The University of York’s Strategy for 2030 centres around becoming a University for Public Good.
One of the strategy’s four key principles is Inclusion and as such our strategy makes a compelling case for cultivating an environment where all of our staff and students can flourish, regardless of their background, and building a community which fosters a sense of belonging and is reflective of our values.
In early 2022 the University embarked upon a set of eight Transformational Initiatives which were designed to help us build on our vision and begin to bring our strategy to life.
Key to the 'Building a Diverse Staff and Student Community' Transformational Initiative was the establishment of a new EDI Exchange.
On Wednesday 2 November, the University of York launched the EDI Exchange with our inaugural Inclusive Impact Awards.
These awards showcased and celebrated individuals, teams and initiatives that are already advancing purposeful change at York around EDI, from research projects and inclusive education practices to collaborations, partnerships and community-building initiatives.
The Inclusive Impact Awards Ceremony also served as a starting point for the EDI Exchange, by allowing us to come together to start the conversations that will shape the future of our work and enable us to deliver on our strategy to create an inclusive university, making EDI everyone’s business.
- The Careers and Placements Team
- Victoria Jack and Gill Bishop - Skills for Management and Professional Development module
- Alice Rawson and Rachel Barnes, Inclusive Learning Interns
- The Decolonising and Diversifying the Curriculum Working Group - Jess Penn and Kai Tsao
- The Decolonising Education Collective (DEC), Department of Education
- Centre for Women’s Studies
- Tiffany Agbobu, previous president of the Hull York Medical School Afro-Caribbean Society
- The Content Warnings Guidance in Language and Linguistic Science, created by Claire Childs, Paul Drew, Géraldine Enjelvin, Sarah Lapacz and Dominic Watt
- Listening to Inequalities in Chemistry Education - Julia Sarju, Lizzie Wheeldon, Nicole Kilarma and Sofia Macip Hefferan
- The Department of Chemistry - Leonie Jones, Caroline Dessent, Avtar Matharu, Julia Sarju, Kevin Cowtan, David Smith and Paul Walton
- Tamlyn Ryan, Academic Skills Adviser, Inclusive Learning @ York
- Dr Shazia Jagot, Lecturer in Mediaeval and Global Literature
Highly commended: The Department of Chemistry
The Department of Chemistry is an exemplar of EDI – it embodies a university of public good through its action. They lead an innnovative agenda for change by pioneering EDI work particularly around gender, LGBTQ+, disability and race.
Inclusion is their business and in the very fabric of the Department's values.
Hearing senior academics speak passionately about EDI helps to establish an acceptance of inclusivity at an early stage of our students’ career journey and allows them to feel properly embedded within the Department.
Winner: The Decolonising Education Collective (DEC)
The Decolonising Education Collective (DEC) is a collaborative group of staff and students from all levels of the Education Department that pushes radical and important change around diversity, anti-racism and decolonisation. The DEC were chosen for the Inclusive Impact Award due to the measurable difference that they have made across all areas of the Department and all aspects of academic life.
The Decolonising Education Collective, winners of the Inclusive Education Award, pictured with YUSU President Pierrick Roger, who presented their award, Michelle Hughes and Kiran Trehan.
- Jeannette Kadia, Associate Lecturer, Pre-Sessional Courses, and Kai Tsao, Equality and Diversity Coordinator - Race Equality CPD Session
- Drs Shazia Jagot, Lola Boorman, and Alexandra Kingston-Reese - Decolonising Network, The Department of English and Related Literature
- Catherine Shawyer and Nicola Towle, PGCE English tutors - Diverse texts in schools project
- Jill Webb, Associate Dean for Teaching, Learning and Students, Social Sciences Faculty
- Danielle Mason, Security Supervisor
- Anti-racism in Social Work: University of York and Yorkshire Local Authorities Partnership, School of Business and Society
- Yorkshire Consortium for Equity in Doctoral Education (YCEDE)
Anti-racism in Social Work: University of York & Yorkshire Local Authorities Partnership
This work has inspired both individual and organisational action to promote anti-racism and inclusivity. Colleagues have led the way in developing anti-racist policy and practices in partnership with local authorities. Through innovative mechanisms, including fictional narratives, this work has been instrumental in extending the reach to other regions including Bradford council, Leeds City Council and Kirklees Council. This project has led positive change around anti-racism within the social work profession that our students aspire to work in.
