their fundamental nature, purpose and essence. The earliest historical records demonstrate the great interest which humanity has had in itself.
justice in terms of the distribution of wealth, opportunities, and privileges within a society.
Social justice advocate
Social justice advocacy is informed by experiences of poverty and exclusion by: Providing individual/personal advocacy supports aimed at realising right and entitlements. Its purpose is to influence public policy outcomes, with and/ on behalf of a vulnerable group or community or indeed the wider public good.
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Social Justice pedagogy
The notion of social justice pedagogy has become pertinent in education, especially in urban communities that have a history of being oppressed through schooling. To practice social justice teaching and learning practices is to truly see students for who they are and where they come from, where the teacher's role is to equip students with the knowledge, behavior, and skills needed to transform society into a place where social justice can exist.
A widely held but fixed and oversimplified image or idea of a particular type of person or thing.
Stigma is discrimination, based upon societies fear and ignorance about an illness or a problem. It causes peoples to be marginalized and mistreated, and therefore leads to social isolation, health inequalities and many forms of discrimination. It is derived from the term used to describe the marks burnt onto Roman slaves.
In comparison to institutional racism, structural racism speaks of a broader spaces made by group of people, from dozens, hundreds, or thousands that all have the same biases and personal prejudices joining together to make up one organisation and acting accordingly.
Systemic racism accounts for individual, institutional, and structural forms of racism.
Defining a deeply distressing or disturbing experience.
A form of hyper-consumption in the media of black/brown death and pain; trauma porn is or at least it can be defined as 'any type of media – be it written, photographed or filmed – which exploits traumatic moments of adversity to generate buzz, notoriety or social media attention' which is particularly rampant when it is Black bodies and/ or people of color who are the ones being displayed as victims.
Unconscious bias (or implicit bias) is often defined as prejudice or unsupported judgments in favor of or against one thing, person, or group as compared to another, in a way that is usually considered unfair. ... As a result of unconscious biases, certain people benefit and other people are penalized.
More informally, is the practice of the practice or act of intentional and blatant avoidance, disregard or disagreement with facts, empirical evidence and well-founded arguements because they oppose or contradict your own existing personal beliefs.
The term “white fragility,” was coined by Dr. Robin DiAngelo, a multicutural education professor at Westfield State University, who described the term as, “-a state in which even a minimum amount of racial stress becomes intolerable, triggering a range of defensive moves.
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White liberalism describes a growing radicalisation in the political ideology of White Conservatives within American politics. Often associated with the performance of far-right behaviours which pertain to racist or prejudicial thinking, abstract attitudes and conerning the restoration of bias policies, over the past decade they have emerges as a racially homogeneous political type in the country - overwhelmingly white, rich, and educated - who seek to 'seek to correct (reinstate) the historic marginalization of groups based on their race, gender, sexuality, wealth, and other forms of privilege.
White liberalism - a raced hegemonic formation - draws a stark line between White people on the left and right side of the political spectrum (Vyvija, 2019), where non-white peoples figure as objects for white concern and as templates on which white “tolerance” is acted out, but are never granted the same social privileges as whites (Davis, 2007) - More informaiton availble via (1) Vyvija citation: scholar.colorado.edu/cgi/viewcontent. cgi?article=3058&context=honr_theses / Davis citation - openjournals. library.sydney.edu.au/index.php/JASAL/article/download/9710/9598
White privilege (or white skin privilege) is a term for societal privileges that benefit people identified as white in some countries, beyond what is commonly experienced by non-white people under the same social, political, or economic circumstances.
White supremacy is an ideology centered upon the promotion of the belief, that white people are superior. It is argued by critical race theorist that all white people have a level of white supremacy values because of the media, education and politics have embedded whiteness as superior in society
Seated in the history of the ideology of ‘race,' ‘whiteness' as the foundation of racial categories and racism and defined as a set of characteristics and experiences that are attached to the white race and white skin. In the U.S. and European contexts, whiteness marks ones as normal and the default. While people in other racial categories are perceived as and treated as 'other'. whiteness comes with a wide variety of privileges.
