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Diversity News

The latest news from WSFG on the subjects of Diversity and Equal Opportunities


VTalks from Speakers for Schools - Diversity 

Our school is associated with the Speakers for Schools programme and I encourage you to join a very interesting talk about British identity and British Values. On Wednesday 8th July at 2pm,  Kanbar Hossein Bor, formerly Deputy High Commissioner for Bangladesh is interviewed SFS. He will reflect on his personal journey from child refugee to British diplomat as he is asked questions by young people including on the meaning of British identity, British values and the challenges and opportunities of being a diplomat in the current climate.

It’s easy to join the VTALKS:

  • Join 10 minutes before the VTALK to be ready
  • You can join without needing an account – Watch how here
  • For full speaker descriptions visit the VTALK Schedule here

Enjoy!

Ms Desbenoit
Diversity Co-ordinator

Pride 2020 

As the coronavirus pandemic risks increasing existing inequalities, it’s never been more important that we all show up for each other and stand together in the name of equality and diversity.

Around the world, the COVID-19 pandemic is having a disproportionate effect on LGBTI+ people, who are historically marginalised and discriminated against in their access to health care, employment, housing and basic services. There are still at least 68 countries across the globe where same-sex relationships are illegal.

Every year during the month of June, The LGBT+ community celebrates in a number of different ways. Why was June chosen? Because it is when the Stonewall Riots took place in 1969.

While the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic has prevented this year’s London Pride parade from going ahead, it is important to continue to support our LGBT+ community and ensure those of all identities are coming together in unity. Therefore, as many events have had to be cancelled, others have emigrated online.

Amnesty International, UK Black Pride, Gendered Intelligence, Stonewall and ParaPride are bringing Pride celebrations inside this year with Pride Inside – an online series of gigs, comedy shows, panel discussions, and arts-based events.

Pride Inside will take place from Sunday 28 June – Sunday 5 July, continuing the celebration after ‘Global Pride’ on Saturday 27th.  It is a chance for those who would have been taking part in Pride events - had they not been postponed due to COVID-19 - to come together and celebrate on a brand-new online platform. 

The line-up will include an exciting array of LGBTI+ comedians, artists, DJs, musicians and activists! You can find more information here.

Ms Desbenoit
Diversity Coordinator

A Message for our WSFG Community 

    No More Segregation Portrait
            by Stephanie Desbenoit

Dear students, parents and carers,

I hope you and your family are well and safe.  Hopefully, now, with the gradual easing of the lockdown restrictions, you may have been able to start meeting members of your extended family and some of your friends. Please stay safe.

We have been confined for many weeks now but the last one has been particularly difficult as with the killing of George Floyd, it has become even more emotional and upsetting. Protests have been happening all over the world and in London at Hyde Park. The key message of these protests is that racism in all its forms must end. We all have a part to play in helping towards a more equal world.

In our school, Equal Opportunities and Diversity are key. We aim to inspire a love of learning and a genuine respect for all members of our multi-cultural, multi-faith community. We ensure that everyone is treated fairly and with respect. All cultures and languages are valued equally regardless of numbers.

It is vital that during this time we stand with our black community and show our solidarity.

Make sure that you keep up to date with what’s going on in the news, you read the articles on the Diversity page and in the  Diversity magazineDiversity magazine.

You will also find really useful resources in The Day and VotesforSchools in our school Greensheet.

Take a look at this video about implicit bias and systemic racism, it gives a very clear explanation of the American system: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YrHIQIO_bdQ&app=desktop

Some of this week’s assignments might be a bit different as we wish to show our support, to facilitate reflection and greater understanding. We also want to encourage healthy discussions at home.

On a whole school level, when school fully returns to normal, there are many charities we can reach out to and work with. I would definitely like to involve our Diversity students to discuss how they want to support in our meetings so they share their ideas and get their voices heard.

Please continue to stay calm and to look after your mental wellbeing.  Remember if you have any general school issues or you are having problems with Teams, please contact us at info@wsfg.waltham.sch.uk  

Here is next week’s full VTALK Schedule. Please feel free to join and watch! It’s free and really interesting.

I encourage you to take part and join a very interesting talk with Dr Funke Abimbola a Diversity Campaigner. On Tuesday 9th June at 2pm, Dr Funke Abimbola will be joining SFS to discuss 'Climbing mountains' - a session that reflects on Dr Abimbola's personal leadership journey, her journey to becoming a senior healthcare executive and lawyer and sharing top 5 tips for success!