Yorkshire Consortium for Equity in Doctoral Education (YCEDE)
For their work across Yorkshire, nationally and internationally with our US partners. YCEDE is a genuine collaborative endeavour which leads by example, working in partnership with staff, students and external organisations to co-create inclusive communities and support minoritised PGR students.
Yorkshire Consortium for Equity in Doctoral Education, winners of the Inclusive Partnerships Award, pictured with Kiran Trehan, and our new Chancellor Heather Melville OBE who presented the award.
- Feminist Society
- Fran Hornsby, Student Support and Advice Coordinator
- British Asian Society
- Ngunan Ioron Aloho - ‘Cultured You’ event
- The Student Expert Panel, Phoebe Durojaiye & Tiffany Agbobu: ‘Middle Ground’ events
- Viva Voce, YUSU volunteering project
- The Inclusive Learning @ York Team: Jan Ball-Smith, Jess Penn and Nick Glover
- Derwent Multicultural Fashion Show, ‘Regal Beings’ - Phoebe Durojaiye, Timi Phillips, Idoreyin Hope Akpan, Shareef Fang & Moesha Snoek
- Jonny Lovell - ‘Connecting People’
- Lorna Warnock - ‘Women in Research’
- Kiran Trehan, PVC for Partnerships & Engagement
- The Department of Computer Science: Paul Cairns, Iain Bate, and Simon O'Keefe
- Centre For Women's Studies
- Institute for Safe Autonomy - Build Project End User Team
- The Department of Chemistry: Derek Wann, David Smith, Leonie Jones, Eliza Bonello, Alex Palmer, Damian Shaw, Alison Edmonds, Kevin Cowtan
- Emilia Chambers and the BAME Network
- Ellie Brown, YUSU EDI Lead
Fran Hornsby, Student Support and Advice Coordinator
Fran is the University’s dedicated contact for independent students. Not only does she take a front-line role working directly to support our independent students, she is also an exemplar of someone who wants to, and is, making a measurable difference to ensure that our independent students have the most inclusive experience possible at this University. Fran is an invaluable asset to the Student Support team and to the wider University.
"I genuinely believe I would not have finally made it to university without her, she has been my comfort, guidance, and cheerleader; fighting with me to ensure I could start my studies here and have the same opportunities as everyone else. Not every university even recognises the unique challenges and barriers of being an estranged student, but even the ones that do, I can tell you now, do not have anyone as passionate, dedicated, and utterly invested in supporting estranged students as Fran has."
The Student Expert Panel, Phoebe Durojaiye and Tiffany Agbobu: ‘Middle Ground’
The Student Expert Panels and the Middle Ground series of events are inspiring initiatives led and designed by students to ensure that, as a university for public good, EDI is at the heart of our actions. They have been the diverse student voices that advise, challenge and support the University to ensure that we can create a fair and equitable society for all.
Phoebe Durojaiye and Tiffany Agbobu, winners of the Inclusive Community Award, pictured with Kiran Trehan, Michelle Hughes, Nick Glover from the Inclusive Learning team and Maria Ayaz, Head of Equality and Diversity who presented the award.
- Dr Jillian Barlow, GenerationResearch, Biology
- The Enhancing Audio Description project team, led by Dr Mariana Lopez, Theatre, Film, Television and Interactive Media
- Susana Liarte, Strategic Insights & Analysis
- Jozef Kulik, PhD Researcher
- The ECORISC Centre for Doctoral Training Widening Participation Summer Scholarship Scheme 2022 - Professor Alistair Boxall and the ECORISC CDT Team, Department of Environment and Geography
- Anna Bull, Department of Education
- Bimali Indrarathne, Department of Education
- Interdisciplinary Global Development Centre, Department of Environment and Geography
- The Department of Chemistry: Pathways to Equity in Research Conference organisers - Cate Anstöter, Sari Budisulistiorini, Will Drysdale, John (Wes) Halfacre, Katherine Manfred, Megan McLoughlin, Beth Nelson, Connor Prior, Mia Shandell, Luke Wilkinson, Caroline Dessent
- Department of Environment and Geography: The Inclusive Climate Resilient Transport Planning in Africa project - Gary Haq (Project Lead), Steve Cinderby, Howard Cambridge
- ESRC Vulnerability and Policing Futures Research Centre, School for Business and Society - Vulnerability and Policing Futures Research Centre Ring-fenced PhD
Vulnerability and Policing Futures Research Centre Ring-fenced PhD
The newly established five year Vulnerability and Policing Futures Research Centre funded by the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) which is based at the Universities of York and Leeds has a commitment to EDI as a core part of its mission. The Centre’s research explicitly engages with issues of racial injustice and one of their funded PhDs focuses on the over-policing and vulnerability in minoritised communities. This is critically important work given the injustices of over-policing of minority communities and people of colour.