An interdisciplinary arena of inquiry that has developed beginning in the United States, particularly since the late 20th century, and is focused on what proponents describe as the cultural, historical and sociological aspects of people identified as white, and the social construction of "whiteness" as an ideology tied to social status.
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Weale, S. (2019). Students Occupy Goldsmiths in Protest at Institutional Racism. [online] The Guardian. Available at: www. theguardian.com/education/2019/mar/20/ students-occupy-goldsmiths-in-protest-atinstitutional-racism [Accessed 20 Jun. 2019]. Words Fail Me. A Work of Innate Beauty.’, (2019) CHROM Art Magazine, Available at: www.chromart.org/words-fail-me-a-workof-innate-beauty/ (Accessed: Feb 7, 2020). Young, L (2000) What is Black British Feminism?, Women: A Cultural Review, 11:12,45-60, Available via https://www.tandfonline. com/doi/abs/10.1080/09574040050051415 [Accessed 12 January 2020] Zaidah Z. (2012). Case Study As a Research Method. Jurnal Kemanusiaan, [online] 5(1). Available at: jurnalkemanusiaan. utm.my/index.php/kemanusiaan/article/ view/165/158 [Accessed 8 Nov. 2019]. Zinn, M.B., Cannon, L.W., Higginbotham, E. and Dill, B.T. (1986). The Costs of Exclusionary Practices in Women’s Studies. Signs: Journal of Women in Culture and Society, [online] 11(2), pp.290–303. Available at: scholarcommons.sc.edu/cgi/ viewcontent.cgi?article=1005&context=psyc_ facpub [Accessed 8 Nov. 2019].
Finnigan, T. (2009) Tell Us about It: Diverse student voices in creative practice. Art, Design and Communication in Higher Education. 8 (2), 135-150. Finnigan, Terry. and Richards, Aisha. (2015) Embedding Equality and Diversity in the Curriculum: An Art and Design Practitioner’s Guide, York: Higher Education Academy Scotland. Available at: www.heacademy. ac.uk/system/files/resources/eedc_art_and_ design_online.pdf. (Accessed: 3 June 2019). Finnigan, Terry. and Richards, Aisha. (2016) Retention and attainment in the disciplines: art and design. London: Higher Education Academy and University of the Arts London. Available at: www.heacademy.ac.uk/system/ files/ug_retention_and_attainment_in_art_ and_design2.pdf (Accessed: 3 June 2019). National Student Union, (2010), Race for Equality www.nus.org.uk/PageFiles/12350/ NUS_Race_for_Equality_web.pdf NUS, (2011). Race for equality. <www.nus.org.uk/PageFiles/12238/ NUS_Race_for_Equality_web.pdf> [accessed 12 December 2017] NUS, (2017). HE Black Attainment Research briefing. <www.nusconnect.org.uk/resources/
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he-black-attainment-research-briefingoct-2017> [accessed 12 December 2017]
Teaching Within: Cohort 1 Report 2018. Shades of Noir: London
NUS (2011) Race for Equality Report, NUS. Available at: www.nus.org.uk/PageFiles/12350/ NUS_Race_for_Equality_web.pdf
UAL, (2016) Equality, Diversity and Inclusion Report, p21-22. Available via www. arts.ac.uk/__data/assets/pdf_file/0021/40629/ UAL-Equality-Diversity-and-InclusionReport-2016-4mb.pdf [Accessed 8 March]
Orr, Susan and Bloxham, Sue (2013). Making judgements about students making work : lecturers’ assessment practices in art and design. Arts and Humanities in Higher Education, 12 (2-3), 234-253. Available at: shura.shu.ac.uk/5937/ (Accessed: 3 July 2019) Richards, A., & Finnigan, T. (2015). Embedding equality and diversity in the curriculum: an art and design. Rollock. N (2019), Staying Power: The Career Experiences and Strategies of UK Black Female Professors. Available via: www.ucu. org.uk/media/10075/staying-power/pdf/ucu_ rollock_february_2019.pdf [Accessed 19 June] Schmidt, C. (2004) ‘The analysis of semistructured interviews’, A companion to qualitative research, pp. 253-258. Stevenson, J., O & Mahony, J., Khan, O., Ghaffar, F. and Stiell, B. (2019). Understanding and overcoming the challenges of targeting students from under-represented and disadvantaged ethnic backgrounds Report to the Office for Students. [online] Available at: www.officeforstudents.org.uk/media/ d21cb263-526d-401c-bc74-299c748e9ecd/ ethnicity-targeting-research-report.pdf
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KEY ORGANISATIONS. Advance HE www.advance-he.ac.uk/
The HEA believes excellence is achieved by people. Removing the barriers, so all can succeed; driving positive change, to make higher education better for all. Their charitable objective is to support strategic change and continuous improvement through the development of individuals and organisations of higher education.
