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Equality, diversity and inclusion

In line with King’s wider equality, diversity and inclusion (EDI) statement, the Department of Geography is committed to the provision of equality of opportunity and the recognition and promotion of diversity for all our students, staff and visitors.

We established the Department of Geography Equality, Diversity and Inclusion Committee as part of our successful Athena SWAN Bronze award. This was confirmed in September 2019 and we are now working to ensure our four-year action plan is implemented, with an intention to apply for Silver in 2023. Importantly, the Committee works around all axes of diversity and inclusion. We also work closely with our Faculty of Social Science & Public Policy EDI Committee: https://www.kcl.ac.uk/sspp/about/edi

Our overall aims

  • Nurture a collegial, mutually supportive and committed culture among staff, students and visitors.
  • Provide and promote an environment in which all people can learn, work and interact freely without fear of discrimination, prejudice or harassment.
  • Create and sustain a diverse work and learning environment.
  • Ensure all students and staff are treated equitably and are not accorded less favourable treatment because of age, marital/civil partnership status, sex, disability, race, colour, ethnic or national origin, sexual orientation, family circumstances, religious or political beliefs and transgender status.
  • Enhance the work-life balance of all staff in relation to caring responsibilities and other issues affecting well-being. 

Equality, Diversity and Inclusion Committee

The aims of the committee are for Geography’s policies, practices and processes to empower individuals and to address any systemic inequalities that may hinder an inclusive and diverse working and learning environment.

The terms of reference for our Departmental Equality, Diversity and Inclusion are as follows:

The following members of staff sit on the EDI Committee:

• Chair: Dr Daniel Schillereff

• Deputy Chair: Dr Kate Olde (also a member of the technical team)

• The Education Lead and Research Lead for the Department

• A member of our research staff

• Two members of the Professional Services team

• Four members of academic staff, including the Disability Officer

1. To act as a forum for discussing diversity & inclusion policies, practices and priorities, at all levels, and to make recommendations as appropriate.

2. To monitor the influence of external policies and reports, and of KCL policy, and discuss their influence on diversity and inclusion in the Department and to make recommendations as appropriate.

3. To adapt and create new diversity and inclusion policies as appropriate.

4. To oversee the implementation of relevant action plans (e.g. Athena SWAN, Race Equality Charter) to ensure that diversity and inclusion policies are effectively translated into programmes of action at department level.

5. To advise the Head of Department on strategic policy developments relating to diversity and inclusion, their integration into the Department’s overall strategic plans and on their implementation.

6. To establish project groups as required to investigate, report on and implement work on specific dimensions of diversity and inclusion issues.

7. To ensure diversity and inclusion policies and procedures are effectively disseminated and promoted in the department.

8. To maintain appropriate consultation and communication routes with all relevant committees and groups in the Department, University and with external bodies.

9. To provide a central repository for information, monitor data and provide guidance.

• Our EDI Committee has two strategic priorities for 2021-22: (i) conduct a comprehensive review of our field research and teaching principles and practices and (ii) developing a guidance document on what more inclusive classrooms could look like in our Department. The outputs and resulting actions will be uploaded to this website at the end of the academic year.

• The EDI Committee set as its priority for the 2020-21 academic year to evaluate the inclusivity of our recruitment practices and explore how we could modify our processes for the better. We established a working group who compiled and presented a set of recommendations to the Department. This document is available at this link.

• In the Summer of 2020 we commissioned a report ‘Decolonising from the ground up’ as a deep exploration of the concerns and priorities of our student body around decolonising the curriculum and improving classroom culture. Data were collected and the report authored by two PhD researchers, Rosa Heimer and Nirali Joshi, with embedded responses from the previous and current Chairs of the Geography EDI Committee. The report puts forward a series of recommendations that the EDI Committee has and will reflect upon and use to guide its strategy in the months and years ahead.

• We have established a working group to evaluate the inclusivity of our recruitment practices. A set of recommendations have been presented to the Department.

• We now deliver presentations as part of induction week for undergraduate and postgraduate students.

• In May 2021, a form of a ‘Conversations about Race’ workshop was delivered to all staff.

• In October 2020, we organised a series of events for Black History Month, including an interactive newsletter (using Sway), which highlights influential Black figures who have influenced our thinking and work, alongside an interview with Dr Margaret Kadiri.

• In July 2020, we organised a 'Decolonising the Curriculum' workshop open to all Geography staff and GTAs.

• The BA Geography dissertation of graduate, Haleemah Shaffait was published as an SSPP Briefing entitled ‘Inclusivity at university: Muslim student experiences’.

• We funded a consultation, led by two Geography PhD students, to explore racialised students’ perspectives on our curriculum and practices. Recommendations were presented to the Department.

Read the 'Decolonising from the ground up’ report

Equality, Diversity & Inclusion at King's

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