From education to employment

Milton Keynes College students say we have to talk about race

FE Voices - MKCollegeGroup

Milton Keynes College Group is about to launch the third series of its highly acclaimed, FE Voices, podcasts, which bring together key people in the fight for Equality, Diversity and Inclusion (EDI), this time focusing on the topic of racial justice.

The man behind the five part series says he’s discovered how important it is for young people to hear others who are more established, talking about the problems around race.

“I’ve been really surprised by the number of people who’ve got in touch to say that they didn’t feel they could speak out on EDI in their own lives, communities and workplaces until they heard other people doing it first.  It’s as if hearing people talk about the kinds of situations they had faced gave them permission to add their own voices to the discussion,” says Arv Kaushal, moderator of the podcasts and Equality, Diversity and Inclusion Manager at the College Group.  “I hope there will be people who listen to the discussion on FE Voices who realise that it’s okay for them to speak up about their own experiences.”

The first episode, scheduled to go live on Tuesday 21st at 800am and can be found online and is a discussion with three students who are members of the College Group’s Student Commission on Racial Equality.

While all the students have much to say about the problems of inequality, they are also very positive about many aspects of life in Milton Keynes. Farhad Thabit talks about Britain as,

“This beautiful land… Our great British state has gained its own unique patented culture which is made up of so many others. It’s multicultural; the evidence of this is regardless of our political views, we see the acceptance of our first British Asian Prime Minister, our first Black British Chancellor, and even the adoption of kebabs and curries as national dishes.”

Arv says, “One of the main reasons for producing FE Voices is to try to make sure we’re all talking about the same things.  What I mean when I mention, racial justice, equality, equity and so on may not be the same as what other people think those things are.  If we don’t all have shared definitions we’re always going to be talking at cross purposes, which won’t help anyone.”

Other guests in the series include celebrated Milton Keynes entrepreneurs, Shalom Lloyd, founder of Naturally Tribal skincare, and construction expert, Precious Zumbika-Lwanga.  There’s also an episode with the government appointed, national Further Education Commissioner, Shelagh Legrave.

Arv says, “It’s a mix of people you don’t always hear from when it comes to EDI, either because they’re known for other things or because their voices lack amplification.  Allowing and encouraging people to be heard is the key to positive change.”

You can find out more about FE Voices here.


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