Athena SWAN Charter www.ecu.ac.uk/equalitycharters/athena-swan/
Recognising advancement of gender equality: representation, progression and success for all. Advance HEâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Athena SWAN Charter was established in 2005 to encourage and recognise commitment to advancing the careers of women in science, technology, engineering, maths and medicine (STEMM) employment in higher education and research.
Black British Academics (BBA) blackbritishacademics. co.uk/
Black British Academics is a global network of scholars established in 2013, committed to enhancing racial equity in higher education and the wider society. Their work is project-oriented, consultancy-based, transformational and developed around a social justice agenda.
Black British Studies www.jiscmail.ac.uk/cgibin/webadmin?A0= BRITISHBLACK STUDIES britishblackstudies@ jiscmail.ac.uk
Email discussion lists for the UK Education and Research communities. It aims to create an interactive community of British Black Studies The list aims to be a forum for discussion of Black Studies in Britain The list is for information relating to British Black Studies A forum for postgraduate and career opportunities in Black Studies. JiscMail provide email discussion lists which enable academics, support staff and researchers to collaborate.
Black Female Professors Forum (BFPF) blackfemaleprofessors forum.org/
The goal of the Black Female Professors Forum (BFPF) is to generate positive narratives to underpin successful pathways and trajectories for Black women in education. We hope to empower and engage Black women at every level in academia through collaboration, communication and consultation with like-minded partners and regulatory authorities. We will do this by tackling the virus of institutional racism in higher education. We seek to challenge and change any stigma surrounding Black academics and students.
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Black Sister Network blackbritishacademics. co.uk/networks-2/ black-sister-network/
The Black Sisters Network is a global network of scholars established in 2013, committed to enhancing racial equity in higher education and the wider society. Our work is project-oriented, consultancy-based, transformational and developed around a social justice agenda.
HEA Academy https://www. advance-he.ac.uk/
The Higher Education Academy (HEA) is a British professional membership scheme promoting excellence in higher education. The HEA advocates evidence-based teaching methods and awards fellowships as a method of professional recognition for university teachers.
JiscMail is the national academic mailing list service, provided by Jisc. Their aim is to support the advancement of world-class education and research by facilitating free-flowing open discussions, knowledge exchange and collaboration.JiscMail helps people working in education and research sectors to discuss, debate, collaborate and communicate with peers, experts and partners using mailing lists. Their mailing lists are themed around taught subjects, research areas, special interest groups and collaborative project activities.
Race Equality Charter (ECU) www.ecu.ac.uk/ equality-charters/raceequality-charter/
Improving the representation, progression and success of minority ethnic staff and students within higher education. ECU’s Race Equality Charter (REC) provides a framework through which institutions work to identify and self-reflect on institutional and cultural barriers standing in the way of minority ethnic staff and students. Member institutions develop initiatives and solutions for action, and can apply for a Bronze or Silver REC award, depending on their level of progress.