It’s easy to join the VTALKS:

  • Join 10 minutes before the VTALK to be ready
  • You can join without needing an account – Watch how here
  • For full speaker descriptions visit the VTALK Schedule here

Kind regards

Ms Desbenoit
Diversity Coordinator

WOW Global 24 Free Festival 

WOW Global 24 Festival will be FREE for 24 hours (27-28 June) to watch online!

It will be the first ever free online festival by WOW Women of the World uniting women and girls across the world.

Tune in and participate in the largest ever online gathering of people of all genders who support gender equality. Now more than ever we need to find community; to connect women, civil society and governments and make women’s stories central to future planning across the globe. This is an opportunity to join hands, listen and ask ‘what do we need to change, and how’?

The Festival is free and accessible to anyone who is able to watch online or on a mobile device. It’s for people of all ages and backgrounds who can join at any point along the way.

Take a look! #WOWGlobal24

Kind regards

Ms Desbenoit
Diversity Coordinator

Black Lives Matter Reading List
 

We have all been deeply saddened by the news of George Floyd’s tragic murder; however, we all know that this is not a one-off tragic event, this is something that happens regularly to black people. We all must be aware of the systemic failures across the world that mean our black community are still treated differently.

Those of you who have been taught by me know that I love to read! I try to read as widely as possible as I believe that reading a diverse range of books allows you to understand people and the world around you in a beneficial way. It is also so important that you see characters like yourselves in books. As you know most of my books are on the windowsills in my classroom, however, I have some important books at home that I wanted to share with you. They include fiction and non-fiction.

As well as those in the photograph, I have put together a list of some texts I have read that are written by black authors. I am sure over the next few days I will remember some more fantastic books, so I will keep adding to the list.

I am thinking of you all.

Best wishes,

Ms Simpson


A Grain of Wheat by Ngugi wa Thiong’o

Ain’t I a Woman: Black women and Feminism by bell hooks

Americanah by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

An American Marriage by Tayari Jones

Another Country by James Baldwin

Becoming by Michelle Obama

Beloved by Toni Morrison

Breath, Eyes, Memory by Edwidge Danticat

Fruit of the Lemon by Andrea Levy

Girl, Woman, Other by Bernadine Evaristo

Half of a Yellow Sun by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

Homegoing by Yaa Gyasi

I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings by Maya Angelou

Invisible Man by Ralph Ellison

Krik Krak By Edwidge Danticat

My Sister, the Serial Killer by Oyinkan Braithwaite

Nervous Conditions by Tsitsi Dangarembga

Noughts and Crosses by Malorie Blackman

On Beauty by Zadie Smith

Our Sister Killjoy by Ama Ata Aidoo

Purple Hibiscus by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry by Mildred D. Taylor

Second Class Citizen by Buchi Emecheta

Sister Outsider: Essays and Speeches by Audre Lorde

Small Island by Andrea Levy

The Autobiography of Malcolm X by Malcolm X

The Fishermen by Chigozie Obioma

The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas

The Joys of Motherhood by Buchi Emecheta

The Lonely Londoners by Sam Selvon

The Private Joys of Nnenna Maloney by Okechukwu Nzelu

The Underground Railroad by Colson Whitehead

There ain’t no Black in the Union Jack by Paul Gilroy

Things Fall Apart by Chinua Achebe

Trumpet by Jackie Kay

We Should all Be Feminists by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

White Teeth by Zadie Smith

Why I’m No Longer Talking to White People About Race by Reni Eddo Lodge

Zami: A New Spelling of My Name by Audre Lorde

Speakers for Schools 

Our school is associated with the Speakers for Schools programme and I encourage you to listen to their very interesting and topical talks each week.

I encourage you to take part and join a very interesting talk with Dr Funke Abimbola a Diversity Campaigner. On Tuesday 9th June at 2pm, Dr Funke Abimbola will be joining SFS to discuss 'Climbing mountains' - a session that reflects on Dr Abimbola's personal leadership journey, her journey to becoming a senior healthcare executive and lawyer and sharing top 5 tips for success!

It’s easy to join the VTALKS:

  • Join 10 minutes before the VTALK to be ready
  • You can join without needing an account – Watch how here
  • For full speaker descriptions visit the VTALK Schedule here

Enjoy!

Ms Desbenoit
Diversity Co-ordinator

LGBTQ+ Poem 

She tells herself
“You’re into boys.”
But deep down
She knows that
They make too much noise
She tells herself
"You like their taste.”
But deep down
She finds it ugly
When they do a race
She tells herself
“I like boys.”

