WHY AM I SHARING THIS?
Because since #womened I have become a stronger, more empowered version of my old self. I have become a better version of me. Was this a conscious decision? No. Has the change been good? Yes.
But more significantly, since the launch of our Diverse Leaders Programme and #bameed I have learnt even more about myself through others.
I, Hannah Wilson, the white woman who has curated a programme for BAME educators, delivered a TEDx on Diversity and taken on 1200 educators in Banff about the lack of diverse representation has grown by working with a group of 50 inspiring BAME leaders.
What have I learned through developing others?
That everyone wants to included.
That everyone wants to be valued.
That everyone wants to have a sense of self-worth.
But not everyone is included, valued and feeling worthy which leads to low self-esteem and disenfranchisment.
I knew the shared narratives of the #womened community as I have trod that path. I didn't know the common experience of the #bameed community; I still am only scratching the surface, but by creating a safe space for personal and professional growth I have been privy to some deep journeying work.
I now know what it is like to be a #HeForShe in a room of women. I am used to being the only white woman in the room. Have I felt isolated, helpless, disempowered? No. I have felt very privileged to witness the journey our Diverse Leaders have gone on? Yes.
Questions I am still working through AS I CHALLENGE MYSELF TO CONTINUE TO GROW AS BOTH A HUMAN AND A LEADER:
What are my biases and how do I acknowledge them and work within that frame? Am I in denial and ignoring my privilege? Do I have a sense of entitlement? How do I support #BAMEed without speaking on behalf of people? How can I keep the door open to ensure that we keep welcoming diverse educators into the profession? How can I ensure that we invite diverse leaders to the party and to sit/speak at the table?
I have more questions than answers at the moment, but I will continue to contribute to the conversation because:
"The idea of belonging shouldn't be considered a privilege only for some, it should be considered a human right for all".
Because at the end of the day, we want all want to hear:
"You are accepted. You are loved. You are chosen".
As a profession we are this voice of acknowledgement, tolerance, acceptance and recognition for our students. But just as we focus on student wellbeing at the expense of staff wellbeing, as a profession we are also guilty of focusing on student representation and identity at the expense of our workforce's.
The DFE Diversity Grants, Runnymede Report, #BAMEed launch are all steps in the right direction and today's #digimeet has been enlightening. Thank you all for sharing your stories and for helping the profession to grow & learn.