Research Excellence The Research Excellence Framework is the successor to the Research Framework (REF) Assessment Exercise. Its stated aims are to provide accountability for public www.ref.ac.uk/ investment in research, establish ‘reputational yardsticks’. and thereby to achieve an efficient allocation of resources. It is an impact evaluation which assesses the quality research of British higher education institutions. It was first used in 2014 to assess the period 2008–2013. REF is undertaken by the four UK higher education funding bodies: Research England, the Scottish Funding Council (SFC), the Higher Education Funding Council for Wales (HEFCW), and the Department for the Economy, Northern Ireland (DfE)
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DIGITAL RESOURCES. Websites:
Safe Space Crits - shadesofnoir.org.uk/ safe-space-crits/
Safe space crits use critical analysis and the careful consideration of issues of oppression to provide both deep knowledge and a direction for the application of that knowledge in students artistic practice. Safe space crits are an additional resource offered to students from marginalised backgrounds. hades of Noir Safe Space Crits, a small group setting in which you can present work exploring a range of issues. The sessions are facilitated and run by experienced creative teaching practitioners who have lived experience, historical understanding of marginalisation and a commitment to social justice pedagogy. Safe space crits use critical analysis and the careful consideration of issues of oppression to provide both deep knowledge and a direction for the application of that knowledge in students artistic practice. Safe space crits are an additional resource offered to students from marginalised backgrounds. Spaces are limited to a maximum of 12 students and booking through the form provided is essential. Please note that if sessions are fully booked please put your name on the waiting list. You will be contacted as soon as space is available.
Arts Student Union www.arts-su.com/ your-union/advice
The Arts Student Union ‘Advice Service’ offers independent, confidential advice on a range of issues, including bullying, harassment and sexual violence. Students’ Union Advisers can assist you to resolve concerns through the formal complaints routes, or through informal means. Advisers can accompany you to meetings and can advise you on how university procedures work.
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Tell Someone: Report and Support Form Link: www.arts.ac.uk/ students/student-diversity/ tell-someone-report-andsupport/tell-someone
UAL is committed to promoting a safe and inclusive environment for all students. We take all reports of bullying, harassment and sexual violence seriously. The Tell Someone form enables you to record a concern and be put in touch with a member of staff to discuss next steps. We can let you know about the support available, discuss formal and informal ways of resolving an issue, and signpost you to further information. We will listen to you, and be guided by you in terms of considering next steps. You also have the option of making an anonymous report. Take a look at the information below for further guidance. Access the form here: What is ‘Tell Someone’? ‘Tell Someone’ offers a point of contact for students to report incidents and access support in relation to bullying, harassment or sexual violence. When you contact us through Tell Someone you are not committing to any specific course of action. The online form and email address is monitored by a small group of staff who have been trained in responding to and supporting students who have experienced bullying, harassment or sexual violence.
Student Welfare (Services) - www.arts.ac.uk/students/ student-services/studentadvice-service/out-of-hourssupport/ual-student-welfare
UAL offer support to students for personal, emotional and health concerns. They can also help with spiritual, religious and faith related matters. Call or visit the UAL Student Centre or one of our help desks. This includes: Student Services, Counselling and Health Advice Team and the UAL Student Centre
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FURTHER RESOURCES. Organisations
Afrogroov www.musicinafrica.net/ directory/afrogroov
Afrogroov is a production and curation music network based in Rwanda. The organisation was founded by Rwandan Dj Eric Kirenga and connects creative people, ideas and concepts to sparks new conversations about Afro culture in the 21st century by hosting various music events.
African Writers Abroad www. africanwritersabroad.org/
PLATFORM and African Writers Abroad proudly present 19 poets and 29 poems in a new volume crackling with acute observation and arresting calls to justice. Platform combines art, activism, education and research in one organisation to create unique projects driven by the need for social and ecological justice.
