Fri 09 Oct 2020

Chris Stacey, CEO, shares an update on progress against our action plan to promote inclusion and opportunity for the black community.


Making change: an update on our actions to promote inclusion and opportunity for the black community

Back in July, we published "Making Change: our commitment to promoting inclusion and opportunity for the black community". We looked at our organisation and identified areas where we could do more, where we could be better, to promote equality and inclusion. The areas included curriculum design, the student experience, recruitment, training and development, and community outreach. 

I promised to share updates on progress against our commitment. I’m pleased to say that we have started to embed some fundamental changes. This includes:

Mandatory unconscious bias training for hiring managers. Colleagues in management positions are in the process of completing unconscious bias and interview skills training. This training is now part of the compulsory induction programme for all hiring managers. We are also seeking to hire a Recruitment Manager. A key part of their role will be how they can help us shape our recruitment and selection processes with equality and diversity at the heart.

A training programme to educate staff on the history of black oppression. ‚ÄčWe have created a training module giving an introduction to the history of black oppression. This overview has been designed by staff for staff and is being rolled out to all out schools and offices. This is just the start of an on-going education initiative. We are planning events for the start of each term. This will include podcast-style interviews with staff and guest speakers from the black community to share their stories about how they have had to navigate prejudices on a daily basis.

A lecture programme to raise awareness and educate our school communities. To celebrate Black History Month and to kick-off our lecture programme, Danny Bonaventura, a Career Consultant for Student Athletes at the University of Pittsburgh will be giving his perspective on why Black Lives Matter at CATS Academy Boston. Danny shares details of his seminar:

“What does Black Lives Matter really mean? Is it a statement or a movement? Growing up White in America, you don’t really know what it’s like to be Black, and as a White man, I still don’t know. Through active listening, intentional efforts to educate yourself, respect, and love, you can learn how to be an ally and advocate for those who are Black and live that experience every day.”

Thank you to all the colleagues that have shown a genuine passion and commitment to embed change across the organisation. There is a real momentum to ensure that we do all we can to promote equality and diversity for the black community. I look forward to sharing more details on our progress.

Chris Stacey, CEO, CATS Colleges


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