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Race Equality Week at West London College

Race Equality Week is a week when organisations across the country unite in activity to ‘seriously’ address race in the workplace. The events of 2020, including the Black Lives Matter movement and the disproportionate impact of COVID-19 on ethnic minority communities, have heightened public consciousness of race inequality. The week aims to galvanise and maximise impact through a nationwide collaboration for real change with a theme of #ActionNotJustWords

West London College is participating because we have much to celebrate in terms of the work we do with our diverse learners, our work on inclusion and everything we do to help set up people for success in their lives and careers – however, we still have more to do to positively promote race equality, demonstrate we are anti-racist, and to unpick elements of our systems and processes that may unwittingly contribute to systemic racism in British society. We want to use this week and the activities below to show this and as the hashtag says show #ActionNotJustWords

Race Equality Week is distinct from Black History Month, which is about educating communities and spotlighting excellent black role models. Race Equality Week is about taking individual action and asking what action have we taken as individuals or organisations to support and promote Race Equality.

These are just some of the activities we will be holding this week:

  • Teaching staff facilitated content-creation tutorials in the weeks leading up to REW for students to create posters. We will display these during Race Equality Week. We will also be displaying anonymised responses to our student survey on Black Lives Matter, giving a sample of students’ views.
  • We held discussion tasks during tutorials linked to Race Equality Week and the #MyNameIs campaign. We have also shot two videos with Ambrose Quashie (HS2 Skills Manager), and Virendra Sharma MP for Ealing, Southall talking about their experiences, their career journey, the racism they have faced and showing how you ‘see it to be it’.
  • We are promoting #MyNameIs – a simple but highly impactful way to ensure everyone pronounces people’s names correctly. It is a phonetic name spelling campaign to help tackle race inequality. This will also be included during our staff training day on 11 February.
  • We are acknowledging the power of leadership to make a difference to Race Equality and will be using #BigPromise to set out proactive actions the college will be taking to proactively demonstrate it is anti-racist. We will also encourage staff and learners to do the same and make their pledges public.
  • Drum Carib – an Afro-Carib fusion group, specialising in African drumming and percussion – will be doing two performances at Southall Community College and Ealing Green College for students and staff to enjoy. Each session will consist of two 45 minute drumming and percussion workshops and a 15 minute performance which will take place during lunchtime.
  • Our canteens will prepare different themed days showcasing food from different cultures.
  • Our Students’ Union Equalities Officer is writing a special editorial for the student newsletter offering students constructive advice on how they can discuss and address issues around Race Equality.
  • Denise Charles, Head of Curriculum for Service Industries and Mike Fisher Head of HR Services, will be running 2 drop-in sessions for all staff to come along to and have a meaningful discussion about race, how things are going and any opportunities we could explore regarding race equality in the workplace.
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