The Bernie Grant Arts Centre Berniegrantcentre.co.uk
The Bernie Grant Arts Centre is a unique venue in Tottenham, north London, inspired by the vision of the late Bernie Grant MP. Bernie Grant firmly believed that the arts have the power to transform lives, combat inequality, and help us build a fairer and more equal society. Their founding mission is to reduce the bias in the arts world that has contributed to significant under-representation of black and minority ethnic heritage, those growing up in disadvantaged circumstances, and those without the connections to encourage, support and build career success.
Black British Women Writers www.vub.be/ TALK/BBWW/
The Black British Women Writers website seeks to stimulate the discussion of the literary art of women writers of African and African-Caribbean descent living in Britain. It introduces these authors, the criticism their work has generated – already over 400 bibliographical references at the moment of the website’s launch – and some of the scholars who have produced this criticism; it also provides information about relevant past and future activities, in particular academic events centred on the promotion and exploration of Black British Women’s Writing as a field.
Black Cultural Black Cultural Archives is the only national heritage centre Archives (BCA) dedicated to collecting, preserving and celebrating the blackculturalarchives.org/ histories of African and Caribbean people in Britain.
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Black Art & Modernism (BAM) www. blackartistsmodernism. co.uk
Black Artists & Modernism (BAM for short) is a three-year research project funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC) as a collaboration between University of the Arts London and Middlesex University.
Black Blossom www. blackblossomsexhibition. tumblr.com www.facebook.com/ BlackBlossoms%20/
Founded in 2015 by Bee Tajudeen, Black Blossoms is an organisation which aims to amplify the voices of Black women in the creative industries.
Brick Lane Circle Brick Lane Circle are a voluntary organisation (company limited by guarantee, www.bricklanecircle.org/ founded in 2006) set up to help: transform the intellectual landscape of the Bangladeshis in the UK and take the community to a new level of confidence and critical engagement with everything relevant for the community’s progress and development; discover and promote the shared common roots of Britain’s diverse population through research, knowledge sharing and learning about each other’s history, country of origin and experiences in the UK. Chocolate Films Chocolate Films is a leading video production agency for directly www. commissioned content. Trusted by clients across the arts, heritage, chocolatevideoproduction. corporate, medical, education, charity and public sectors since 2001 co.uk/ COLORLINES www.colorlines.com/
COLORLINES is a daily news site where race matters, featuring awardwinning in-depth reporting, news analysis, opinion and curation. COLORLINES is published by Race Forward, a national organization that advances racial justice through research, media and practice.
Demand the Impossible! www. demandtheimpossible. org.uk/
Demand the Impossible is an evening course for young people about political ideas and activism, starting October 2016. Demand the Impossible aims to help young people develop a critical understanding of power in society and gain the confidence and skills to get politically active.
George Padmore Institute www.georgepadmore institute.org/
The George Padmore Institute is an archive, educational resource and research centre housing materials relating to the black community of Caribbean, African and Asian descent in Britain and continental Europe. Founded in 1991, they are based in North London where we often hold educational and cultural activities including talks and readings. They also publish relevant materials and are making our archives accessible to the general public.
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Hi8us South www.hi8us.co.uk/
Hi8us South is a leader in developing innovative media and arts productions with and for young people. Since 2011 Hi8us has been operating as two separate and independent companies: Hi8us Midlands and Hi8us South, which has allowed us to focus our resources more effectively on the communities we aim to serve.
International Curators Forum www.international curatorsforum.org/
International Curators Forum (ICF) was founded in 2007 to publicly promote the work of cultural practitioners, and to encourage and develop artistic and curatorial practice and discourse about contemporary visual art across all forms. The practices that ICF promotes span painting, sculpture, photography, film, live performance art and curation. ICF does this through commissioning new works, programming and presenting these and other artworks in exhibitions, projects and events.
Institute of International Visual Art (INIVA) iniva.org/
Iniva (Institute of International Visual Arts) is an evolving, radical visual arts organisation dedicated to developing an artistic programme that reflects on the social and political impact of globalisation. With the Stuart Hall Library acting as a critical and creative hub for their work, they collaborate with artists, curators, researchers and cultural producers to challenge conventional notions of diversity and difference and engage a wide audience, particularly young people, in discourse and debate on issues surrounding the politics of race, class and gender.
