What is an ‘Equity Champion’?
An Equity Champion is someone who makes a commitment to learn more about equality, diversity and inclusion so that they can support strategy development and decision-making in their team or organisation. An Equity Champion brings a lens of equity to policies and processes that may have an impact on the success of minoritised groups.
The Elizabeth Casson Trust’s Focus on Fairness Observatory (January 2022), identified action priorities related to improving the experiences of Occupational Therapy students from minoritised groups in Higher Education. The actions included:
- Increasing awareness and developing sociocultural literacy
- Identifying new mechanisms to engage individuals
- Encouraging different levels of action and creating communities of practice
In response to this call for action, the Trust is sponsoring a series of ‘Reflective Co-Learning’ spaces, available to Occupational Therapy staff in UK universities and Occupational Therapy Practice Educators who would like to become an Equity Champion for their team or department.
Each Equity Champions series will feature four sessions over seven weeks. It is funded by The Elizabeth Casson Trust.
Who should attend?
Occupational Therapy educators in the UK, particularly those in roles related to recruitment, retention, progression and/or practice placements, interested in becoming Equity Champions within their context.
What would be the benefit of attending?
The primary aim for participants is to be able to develop strategies that are relevant and workable within their own setting.
The Reflective Co-Learning Space is designed to:
- Increase confidence in understanding issues related to the BAME attainment gap and other inequalities experienced by minoritised communities.
- Develop a deeper understanding of Anti-Racist and Anti-Oppressive practices.
- Provide support to explore and develop sustainable strategies for addressing and rectifying inequalities in recruitment, retention, progression and placement experiences related to minoritised communities.
In a Reflective Co-Learning Space, participants each work from common and shared materials, but are invited from the outset to set individual goals for action. The reflective space allows for ideas and proposed actions to be shared, witnessed and supported. They are based on the Solution-focused Approach, a structured method that focuses on what works – in the present, in the past and in the imagined future.
Participants will be provided with resources and readings with which they can choose to engage outside of the sessions. During the sessions, every participant will have the opportunity to reflect on their personal goals (for improving learning experiences of minoritised groups) and how they are developing a local strategy for action. Discussion is limited, but not discouraged, with the focus being on reflective speaking and witnessing.
What would I be committing to?
The Reflective Co-Learning Space is a commitment to join a group of up to 10 people for four, 90-minute sessions, taking place fortnightly. The spaces will be supported by an online community networking website, with the intention of providing a permanent hub for networking, seeking support, exploring collaborative opportunities, and sharing good practice: a community of practice. We expect you to be available to attend all four sessions and be willing to engage in some reading, reflection and planning in between the times we meet.
You will also be invited to contribute to a dissemination event taking place 4-6 months after you complete. There will be publication opportunities and encouragement to present at relevant conferences.
Who will run the Reflective Co-Learning Spaces?
The Equity Champion series will be hosted by Anita Volkert (an occupational therapy educator and AHP Practice Placements Lead at Glasgow Caledonian University) and Rayya Ghul (previously an occupational therapy educator and curently a Higher Education educator at University of Edinburgh).
When are the Equity Champion Series taking place?
All sessions will take place on Wednesdays, morning (09:30-11:00) OR afternoon (15:30-17:00) on the following dates: April 26th, May 10th, May 24th and June 7th
All sessions will take place online
How do I sign up?
Please sign up via Google Forms: https://forms.gle/Y1Po8UYnZuwKdHf79
If you would like further information before making a decision, please contact Rayya or Anita