Culture, equality and inclusion
We are striving to become ‘Inclusive Sussex’. All members of our community will have equal access to opportunities, and we will enable and support them to fully achieve their potential and contribute to the success and advancement of the University. Find out about the work we are doing at Sussex and the ways we involve and support our community.
Our Inclusive Sussex vision
FInd out about our vision to become Inclusive Sussex. Reducing inequalities and celebrating diversity allows us all to thrive. We can achieve more together than we can apart.
This equality, diversity and inclusion strategy sets out the steps we will take to become an Inclusive Sussex. This is a collective endeavour across management, staff and students which sets out to create a fully inclusive campus by and for our whole community.
Advancing equality and building an Inclusive Sussex
- Video transcript
Hello. My name is David Ruebain, and I'm the Pro-Vice-Chancellor for Culture, Equality and Inclusion.
I'd like to talk today about the University's more proactive and positive obligations to advance equality, diversity and inclusion, and also related legislation which affects our work in this area.
Many of you will be aware that the Equality Act 2010 is the primary legislation requiring organisations, including universities, to avoid acting unlawfully in the area of various kinds of discrimination, harassment and victimisation, and also proactively to make reasonable adjustments to ensure that disabled people don't face substantial disadvantage.
But beyond that, universities as public bodies have particular obligations under what's called the Public Sector Equality Duty.
And the Public Sector Equality Duty is an innovative, proactive obligation requiring universities and other public bodies to have due regard to the need to eliminate discrimination, harassment, victimisation and any other unlawful conduct, but also in particular to advance equality of opportunity and to foster good relations between persons who may share a protected characteristic or which is an identity, and those who don't or who have different identities.
And these particular obligations, these proactive obligations, are critical in fostering and creating an environment in which everyone can succeed.
In Sussex, for example, we have initiated a number of programs that seek to help us meet the obligations of the Public Sector Equality Duty. For example, we are now at the beginning of a five-year initiative called Black at Sussex, which is an initiative in partnership with other organisations, including the Black Cultural Archives in London, and seeks to celebrate some of our many extraordinary Black alumni and thereby also help us create an environment within the University which fosters a sense of belonging for everyone.
We set up a Religion and Belief Forum to help us think about diverse groups within our community who hold particular beliefs, whether they're faith beliefs or other beliefs, or who hold no particular beliefs. And what we may need to do to bring the different communities together.
We've commenced a series of exciting events called Inclusive Sussex: In Conversation, where we will be bringing external speakers from a variety of backgrounds to talk about their lives and their work in a way which I hope will be engaging, informative and supportive of our ambitions as a university.
And in that way, we hope to use the legal obligations that we have to enable us to really deliver on our values in our strategy, and to meet our commitment to advance equality, diversity and inclusion.
Related to this work, the University has other legal obligations which frame the work that we do, and these include legal obligations to prevent hatred, incitement of hatred, to protect against harassment and to maintain public order and safety. And there are, of course, other legislative frameworks which may as well impact, such as the University's obligations under the Prevent Duty, to prevent extremism.
And indeed, legal frameworks which cover all organisations, but also universities, such as prohibitions against libel and defamation and indeed protecting employees' rights in a variety of ways as well.
Our Antiracist Pledge
We pledge that we will seek to be Antiracist by making all necessary changes to the education, research and administrative activities of the University. Through diligent, sustained antiracist work we will move towards being an inclusive university that genuinely celebrates and reflects diversity.
Find out more and view further Inclusive Sussex commitments.
Freedom of speech
We are committed to promoting academic freedom and freedom of speech through providing an environment for the peaceful exchange of diverse viewpoints.
Our research centres
Some of our research centres around Culture, Equality and Inclusion include:
Equality and Inclusion Calendar 2023
Highlighting key faith days and important diversity awareness dates, our calendar provides a useful resource for staff and supports our aim to create an inclusive environment at Sussex.
David Ruebain: Inclusive Sussex update
Freedom of speech work, the Open Listening Programme, checking your equalities data on MyView, World Funfair Month and In Conversation event
Marking National Inclusion Week - 25 September to 1 October
Monday 25th September marks the start of National Inclusion Week 2023.
Digital Accessibility Essentials (ZOOM SESSION)
Thursday 28 September from 8:00 until 9:00
This session offers practical tips and useful resources to enable you to create accessible documents, Canvas sites and announcements.
Creating a sense of community is vital to us at Sussex and we want to provide opportunities for you to connect, to be supported and feel included.
If you are a member of staff you can:
- join a staff network group
- become a dignity champion
- become an EDI champion within your School or division.
Find out more about Equality, Diversity and Inclusion at Sussex or take a look at our Report and Support tool to report bullying, harassment or violence.
We'd love to hear from you so we can constantly monitor and improve our Culture, equality and inclusion web pages.
Let us know how we are doing.