Liquorice Fish A unique seasoned family blend of graphic art, design, www.liquoricefish.co.uk/ publishing, editing, poetry, creative writing, workshop facilitation and copy-writing originating in 2002. New Beacon Books www.newbeaconbooks. com/
New Beacon Books was founded in 1966 by John La Rose and his partner Sarah White and was the UK’s first black publisher, specialist bookshop and international book distributor. For over 50 years New Beacon Books has made available to Britain and its communities poetry, literature, non –fiction, history and children’s books from Africa, Caribbean, Asia, African American, Europe, South America and Britain.
NuWave Pictures www.nuwavepictures. co.uk/
Nuwave pictures is a production company that offers viewers an innovative and exciting cinematic experience through short films, feature films, documentaries and television programs.
Pan-Afrikan Reparations Coalition in Europe - a grassroots alliance of organisations, groups & campaigns working to amplify voices of Afrikan communities.
Rainbow Project The Rainbow Project is a health organisation that works to improve www.rainbow-project.org/ the physical, mental & emotional health and well-being of lesbian, gay, bisexual and/or transgender people in Northern Ireland.
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SHAKE! SHAKE! participants engage in dynamic workshops and skill-shares (creative www.voicesthatshake.org/ writing & performance, film making, music production, zines, art and activism) & follow-up mentoring to pursue creative campaigning & events production. Stephen Lawrence Charitable Trust www.stephenlawrence. org.uk/
The Trust is a national educational charity committed to the social inclusion; community cohesion and the alleviation of poverty. The Trust works with young people from disadvantaged backgrounds aged 13 to 30 to inspire and enable them to succeed in the career of their choice, and also influence others to create a fairer society in which everyone, regardless of their background, can flourish.
Southall Black Southall Black Sisters are a group of black and minority women with years Sisters of experience of struggling for women’s human rights in the UK. Although southallblacksisters.org.uk/ based locally, our work has a national reach. Southall Black Sisters, a not-forprofit, secular and inclusive organisation, was established in 1979 to meet the needs of Black (Asian and African-Caribbean) women. Our aims are to highlight and challenge all forms gender-related violence against women, empower them to gain more control over their lives; live without fear of violence and assert their human rights to justice, equality and freedom. Transnational Art, Identity and Nation (TrAIN) www.arts.ac.uk/research/ research-centres/train
The Research Centre for Transnational Art, Identity and Nation is a forum for historical, theoretical and practice-based research in architecture, art, communication, craft and design. The centre involves internationally recognised scholars and practitioners at 3 Colleges of the University of the Arts London: Camberwell College of Arts, Chelsea College of Arts and Central Saint Martins. It also includes a community of postgraduate students, pursuing historical, theoretical and practice-based research degrees at both MA and PhD level. Members of the Centre contribute to TrAIN’s activities by completing group and individual research projects and through the supervision of relevant postgraduate study. Issues and debates arising from research activities are disseminated by TrAIN conferences, exhibitions and publications.
The Voice www.voice-online.co.uk/
Britain’s Favourite Black Newspaper. The Voice was founded in 1982 by Val McCalla and is the only British national AfroCaribbean weekly newspaper operating in the United Kingdom. The paper is based in London and is published every Thursday.
UpRise is a pro-equality / anti-discrimination movement bringing the community together using the arts and good old fashioned conversation.
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Verse In Dialog verseindialog.com/
Verse In Dialog is cultural production house of creative ventures and initiatives with a social conscience, championing “arts that serve”. ViD is an ideas and project development CIC that holistically supports artists in a their practice, as well as delivering quality arts and awareness-raising projects.
The Nod gimletmedia.com/ shows/the-nod
Brittany Luse and Eric Eddings gleefully explore all the beautiful, complicated dimensions of Black life.
