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DkIT Celebrates Equality, Diversity & Inclusivity

25 October 2023

Dundalk Institute of Technology (DkIT) were proud to recently host their second Equality, Diversity & Inclusivity (EDI) Week. This extremely well attended five-day event consisted of a series of talks investigating all subjects related to EDI for students and staff. The Institute currently hosts students from over 45 different countries and are proud of this rich diversity within their student cohort which lends itself to all DkIT’s students and staff’s cultural experience.

This year’s theme was ‘Feels Like We All Belong’ which had an aim around creating a safe space to discuss and explore all aspects of equality, inclusion and diversity in society whilst learning more and making our college community a better place to learn, work and live in.

The week kicked off with an investigation into the Understanding of Race, Racism, Ethnicity & Identities. This was the first lunchtime talk of the week, and the Institute was delighted to welcome Dr Ebun Joseph. Dr Ebun Joseph is a Diversity and Race relations consultant, Director of the Institute of Antiracism and Black Studies and Chairperson of the African Scholars Association Ireland (AFSAI).

This was followed on Tuesday with a talk on Migration & Immigration, where DkIT was joined by Razan Ibraheem, a Journalist & Human Rights Activist who studied here in Ireland and Bobby McCormack, CEO of Development Perspectives. Both Razan and Bobby are passionate about empowering people from different backgrounds to challenge the norms and lead bright futures.

On Wednesday the Institute was delighted to celebrate Traveller Heritage & Culture Awareness and host Owen Patrick Ward from NUI Galway along with Nell and Laura McDonagh from the Meath Traveller Workshop to share their stories and experiences.

On the Thursday the Institute was delighted to be joined by Dr Lucy Michael to discuss all aspects of what Equality is, Diversity & Inclusion. Dr Michael is a sociologist in practice and a consultant on equality and integration issues. Her work particularly addresses racist discrimination and violence, experiences of victims, and the roles of statutory institutions and civil society in combating hate crime and exclusion.

This extremely successful week of events came to an end with a DkIT Staff discussion around redrawing the Boundaries of Inclusion: an all-island community. DkIT staff were invited to examine their views on inclusion and diversity, this session was facilitated by Dr Kevin Howard who spoke eloquently about how this is a substantial issue that is facing us as a nation.

This week of events also saw the important signing by the Institute of the HEA Anti Racism Principles. This signing took place at an event on campus that was attended and supported by DkIT senior management along with Dr Lucy Michael, Dr Jennie Rothwell and Laura Austin from the Higher Education Authority (HEA).  This principles document set out by the HEA was signed on behalf of DkIT by its President, Dr Diarmuid O’Callaghan as part of the institution's ongoing works to foster a culture of race equality within its community. The HEA, recognise the importance of addressing race inequality in Irish higher education. These HEA Anti Racism Principles were developed after extensive consultation with stakeholders from the higher education sector and were informed by the findings of the Higher Education Authority National Race Equality survey and subsequent report published in October 2021.

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