From Pandemic to #BLM Protests - Diversity has a lot to say

The 2020 Story - everyone has one - this is Diversity's.

From their first performance to explode onto the stage to this one, Diversity has always been true to themselves, to the cause of the civil rights movement and to the cause of black lives matter.

In this, one of my favourite art forms, storytelling extraordinaire dance troupe showcase the legacy of systemic racism. Their dancing comes to explosive life right in your living room, moving you, me and nearly everyone.

I can't breathe, literally after this spellbinding rendition. Fanon's beliefs and mission are delivered in this 4 minute unforgettable routine. Mesmerising spoken word alongside imagery and creative dance routines depicts the #BLM movement and its message. Will. I. Am features doing what he does best, sings, as Diversity do what they do best – dance, inspire and story tell. Obvious innovative and loving energy is created on stage against a soundtrack of roaring lions, gun shots, police sirens, bomb explosions normally only found in the darkest abyss. Honesty evokes tears as black people's hell is exposed. The imagery gathers pace and shows Diversity's love of storytelling, taking us on a journey of love before heading towards a sea of forgiveness to offer hope to the next generation.

Just magical - nothing was amiss and for me it was a perfect rendition of the 2020 story. Thank you for your leadership and storytelling.

'We preferred the world we found compared to the one life we left behind. Sometimes you have to get sick before you start to feel better.'

Ashley has the character that every black mother aspires their own child to inherit. Humble, wise, intelligent and forgiving often pursuing contentment and taking many with him. He doesn't waiver from his humbleness. I have witnessed it first hand. Let’s all promote and discuss the Diversity mission.

Candid - David Pulls No Punches About the Media Industry and Racism - To Affect Change - August 2020

If anyone can articulate the marginalisation and racism in all it's forms, it is David Olusoga. I feel honoured to have read and seen this virtual lecture.

Privilege is a Complex Concept

John explains clearly to me what white privilege is. Having privilege affects your daily life. No-one denies that whites have challenges but white privilege simply means that you haven't expierenced challenges in the western world because of the colour of your skin.

ignoring difference and challenges that blacks and others face means that blacks and others raises the chance that their exclusion is not recognised.

My Hero of Today - Lord Michael Hastings July 2020

'I Can't Breathe' is the title of Lord Hastings presentation at the Break the Cycle online conference held in July 2020. Break The Cycle promotes racial equality in educational leadership. Lord Hastings is a campaigner for equality and Chancellor of Regent's University, London

Black Leaders in Schools - proportionate representation hasn’t increased in more than 20 years

Racial Inequality and American Politics

Maybe this is a sign that things are changing to improve the lives of black people. David Olusogo is the 2nd black person to deliver the annual Mactaggart Lecture, since its inception in 1976.

When I look at these past speakers, too many of them hold racist views in my opinion, like John Humphrys and Greg Dyke. There is evidence of them on my website defending racist behaviours or cultures by colleagues and their organisations.

ITV's Stephen Lawrence: Has Britain Changed?

John Amaechi offers his thoughts on David’s lecture

David Interviewed by The Guardian on His Experiences of the Media Industry

28. Aug, 2020

For Years David and People Like Him, Were Sidelined by the Media Industry

For years I was sidelined, devalued and desperately unhappy, in an industry still blind to the realities of racism

When the email inviting me to deliver this year’s MacTaggart lecture arrived, part of me wanted to politely and discreetly decline. The MacTaggart is a big deal, the UK television industry’s most prestigious and most public platform. Declining it is almost as weighty a decision as accepting.

The moment I came to the conclusion that I had to accept, I also decided I had to be frank and candid. The year of Black Lives Matter and the murder of George Floyd is not the year to speak half-truths to power. Delivering a lecture that skirted around the big issue – the television industry’s historic failure to reflect the diversity of the UK, in both its workforce and output, would have been an abrogation of duty and a waste of everyone’s time.

There is not much in TV that intimidates me these days. I no longer find it difficult speaking directly into the glass eye of a camera, or having to “perform” in a room full of people I hardly know. After years working both behind and in front of camera, my heart now races only a little in the seconds before a studio show goes live. But writing and delivering the MacTaggart lecture has been one of the most difficult and demanding tasks of my career.