Still Processing www.nytimes.com/ column/stillprocessing-podcast
Still Processing is a New York Times culture podcast hosted by Jenna Wortham, who works for the New York Times Magazine, and Wesley Morris, the paper’s critic at large.
About Race www.aboutracepodcast. com
From the author behind the bestselling Why I’m No Longer Talking to White People About Race comes a podcast that takes the conversation a step further. Featuring key voices from the last few decades of anti-racist activism, About Race with Reni Eddo-Lodge looks at the recent history that lead to the politics of today.
Food 4 Thot Food4thotpodcast.com
A NEW podcast discussing SEX, relationships, race, IDENTITY, what we like to read, & WHO we like to read.
Nancy wnycstudios.org/ podcasts/nancy
NANCY with Tobin Low and Kathy Tu Stories and conversations about the queer experience today. Prepare to laugh and cry and laugh again.
The Cooler A weekly podcast from KQED Pop that tackles popular npr.org/ culture in a smart, fun and personal way. podcasts/448115865/thecooler?t=1567589736118 Another Round podcasts.apple.com/ us/podcast/anotherround/id977676980
Heben Nigatu and Tracy Clayton cover everything from race, gender and pop culture to squirrels, mangoes, and bad jokes, all in one boozy show.
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Sooo Many White Guys wnycstudios.org/ podcasts/whiteguys
Intimate, funny conversations with all kinds of artists who (mostly) aren’t white dudes. Hosted by Phoebe Robinson.
Well Blactually player.fm/series/ well-blactually
A monthly podcast from two Black British girls trying to make it in a white man’s world. Listen to Gena and Natalie speak ~blactually~ about music, pop culture, dating, and everything in between.
The Reith Lectures, Kwame Anthony Appiah Mistaken Identities, Creed. BBC Radio 4 www.bbc.co.uk/ programmes/b07z43ds
Philosopher and cultural theorist Kwame Anthony Appiah argues that we overestimate the importance of scripture and underestimate practice when thinking about religion.
Disabled Visibility Project disabilityvisibilityproject. com/podcast-2/
Posts about Podcast written by Alice Wong. Disabled Teachers, ep 64 disabilityvisibilityproject.com/2019/11/18/ep-64-disabled-teachers/ Black Mental Health, ep 65 disabilityvisibilityproject.com/2019/12/01/ep-65-black-mental-health/
JP Saxe www.youtube.com/ watch?v=0Y4cOqvlSKA
If The World Was Ending (ASL Video) ft. Julia Michaels Directed by Anonymous. (Accessed: Jan 2020).
Long Lost Lover www.youtu.be/ gmgbLvm-neQ
BSL with closed captions. Silent, with captions that can be turned on in YouTube player.
Long Lost Lover vimeo.com/246089479
BSL with audio-description, voice-over and closed captions. Audio described by Sandra Alland, with reading of poem by K. Yvonne Strain. Captions can be turned on in Vimeo player.
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Sun Kim and The enchanting music of sign language (Christine Christine (2015) Sun Kim | TED Fellows Retreat 2015). www.ted.com/talks/ christine_sun_kim_the_ enchanting_music_of_ sign_language?language =en#t-190124 Why is my Curriculum White? www.youtube.com/ watch?v=Dscx4h2l-Pk
The NUS proposed a set of recommendations, including the notion that, ‘institutions must strive to minimise Euro-centric bias in curriculum design, content and delivery and to establish mechanisms to ensure this happens.
Created by educators Tom Whitby, Steven Anderson, and Shelly Terrell #edchat offers a great platform for discussion among teachers and other professionals related to education. During these chats, teachers from around the world come together to discuss weekly topics. Some of the recent discussions have included changing students from content consumers to creators, the purpose of education, and education fads vs. trends that last.
Education and technology are intertwined, and there’s no getting around it these days. Technology is doing amazing things for teachers, and if you want to keep up with what’s happening, it’s a good idea to tune into the #edtech hashtag. You’ll learn about education technology resources, new web tools for students, and how other educators are putting technology to work in the classroom and beyond.
