Mon,4 Oct 2021

Anti Racism In Action – #AntiRacismInAction Episode 1

#AntiRacismInAction with Shaid Mahmood, Dr Sam Parrett OBE and Mandeep Gill 

BFELG Livestreams #AntiRacismInAction – Making the Most of an Ethnically Diverse Britain, co-produced by BFELG and FE News was launched today, 4th October, with the first of 9 Episodes.

The launch episode was introduced by Shaid Mahmood, Chair of the Association of Colleges (AoC) and Chief Officer Transformation and Change, Leeds City Council who spoke powerfully about what #AntiRacismInAction means to him – personal accountability; common purpose; proactive, conscious, determined effort to tackle racism in all its multidimensional forms, and to eradicate it.

Co-anchors Gavin O’Meara (CEO and Head of Digital, FE News), and Robin Landman OBE, BFELG Executive Member were in conversation with the featured Guests, Mandeep Gill, Principal and CEO, Newham Sixth Form College (NewVIc), and Dr Sam Parrett CBE, Group Principal and CEO of London South East Colleges (LSEC). Both CEOs were early signatories to the BFELG ‘Open letter’ and both institutions have affiliated with the BFELG. Board Chairs, Stephen Howlett CBE, DL (LSEC) and Martin Rosner (NewVIc), are strong supporters and allies of the BFELG.

In a wide ranging conversation, Guests talked about their engagement with the BFELG, the particular Race Equality opportunities and challenges for the FE sector and their respective organisations, and touched on specific FE system leadership actions necessary to make rapid progress.

Mandeep Gill touched on why data no longer matters and honesty does. The never-ending cycle of looking at data, getting shocked into action, the data shifting slightly and people patting themselves on the back for a job-well-done, only to come back to the data (often a few years later), getting shocked… is not having impact.

Rather than the data, answer honestly the question: are we absolutely confident that we are treating each other fairly and respectfully? If not, then do something about it. 

A topic of discussion was LSEC’s experience of developing a sustainable and long-term diversity and inclusion strategy which has led to the creation of their Enough is Enough – Tackling Racial Inequality ten-year grants programme. 

The idea behind this programme is to enable students and staff to develop their own projects, tackling issues that are important to them. The College Group has committed funding over a 10-year period; sufficient time to bring about real, lasting change.

The BFELG 10 Point Plan was also highlighted.’ 

Check out these links which showcase determined #AntiRacismInAction leadership by both colleges:

‘Enough is Enough – Tackling Racial Inequality’ ten-year grants programme. London South East Colleges launches Tackling Inequality Student Grants Programme

NewVIc stands against racism