Tag Archives: diversity

Big community reaction to Eleanor Hurton’s story

Communications received a number of emails this week from young people with disabilities who were inspired by the story of Eleanor Hurton, reported in The Star newspaper recently.

Communications put Star reporter Jess Gibson in touch with Eleanor because she’d won two Blues awards and seemed an ideal fit for the newspaper’s new ‘Young & Successful’ column.

Eleanor is an amazing disability advocate as well as a Master’s of Sociology student who has an auditory processing disability herself.

The young people who emailed us had disabilities themselves or were looking for more information for siblings with disabilities. Many of them had been told they wouldn’t succeed at university – even those at the top of their class! – due to their disabilities. They had never seen a positive representation of someone ‘like them’ and were so excited and inspired that is was quite humbling. Many of our email writers are now applying to UC!

Communications replied to the emails and shared our equity and disability webpage links for further information. Eleanor is already part of the UCMe campaign launching at the start of 2020, so that also is very inspiring for young people with disabilities.

Takeaways from this experience:
One news story can make a huge difference to someone’s life.
Young people with disabilities don’t often see successful examples of people like them.
There may be some misinformation out there about who can succeed at university.

Meet UC’s new Rainbow Coordinator

Ari Nicholson joined UC a few weeks back as Rainbow Coordinator in the Student Success team.

We had a chat with Ari to find out about what the new role involves, Diversity Fest (which is coming up in September), and all about Ari’s background. Watch here>

Drop in to Ari’s office and say hello. Ari is in the office at the following times:
Monday, 9am – 5pm
Tuesday and Wednesday, 9am – 2.30pm
Location – Level 1, Forestry building

Unconscious (implicit) bias – some take-outs from the talk

Dr Benjamin D. Reese (Duke University) presented a well-attended and fascinating talk on Dilemmas of our time: Unconscious (implicit) bias and race relations last night, organised by the Macmillan Brown Center for Pacific Studies at UC.

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This topic is especially relevant to us in Christchurch at the moment, as many of us reflect on the nuances of racism and what it might be like to look or sound different to others in our city.

Dr Reese presented findings from his many years of research in implicit bias. He explained how implicit bias, which is below the level of consciousness, is learned early and absorbed from our environment. This is one reason why it is so important to have diversity of role models in our movies, TV shows and other media.

No one can avoid having implicit bias – even Dr Reese shared examples of his own bias, however you can counter it. You can do this by being aware of your own bias, reminding yourself regularly that implicit bias exists, and by exposing yourself to different ideas and different people to broaden your experience.

On an organisational level, leadership is key but everyone can play a part. When an organisation focuses on diversity, it has a noticeable impact, Dr Reese says.

As always, sharing stories and experiences is part of the journey to better understanding and a more accepting world.

Upcoming opportunities for engage with discussions around racism at UC include:

31 July – Looking and Sounding Different with nine UC staff and students discussing their experience and exploring ways to create a more accepting society.

12 August – Whites Engaged in Antiracist Action: Struggles and Coping Mechanisms with Associate Professor in the Department of Education and Counselling at Villanova University, Krista Malott.