Everything from classroom management to learning from homeschoolers is covered under the hashtags in education. This resource moves fast, with lots of users participating. You’ll find so much helpful information, this is a great place to start if you’re just dipping your toes into hashtagst
lrnchat is all about learning and teaching. The community offers an ongoing discussion, but scheduled chats occur each Thursday.
Through this hashtag you’ll be able to find apps for learning, including mobile and web apps.
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Through this hashtag educators share their resources for improving classroom learning, along with news, debates, and more that can all help you become a better teacher in the classroom.
This hashtag offers a roundup of everything that’s relevant to instruction and allows teachers to see the multitude of ways that teachers are educating students.
This hashtag is full of awesome insight for getting your students moving through outdoor learning activities and more.
Through this hashtag you can find out about ideas for reform, what’s being done, and what’s really wrong in education today.
Through this hashtag educators can learn that learning isn’t just happening in your classroom, it’s going on all around the world; here you can benefit from worldwide learning through the resources and knowledge shared.
Created for teacher training and leading, this hashtag offers a great opportunity for questions, answers, and more in educational leadership.
This hashtag is made just for newbies. Find resources, inspiration, and news for becoming a better teacher, even if you’re just starting out.
Through this hashtag follow the progress of mobile learning, sharing new and exciting ways that teachers are using mobile devices like iPads, mobile phones, and Kindles for learning anywhere, anytime.
Through this hashtag teachers can follow this hashtag to find out how others are putting elearning to work in education.
Through this hashtag you can get more government insight, news, resources, and great ideas for making students stronger in STEM subjects.
A lifestyle that encourages the economic growth and development of the black people as a whole with a purpose of increasing the wealth and population of black people around the world.
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Through this hashtag users can find information and resources surrounding whitness in the disability movement.
Through this hashtag users can pose questions to the author and reflect upon topics she discusses in her podcast of the same name
Making ICTs accessible is key to attaining our goal of #digitalinclusion for all.
A hashtag dedicated dedicated to workplace and education inclusion and accessible for all
Through this hashtag learn more about the statistics, demographic, documentation and news surrounding the racial achievement Gap in education.
News, comments and experiences of Black Academics frames public opinion formation
The EDEquity hastag will provide a comprehensive and focused support plan, designed to create and foster strategies to increase student achievement.
Through this hashtag users can learn more about the experiences and achievements of communities of colour in education.
Through this hashtag users can learn more about the experiences and achievements of communities of colour in arts education specifically.
Through this hashtag users can learn more about about news related to previous and ongoing education policy.
Through this hashtag users can read news and opinions related to ongoing educational reform.
Through this hashtag users can read news and opinions related to higher education specifically.
A hashtag dedicated to eLEarning and resources to help support student learning.
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A hashtag dedicated to online, virtual and eLearning and resources to help support student learning.
A hashtag dedicated to diversity commentary across sectors, all over the globe.
A hashtag exploring â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;why inclusion matters?â&#x20AC;&#x2122;
A hashtag of news, conversation and experiences situated within the ingoing inclusion revolution.
A hashtag of news, conversation and experiences situated related more generally to inclusion.
A hashtag of news, conversation and experiences related to inclusion and diversity.
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FURTHER READING. Bhopal, K & Chapman, T.K (2019) International Minority Ethnic Academics at Predominantly White Institutions. British Journal of Sociology of Education 40:1, pages 98-113. Available via: doi.org/10.1080/014256 92.2018.1486698
Brinkhurst-Cuff, C. (2017a). Why there’s nothing racist about black-only spaces | Charlie Brinkhurst-Cuff. [online] the Guardian. Available at: www.theguardian. com/commentisfree/2017/may/30/whitepeople-black-women-feminist-festival
Babich, N. (2017). A Guide to the Art of Guerrilla UX Testing. [online] Medium. Available at: medium.springboard.com/a-guideto-the-art-of-guerrilla-ux-testing-69a1411d34fb
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