Hartpury's Head of Inclusivity praises staff and students following week-long celebration of Equality, Diversity and Inclusion

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Hartpury University and Hartpury College celebrated diversity with a week of events designed for staff and students alike. Activities ranged from workshops to drop-in sessions and guest speaker slots, and culminated in our annual Inclusivity Symposium, which prompted thought-provoking discussions as staff shared their experiences.

The week provided the ideal opportunity to launch two new networks at Hartpury, the Women’s Network and the Neurodivergent Network that will sit alongside the Race Equity Task Group and the Inclusive Teaching and Learning Group.

This year, Hartpury’s EDI Celebration Week took place during LGBTQ+ History Month, recognised through a special Iconic Individuals campaign on the digital screens in Graze restaurant and Student Services on our Gloucestershire campus.

The celebratory week also aligned with Race Equality Week, so it was particularly fitting that Hartpury was able to offer its multi-faith room for Muslim congregational prayer.

Following its first screening in November 2022, the Unreflected Reflections documentary returned for another special showing on campus. Unreflected Reflections is a project celebrating the Muslim communities in Gloucester and the significance of their contribution which has shaped the spaces, places and culture of the city facilitated by the – a long-time partner of Hartpury. Through the ‘Untold Stories series’ and the ‘History of Muslims in Gloucester’, the Friendship Café provides a glimpse into local Muslim history through this photography exhibition and short film documentary.

“I didn’t expect to be moved but the stories were told so beautifully through photography and film, it was hard not to be affected,” said one viewer.

“What was particularly powerful for me was the focus on individuals but also the legacy that they want to secure. I didn’t know how much I didn’t know, and I’d recommend this event to everyone,” they added.

This year’s Inclusivity Symposium, which runs during EDI Celebration Week, welcomed Nick Gazzard from the Hollie Gazzard Trust who delivered a talk about domestic abuse. It’s been a busy month for the charity as they took part in the Knife Angel initiative in Gloucester – the event remembered victims of knife crime and was sponsored by Hartpury as well as other local organisations.

Other events included a conversational session with the Gloucestershire Recovery in Psychosis team that aimed to reduce the stigma attached to psychotic episodes. Olivia Rathbone, Senior Wellbeing Officer and Sexual Violence Liaison Officer at Hartpury also gave a talk on sexual misconduct.

Linda Greening, Head of Inclusivity at Hartpury University said: “When we committed to being inclusive in all we do as one of the three priorities in the Hartpury 2025 strategy, we began a journey of cultural transformation.

“The EDI Celebration Week provides a platform to explore, educate, and engage with a host of inclusivity-related topics. Over the last three years, I’ve always delivered a session during the Inclusivity Symposium that offer updates on inclusivity at Hartpury, and each year we go from strength to strength. One of the key updates from last year was the installation of ‘safe spaces’ on campus that provide benefit to students, staff, and visitors alike.

With thanks to those who were involved in organising or delivering and to those who took part in our EDI Celebration Week, I'm so proud of all staff and students who've got involved and embraced the topics. I’m looking forward to next year’s celebratory events already.”

Hartpury University’s commitment to EDI has never been stronger and the institution is passionate about promoting equality, diversity and inclusion, not just as an integrated part of the curriculum but far and wide in the industries and communities in which they work.

In 2022, Hartpury achieved the Gloucestershire Inclusivity Works Employer Award. The Race Equality Taskforce also endorsed additional training which includes race equality sessions for all staff, now embedded in induction training for all new starters. Meanwhile Hartpury was proud to be the first small specialist university to achieve the Student Minds University Mental Health Charter in 2022.

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