What made it so daunting is that it seemed clear to me that if I were to use the platform to speak frankly about the industry, I also needed to speak frankly about myself and my career. A prospect that would be profoundly exposing.
To describe how 30 years of failed diversity and missed opportunities have impacted on the careers and wellbeing of people of colour in television required me to reveal my own difficult journey through the industry. Frankness demanded I talk publicly of how, for much of my career, I was sidelined, dismissed and desperately unhappy. Candour meant admitting that I began my other career, writing history books, not to satisfy some burning literary ambition but in a desperate attempt to convince the gatekeepers of TV that I was worthy of their attention. Naively, as it turned out, I imagined that becoming an author would enable me to break into the charmed circle of producers who got the big jobs on the big history series that I longed to work on.

To write an honest lecture involved presenting myself not as one of TV’s diversity success stories – that guy who does the histories of houses – but as yet another black person who has been failed and damaged by an industry with a deep and ongoing diversity problem. It also meant admitting in an ominously public arena something I had not told most of my friends and family: that during my worst moments in TV, I felt so isolated and so devalued that I twice slipped into clinical depression and ended up dependent on antidepressants.
Why make such personal admissions? Because so many other black people who have worked in the industry have been similarly damaged by similar experiences. To stand at the podium and speak about these issues in the abstract would not just have been dishonest, it would have been a betrayal.
The impact of Black Lives Matter has been acutely felt within TV, an industry that in many ways is a perfect case study of the structural nature of racism. In my 20 years in TV I don’t recall meeting anyone who was openly racist, anyone who would dream of using a racial slur with intent to wound. But I have met and worked with countless people who move through the world and through the industry blind to the realities of race and racism – sometimes wilfully so.
To be colour-blind is to be blind to reality, to the fact that in our society skin colour can dictate life chances and limit opportunities. It is also to refuse to acknowledge that people of colour have different experiences to their white colleagues, and that those experiences equip us with different perspectives and mean we have different stories to tell – stories that are valuable, if listened to.

TV is full of subconscious biases, not just towards groups and individuals but towards stories and subjects. For much of my career it has felt as if the industry wanted to have black people in the room but remained unwilling to listen to black perspectives or to tell black stories.

For decades the industry has attempted to solve its diversity problem through countless training schemes and initiatives. Most have achieved little. I know because I am a veteran of two of them. I spent days doing psychological assessments and timed online exercises, and taking part in group assessments, watched over by expert observers with clipboards. All of it was pointless, because when the training was over, no one with any power in the industry was in the least bit interested in the results. Like other black people in TV, I learned that being a graduate of a diversity scheme was not a route to career advancement – and was viewed by some as a mark of failure, something best kept off my CV.

At its worst, the TV industry acts like a bystander to its own diversity and inclusion crisis. In the small world of history documentaries I’ve often heard producers outsource responsibility. The reason there are so few black producers and presenters, they explain, is because black people choose not to study history at university; or alternatively it is all the fault of the publishing industry, for failing to publish books by black historians. There have been failings in both of those sectors, but not enough to excuse TV’s lack of introspection and action.

When black people who work in television speak publicly about the industry’s diversity shortfall, the classic response on social media is to dismiss them by posting lists of black actors, presenters and journalists. But the diversity we can see on screen is simply not reflected behind the camera. According to 2016 figures, only 2.2% of programmes were produced by black, Asian or minority-ethnic producers or directors. In London, where much of the industry is still based, the workforce is 36% BAME.

Black Lives Matter has demanded we acknowledge the structural nature of racism and combat it through structural change. Industries and institutions are being asked not simply to reform but to transform. Television has reacted to this challenge by promising greater and faster change than ever before. New commitments to increase diversity in senior management and commissioning have been made. New money for new programmes that tell black and minority stories has been pledged.

Whether this amounts to reformation or transformation is yet to be seen. But we have only got to this point by having difficult conversations that have been put off for far too long. Giving the MacTaggart lecture, and speaking frankly about my own experiences, is my small contribution to those urgent conversations.

• David Olusoga is a historian and broadcaster. This article is based on his MacTaggart lecture.