This award is given for their proactive steps to address problems in attracting people from diverse ethnic backgrounds and for ensuring greater diversity in the next generation of research leaders in this field.
This Inclusive Impact Award was presented to Jillian for her leadership, passion and commitment to widening access, participation and equity in research.
Jillian’s passion for widening access to Science is infectious. Based on her own experience as the first in her family to go to university, she is determined to ensure that students from all backgrounds have the opportunity to experience research and are exposed to possible career paths within scientific research. She is a firm believer that ‘talent is everywhere but opportunities are not’ and she has tirelessly sought funding and grown networks to develop Generation Research which has now become a flagship initiative.
Jillian Barlow, winner of the Inclusive Research Award, pictured with Kiran Trehan, and Jan Hardman, Professor of Language Education, who presented the award.
- Chris Brunt, Equality & Diversity Team
- Linda Brosnan, Equality & Diversity Team
- Staff in Biology - Cleaning Staff/Jenny Smith and Jo Plummer, Cookies/Biology Infrastructure team
- Karl Butler, Security Services
- Nicola Long, Student Wellbeing Officer, Department of Chemistry
Two awards were made in this category, to Jenny Smith, Jo Plummer and the wider Biology Infrastructure team and to Karl Butler, Security Services.
These are individuals who embody everything that is special about our staff. They make an incredible difference to our staff and students through their actions; they quietly lead by example and would simply say "I am just doing my job".
Their roles are central to our staff and student community and through their everyday actions they are breaking down barriers to ensure inclusivity for all.
Jenny Smith, Jo Plummer and Karl Butler, winners of the Inclusive Campus Awards, pictured with Wayne Campbell, Academic Registrar, who presented the awards, Michelle Hughes and Kiran Trehan.
The PVC's EDI Catalyst Award
- Amelia Doherty, Department Representative for History, and Departmental Community Coordinator
- Jess Burchell, Access & Participation Monitoring and Evaluation Team
- The Black Access Student Team who have developed and delivered the innovative Black Access programme
- Phoebe Durojaiye, Medical Student and Student Expert Panel member
- Dr Jillian Barlow - GenerationResearch, Biology
- Avtar Matharu - Department of Chemistry
- Diversification and Decolonisation (D&D) Working Group - Theatre Team, The School of Arts and Creative Technologies
Avtar has been an advocate for EDI through his work in several areas. Notable examples include his work in the community through the York Interfaith Group and York Indian Cultural Association where he advocates and enables EDI to be at the heart of the community, through selfless service which is a defining feature of Avtar and his work in this space.
No one deserves an award dedicated to recognising someone who leads and promotes positive change at the University of York more than Phoebe Durojaiye. Phoebe does it all, from organising the University's first multicultural fashion show to staging two landmark Middle Ground events, to hosting her own radio programme. She exemplifies inclusivity in all aspects of her life. Phoebe has led a vision and commitment to change that has galvanised students and staff from across the university – Phoebe has been an important catalyst and helped make EDI everyone’s business.
Phoebe Durajaiye, winner of the PVC's EDI Catalyst Award, pictured with Michelle Hughes and the two PVCs who presented the award, Tracy Lightfoot and Kiran Trehan.
The Vice Chancellor's outstanding contribution award
This award recognises the contribution that Anna Reader has made to the advancement of Equality, diversity and inclusion across the University, in particular her passion and commitment to proactively advancing the staff and student inclusivity agenda and contributing to the design and delivery of the EDI exchange.
Anna Reader, winner of the The Vice Chancellor's outstanding contribution award, pictured with Kiran Trehan.
Highly Commended recipients
To everyone who took part in our inaugural Inclusive Impact Awards and who helped shape this very special event by making a nomination, presenting an award, or just by joining us on the evening.
Find out more about the EDI Exchange on our website.