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Reflections on Race Equality Week: Two months on  

8 May 2024

4 mins

The Legal Services team participated in the Race Equality Matters 5-Day Challenge for Race Equality Week 2024 at the beginning of February.   
The theme for the 5-Day Challenge was #ListenActChange. Race Equality Matters explained this theme was selected after feedback from their community found that there is still much work to be done for the focus to shift from just words to meaningful action and change. All of us in the Legal Services team wanted to participate in the week’s activities, recognising that we all have a part to play in bringing about the changes needed and that there is always more for us to learn. 

It was easy to find time each day to do the brief daily challenge. I had downloaded the materials in advance, so I had them to hand and simply shared the relevant ones with the rest of the team via our MS Teams chat each day.  Everyone did the challenges themselves, at a time convenient to them. Each one took around five minutes and was designed to prompt self-reflection and consideration as to what action we could each take to help drive change.  

The final challenge of the week was to make a Big Promise. This built on all the challenges of the previous days, each of which raised awareness of the issues faced in achieving race equality and the impact of not taking action. They were thought-provoking and covered a whole range of important themes, including the impact of microaggressions, understanding different cultures, the impact of public praise, and the importance of creating a culture of belonging. 

I have made a deliberate effort to educate myself on racial inequality over the last few years. I am a white British woman, who grew up and went to school in a predominantly white, British area. I recognise that for much of my life, issues of race inequality were not at the forefront of my mind and have not directly impacted my life.  

I have had to make a conscious effort to learn about racial inequality and consider the ways that I can contribute to the effort to make a difference. I felt challenged by the call to action by this year’s Race Equality Week as I recognised that there is more that I could (and should) be doing in order to become a much more effective ally. 

The Big Promise covers many of the different roles we may find ourselves in on the journey to race equality – be that as a leader in an organisation, as an ally, or as an ethnically diverse colleague. I see myself as an ally on this journey, and my Big Promise is in that capacity – to learn and proactively act anti-racist. 

Some members of the team have made a similar promise. Others have made different promises. While we did the week’s challenges as a team, it was very much an individual activity for people to engage with and take forward in a way that was appropriate for them. It wasn’t something I wanted to direct or facilitate beyond simply making the challenges available and accessible.  Each member of the team has decided on the Big Promise they feel is appropriate for them.  

I found doing the challenges really worthwhile. They have provoked me to look at the ways that I can step up in my allyship and be more proactive about looking for opportunities to act on what I have learned.  I feel much better informed about the impact of certain beliefs, thoughts, or actions and as a result more confident about being actively anti-racist. I am sure I will revisit the challenges again in the future. 

The challenges are still all available on the Race Equality Matters website, so if you have not yet done them, I would highly recommend taking a look and participating. They were engaging, thought-provoking and accessible with many practical suggestions on things people can do right away to start to bring about positive change wherever they are.  

Helen Taller 
Senior Solicitor (Property and Estates) 

Equality, Diversity and Inclusion

Reflections, comments, discussion and opinion on EDI topics from Loughborough University staff and students

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