#BlackLivesMatter – Statement from our Chair, Professor Anita Taylor

June 15, 2020

Update for CHEAD Members – EDI Policy June 2020.

Equality, Diversity and Inclusion Statement.

The recent events in the the UK and USA have highlighted the inequality and racism that pervades many aspects of society today. The #BlackLivesMatter movement has brought focus to the need to amplify our commitment to eradicate injustice, to collectively work together to find solutions for our member institutions, and to step-up and engage in actions which lead to change.

The Council for Higher Education in Art and Design firmly believes that Higher Education Institutions should be safe spaces for all staff and students, free from harassment and discrimination and we recognise our shared responsibility to the elimination of all forms of prejudice and discrimination within the art and design higher education sector. In the UK, there are persistent and wide-ranging inequalities for people from Black, Asian and minority ethnic backgrounds, increasing their likelihood of being disadvantaged across all aspects of society. We acknowledge that this is a global problem and that the UK has its own history of racism and injustice.

Through the combined forces of art and design education, our members are focused on tackling inequality and working for social justice. However, we know we need to do much more to address the issue of race equality and to work together as a sector to achieve the necessary changes.

We propose to take forward the agenda from our postponed 2020 CHEAD Annual Conference, The Challenge of Change: the value of creative education supporting inclusion and diversity, to the 2021 Annual Conference, as a key opportunity for our community of members to focus on this critical agenda.

We have also committed to a series of other actions:

CHEAD promises to listen, understand and to correct any inequities we may discover as an organisation and to challenge ourselves to engage purposefully during this process.
We vow to purposefully identify, discuss, and challenge issues of discrimination and the impacts they have on our organisation, member institutions, staff and student communities.
We are resolved to affirm our identity, explicitly and publicly, that CHEAD strives to be an anti-racist organisation.
We are resolved that our anti-racism commitment be reflected in our culture through our policies, programmes and practices as we continue to learn.
We resolve to develop, and work to implement, strategies that dismantle inequality within all aspects of our operations.

We will need immediate and practical action to support the development of services that will sustain transformational change across the full scope of all aspects of equality, diversity and inclusion. As a first step CHEAD will appoint a Trustee as an EDI champion to lead this important agenda with a specific remit to drive change. We will establish EDI for Art and Design as a strategic workstream within our Programme, and this will be supported by a working group.

As an organisation, CHEAD is committed to equality, diversity and inclusion which respects and values the principles of anti-discriminatory practice.

Further resources and reading lists.

Professor Anita Taylor
Chair, CHEAD

15th June 2020

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