Race awareness workshops

Recent years have seen a great deal of focus on gender equality in the workplace. The Athena SWAN initiative in particular has catalysed conversations and actions towards gender equality across the University. Race equality, on the other hand, is equally important and yet is not often discussed or addressed. Part of the reason for this is that it has only recently come to the fore of the national policy agenda (via the Race Equality Charter). But another reason is that we tend to find issues of race and ethnicity more difficult to talk about.

This two-hour workshop will introduce some of the issues to do with advancing race equality, establish a terminology that we can use to talk about it, and think of practical steps that individuals and teams can take to promote a diverse and inclusive workplace.


A team of volunteer facilitators has been trained to deliver the materials. Departments may have a team member who has undertaken the training specifically to deliver it locally (there will be opportunity to make this clear when booking a workshop); or may wish to request a facilitator to be allocated. Some facilitators will be delivering the workshop in pairs. After submitting a workshop, you will be allocated faciliatators from the central pool.

Cost of workshop

The workshops are free. The department or team requesting the workshop is asked to provide the venue and refreshments and to cover any associated costs.


The workshops are 2 hours long with no break.

Who should participate

The workshops have been designed for all staff, and can be adapted to suit various groups. An open invitation to all members of the department usually attracts those who are already the most concerned about, or dedicated to addressing problems of bias. However, to have a meaningful effect workshops should include those who may not recognise that their own behaviour or underlying attitudes may be potential issues. The workshops are suitable for all staff, but priority will be given to managers and those in student-facing roles.

There is an ideal maximum group size of 16, so you are asked to think carefully about who would benefit most from the training and when (since we are unlikely to be able to accommodate requests for e.g. multiple workshops to be run for a whole department at once). Your divisional co-ordinator will discuss your needs and priorities with you as part of the booking request process.

Role of department

Workshops must have the support of the Head of Department, sub-department, or team in which the workshop is being run. It is strongly advised that they also attend a workshop. The role of the Head of Department is to signal top-level commitment to addressing implicit bias and/or race awareness, to mediate in any contentious discussion issues that arise specific to the department and to hear the views of staff on a sensitive topic.

Once a date has been confirmed for a session, departments are required to provide the relevant administrative support. This includes booking a suitable meeting room (and refreshments if appropriate), ensuring it has AV and PowerPoint, issuing the invitation from the Head of Department and keeping an attendee list complete with email addresses. It is especially requested that the AV equipment is set up and tested prior to the session as the content includes short video clips accessed via the internet.