She can’t like anyone else
She knows she’s not like the rest
Like the rest of the girls
She was never the ones
The ones to adore pearls
So what was so wrong?
She knows that she’s different
Left out
She thinks
That maybe to find boys
She’d apply for scouts

But that didn’t work
She felt so lost
“You’re into boys”
Then why has she been tossed?
“You’re into boys.”
But deep down
Her picture of a lover
Is long hair
Rosy lips
And curvy hips
She knows it’s wrong
But maybe
Being gay
Maybe that’s;
That’s okay.

Lilia 10W

Diversity Magazine Issue 1 March 2020 

Black History Month Celebrations
 

In our school community we celebrate Black History Month throughout the year not just in October!

Here are some great events that took place last year in our school: a Diversity trip to see Ballet Black perform at the Theatre Royal Stratford East, Humanities research on black individuals of significance from History, Geography and Religion, a special assembly from Equal Opportunities Student Group etc.

The 2019 theme is Black migrations.

Please visit the Black History Month website for events, articles and videos.

There will be many events in our school including another diversity / drama trip to see Master Harold and the boys at the National Theatre, a Leadership Team assembly on Black Britain, Student Progress Leader assemblies on The Importance of Celebrating Black History Month etc.

Ms Desbenoit
Diversity Coordinator

 

Diversity Workshops 

All Year 8 students were lucky to participate in a one hour Diversity workshop on Wednesday 20th June 2018.

The aim of the workshop was to give our students an opportunity to engage with issues around sexual orientation and gender identity in a safe and open environment.

The key messages were ones of kindness, respect and equality.

In our school we want students to feel free to express themselves and feel valued for their uniqueness.

We listened to LGBT volunteer role models whose powerful stories gave an insight in to the experiences of LGBT people. A Q&A followed which helped develop students’ empathy, understanding and acceptance and challenge stereotypes and prejudice.

Here are their views:

I really enjoyed this workshop because of how everyone came together and expressed their feelings on LGBT+. It’s really wonderful that the charity is spreading more awareness on the subject. I felt like it was a very safe and accepting atmosphere and overall believe everyone should receive a chance to speak to them also -Aliyah 8S

I thought this session was very good to help inform people about different people’s stories and how you never know what people go through in life- Bo 8F

I liked how open the role models were and how open we could be with them. It was nice learning about LGBT+ because it opened my eye more to this community- Rachel 8F

The atmosphere was really inviting and Tanya and Alex’s stories were very inspirational and made me realise that anyone can be who they want to be and we should accept anyone who is part of LGBT+ and never judge them if we don’t know their full stories. Katie was also really helpful with the meanings of terms – Amber 8W

I think all schools should get to have this workshop because it would be really beneficial to people wanting to come out as it would make them feel safe and secure. - Aoife 8S

 What I liked about the workshop is that it educates people to be more open minded and confident to discuss LGBT+ topics, which helps us become kinder and more accepting. –Amanta 8S

I really enjoyed this workshop because their stories were really relatable and it was really educational. No one felt awkward or uncomfortable. – Jay Ming 8F

You should accept people for who they are and not treat anyone any differently. – Jessica 8F

I liked the fact that the two role models had the courage and confidence to tell their stories and their message. It was a phenomenal activity and very inspiring.-Destiny 8C

I really enjoyed all of the session and all of the honesty. During the session, we were able to hear both stories and how they felt when they came out. They told us how to be supportive and that was really helpful. - Ornalda 8C

I liked that I learnt new things about the LGBT+ community and how to understand people better, really enjoyed it. – Tatiana 8H

I enjoyed how they told their own stories to inspire us and convey messages such as you should try to be a supportive friend to anyone you know comes out to you because it’s a privilege they trust you. - Anisa 8H.

I have now a bigger understanding of the LGBT+ community. The role models were really brave and I think everybody should see this work shop. – Deja 8H.

I really enjoyed this session as it showed me and others that you shouldn’t be afraid to be yourself. It’s wonderful how Tanya and Alex shared their personal stories to all of us. I found them so inspirational and brave– Ilgin 8G.

I was very proud of how well our students behaved and how respectful and open minded they were.

Ms Desbenoit
Diversity Coordinator

 

 

 

 

 

Alan Turing Monopoly 

In celebration of the life of Alan Turing, members of Year 9 have been playing the Alan Turing edition of Monopoly. It is based on a hand-drawn version of the game which Alan played over 50 years ago. The original can be seen in the Bletchley Park Museum.

Ms Robinson
Challenge Co-ordinator


 

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Awards