Inclusion, Diversity and Equality
Inclusion, diversity and equality has been an ongoing Conversation at all levels of the College in recent years. At this time when issues of racism and racial injustice are rightly being highlighted on a global scale we wanted to update you with the work that is being undertaken.
At the highest levels, Revd Lusa Nsenga-Ngoy (Black Asian and Minority Ethnic Mission and Ministry Enabler for the Diocese of Leicester) and Revd Ade Eleyae (Bishop’s Equality Adviser in the Diocese of Chelmsford), are trustees who sit on the St Mellitus College Board. They are able to advise us on issues relating to inclusion, diversity and equality and have been involved with providing training for staff and input to students relating to diversity over the last year.
For the past 18 months, a BAME Students Focus Group has been meeting with the senior leadership team of the College, helping us to listen to and learn from the BAME student experience. While up to now, this has been comprised of ordinands, we intend to widen this to include undergraduate representation in the next academic year. More widely, lecturers continue to work to diversify module reading lists and contributors to ensure a wide range of perspectives are drawn into theological learning and engagement. We have also been seeking ways in which we as a college can promote real, positive change and support under-represented groups in vocations and discernment, particularly through the establishment of the Peter Stream and programmes like Beginning Theology.Of course, we recognise that we have a long way to go and that there is much more we can and should be doing as a theological training institution. We are committed to continuing to work to bring about systemic and lasting change within the Church of England and beyond, which is why this is an active and ongoing discussion for the leadership and staff team of the College. As part of this, the College is seeking to establish a diversity task force that will take forward our response in these vitally important issues, and will drive and accelerate the work that is already being done. Our intention is that this group will be formed of members of the leadership team, the wider staff team, students and will also involve consultation with board members. We hope to communicate further with an update from this task force and a roadmap for our continued work later in the autumn or early in the New Year.