Staff and students at Newcastle College have been recognised in an awards ceremony, celebrating the work they’ve done to embrace diversity on campus and in their community.
The Embracing Diversity Awards, held in the College’s Mandela Art Gallery on 25 April, shared work done over the past twelve months which recognises and celebrates equality and diversity.
Paula Miller, Head of Learner Services and Safeguarding at Newcastle College said: “Embracing diversity is a key part of our curriculum across the College.
“We are based in the heart of a very diverse community in Newcastle and we feel it’s important to celebrate that and encourage our staff and students to recognise the value of diversity.
“The awards encourage everyone across campus to consider ways in which they can champion equality and diversity in creative and innovative ways and bring us all together to celebrate everything that makes us unique, as well as everything we have in common.”
Now in its 16th year, the event recognises outstanding contributions to embracing diversity made by students and staff, in working with communities and in embedding approaches to equality and diversity within the curriculum.
With six awards up for grabs, entries were open to all colleagues and students who were encouraged to submit their work through creative mediums such as photographs, videos and storyboards.
Entries included artwork, projects and events covering issues from supporting students with Autism, to LGBTQ+ History Month and mental health awareness to youth in society.
Winning the award for Further Education Student Coursework was a project titled ‘Spend a Day in Their Shoes’, a series of awareness campaigns based on the UK’s nine protected characteristics.
Lucy Tranter, the Graphic Communications tutor who came up with the project for her students said: “The idea behind the project was asking students to put themselves in the position of people who may fit into protected characteristics, whether that’s a disability, sexual orientation or pregnancy and maternity and transform it into an awareness campaign.
“It was such a big topic and took a lot of research for our students, but it worked because it encouraged them to understand equality and diversity and it was a good way for them to learn about how certain issues might affect them in the workplace in the future.”
One of the students involved in the project was 17 year-old Faye Skelton from Gateshead. She focused her part of the project on teenage pregnancy, saying that it was a challenging but interesting subject.
She said: “It means a lot that our project won. Diversity is so important, we’re all different and we should embrace that.”
Newcastle College encourages recognition, acceptance and respect of differences and is committed to its messages that embracing diversity is more than simple tolerance, it is understanding and valuing each other’s qualities and uniqueness.
The College was recognised at the North East Equality and Diversity awards earlier this year, for the positive impact of embedding equality and diversity within its curriculums and particularly for the Embracing Diversity Awards. It has also been shortlisted for a North East LGBTQ Award for the work it does to create safer learning spaces for LGBTQ students.