DfE - Aspiring and Established Black Leaders Course March-July 2020

Chartered College of Teaching and Black and Asian Professional Unite to Progress the Agenda of Minorities in the Profession July 2020

In this interactive panel discussion, Professor Dame Alison Peacock will be discussing with Aretha Banton, Uzma Sarwar, and Youlande Harrowell issues of diversity in education and their work in forming Mindful Equity UK and the #InThisTogether movement, a peer support network.

Educational Living Theory Inaugural World Conference on June 27th 2020. Kaz was there too. Hopefully next time there will be even more diverse voices and faces as the popularity of ELT grows and changes and influences

A Recovery Curriculum: Reconnection, Re-igniting and Resilience - July 2020

One of the most popular influencers today in education during Covid-19
one comment from the box - So encouraging; Professor Carpenter squarely puts the child at the centre of a recovery curriculum. Teaching CPD at its best.

So You Want To Be An Academy Trust Leader - A presentation on leadership and governance today - August 2020  

Starting as a music teacher, Sir David Carter has spent thirty years in school leadership before becoming one of the first Regional Schools Commissioners and then serving as National School Commissioner between 2016 and 2018.

Currently, Sir David Carter is the Executive Director of System Leadership at Ambition Institute, and a Trustee of the Laidlaw Foundation, Centrepoint, Teaching Awards & Talent Foundry Trust.

Discover from David how to:

👉 Devise an effective leadership strategy and set your trust on the path to guaranteed success

👉 Build a sustainable culture of improvement and make sure you follow the five characteristics of a thriving trust

👉 Put the purpose of academy trust leadership, with all stakeholders, at the forefront of your mission

👉 Make large-scale collaboration work for teachers, pupils, parents and the whole community


Loving Living Locally

Picnicking in Hampton Court Gardens with friends during lockdown

Loving Living Locally

Despite lockdown, we were able to visit a local outdoor concert by Will and the People with family

Loving Living Locally

A popular cycle route in Bracknell Forest I regularly use Milpond

Loving Living Locally

During lockdown, we became creative and watched plays on TV or listened to them on the radio. Some people even wrote them.

Loving Living Locally

I live in Bath too and have been lucky enough to sustain a home there. Love being there, but have loved being in BF too

Pinnacle book that changed authority's understanding

When the Constitution was written, a strange formula to determine taxes and representation declared that the Negro was sixty percent of a person.

Attended a lecture given by WOW showcasing this author

Kendall reveals how feminism has both failed to take into account populations too often excluded

One of my heroines - brave, brash and limited ego

MB addresses in one brave book the misogynists and trolls who mercilessly attack and demean women the world over.

Reynolds and Kendi well known activists

Both authors chronicle the story of anti-black, racist ideas over the course of American history.

Who doesn't know Ruby Bridges

We had to start somewhere in breaking down the walls, the laegacy and the tyranny of segregation

Spain was swapped for Hampshire - A welcome break regardless of where.

MBA started in August 2020

This is designed to help develop my understanding of educational leadership today and in the future.

An introduction to Michael Hastings at this seminar

Michael Hastings has become a hero of mine.

My first virtual event

Loved being introduced to these authors. Also developed a temporary relationship with an administrator at one of the schools I was working with - we shared a passion

this was the 3rd of my virtual events

A great weekend full of vibrant chatter

Michael Hastings

I will lap up anything this man says or does. A theologian - a philosopher and Lord who pays it forward.

An influencer

A definite read - best on history of slavery and the legacy it has left behind

an honest reflection by a black traveller

a fantastic read - definite worthy of awards and your time

stunning reflection of intersectionality

a must read for all - Bell Hooks explains the powerhouse of social injustice - its history, its roots and what the future could look like if we change

Lots to question here - some good examples of change

Worthy of a read. Worthy of your time. Challenge yourself. Practise what you preach.

intersectionality further explored

Worthy of your time worthy of your money. Practise what you preach if you are in people management or education

It was so easy to press the pause button, but pressing the unpause button was going to be more problematic than we had planned.

Pressing the unpause button amidst, a rise in fear, improved connnectivity meaning more people had better access to social media and the indie or dark web, a USA election and an upsurge in #BLM movement

Haven't read it yet but will do soon

Haven't read it all yet but will

Haven't read it all yet but will

Haven't read it all yet but will

Haven't started it yet but will