Diversity or difference? I don’t care what you call it as long as its at the centre of what you do

Photo of a visual minute panel from the food for thought event - cartooning and writing of key words - food for thought, creative case, art...
‘We are finding it easier to talk about difference than diversity… hope that’s ok?’
 A response from one of the tables of talkers at the ‘Food For Thought‘ event I hosted yesterday in Yorkshire. Its a series of meal based discussions among arts organisations and museums in Yorkshire organised by an Ideas Group of 5 National Portfolio Organisations in the region and funded by ACE Yorkshire designed to get people really talking about how to put equality and diversity at the centre of their artistic practice.

And I mean really talking, not just quick off the cuff remarks such as Continue reading

People: Not as frightening as you might think

An outline of a gingerbread man/personI’m at the other end of the country this week, running a session on equality and diversity for the Clore Social Leadership Programme. When they sent me the list of attenders through, I nearly fell of my chair as I read – biog after biog of fantastic achievers – people who had started this, run that, gained the other and all of whom had already made immense differences to the lives of those around them.

Frankly, I was scared. Continue reading

Under the Covers: The Perils of (Literary) Stereotypes

Jo Verrent - in a green top - speaking animatedly.I’ve always thought stereotypes were dangerous things – they are shortcuts that miss out most of the delicious, divergent detail of life.

And the other week I got to tell loads of people what I think at TEDx Tallaght. They’ve just put the talks up online so that makes up most of today’s post – instead of reading, you can watch today! Continue reading

Ten positive things deafness gives me…

a brightly coloured handbag with coloured straps.I had a fascinating conversation yesterday with a deaf friend – talking about our strategies for working, how we tell people, who we tell and such. We are both ‘partials’ – defined as much by our coping as by our audiograms, living in the hinterland between ‘deaf’ and ‘hearing’ depending on the situation and quite frankly, if we’ve remembered to put our spare batteries in our handbags.

Although we began with some moaning, the conversation quickly turned to the positive aspects to our collective deaf experience, so I thought I’d post a quick top ten best bits – what being deaf (or hearing impaired or hard of hearing or deafened or whatever else you fancy calling it) gives me Continue reading