DkIT Supports Strength in Diversity17 November 2022
Dundalk Institute of Technology (DkIT) were absolutely delighted to launch their inaugural Strength in Diversity week which consisted of a series of lunchtime talks for students and staff. DkIT currently hosts students from over 47 different countries, and the Institute is proud of this rich diversity within their student cohort which lends itself to all student’s cultural experience within DkIT’s community.
This Strength in Diversity week was all about creating a safe space to discuss and explore all aspects of equality, inclusivity and diversity, whilst creating an environment to learn more to enhance the Institute and society with the goal of making DkIT a better place to learn, work and live in. DkIT welcomed experts in their field to facilitate the daily talks, but they additionally invited current students and staff to share their lived experience relating to these subjects to gain a better understanding and awareness about the Institutes shared educational culture.
The week kicked off with an excellent talk by Peter Cosgrove from Futerwise who opened discussions on the importance of equality, diversity and inclusion which laid the foundation for the rest of the week’s discussions.
This talk was followed on Tuesday by Adaku Okafar from PhoenixRize who supported discussions and created an interactive platform to understand bias and inclusivity and the roles students, teachers and professional admin staff can play in strengthening diversity in DkIT.
On Wednesday the talks focused on disability, mental health and sports, where Brendan Lawlor NO 1 disable golfer in the world was joined by a staff member and DkIT graduate who spoke about their journey in overcoming adversity and how sport has helped them both in this.
On Thursday the Institute hosted the media renowned Robbie Lawlor and Veda Lady who both are HIV and LGBTQ+ Activists who discussed removing the stigma around HIV. Robbie Lawlor & Veda Lady are the hosts of the "Poz Vibe" Podcast.
The week concluded with a talk focusing on how the Institute can become a more inclusive place to learn. This was facilitated by an online talk about Universal Design for Learning (UDL) by Lisa Padden of UCD. UDL is something that is held dear in DkIT and only recently our very own Dr Anita Byrne won an Individual John Kelly Award for her contribution to inclusive learning in the Institute.
Equality, diversity, and inclusivity are of utmost importance in DkIT. The Institute has clear strategic objectives on these matters and were thrilled when the results of the Gender Equality Enhancement Fund 2022 were announced recently, and they were the recipients of not one but two of these prestigious awards. DkIT were successful, as partners, in two projects which consisted of ‘Engaging men in building gender equality’ – the development of a pilot programme in Irish Higher Education Institutes (HEI). This project was led in the Institute by Ciara O’Shea and the second project selected for DkIT was ‘Investigating the Gender Dimension in Computing Research across the Irish HEI sector’ which was led by Dr Fiona Lawless.
Hugh Nolan, Vice President for Finance, Resources & Diversity at DkIT said
‘The above is a wonderful achievement by both our colleagues and demonstrates the excellent work being undertaken in the Institute, alongside other Technological Universities’