LSTM appoints Dr Jason Arday as race equity consultant

News article 28 Jun 2021
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Dr Jason Arday

LSTM has appointed Dr Jason Arday to the role of External Race Equality Consultant to lead an external review of race equality within LSTM. This is an outcome of the period of reflection undertaken in 2020 and intends to ensure that LSTM takes full account of any and all systemic racist practices that require first identification and then remedy.

Work began last year with the setting up of the Race Equality Advisory Panel (REAP), which looked at different areas of concern that LSTM would like to address. Dr Arday will now lead the work exploring these issues, engage with colleagues and students, and develop a Race Equality Action Plan to drive this agenda within LSTM.

LSTM’s Director, Professor David Lalloo, said: “We are delighted to welcome Dr Arday, who has agreed to help us identify how we can improve race equity within LSTM. Dr Arday brings a wealth of experience and insight into race inequities in the higher education sector, and we are looking forward to working with him to identify key priorities to address as part of our commitment to eliminate areas of racial inequity wherever they occur."

“I will be encouraging all members of LSTM to engage with this process as honestly and openly as possible, so that we can ensure that LSTM becomes the beacon of anti-racist practice that we would all like it to be.”

Dr Jason Arday is an Associate Professor in Sociology at Durham University in the Department of Sociology and the Deputy Executive Dean for People and Culture in the Faculty of Social Science and Health. He holds a number of visiting fellow and professorships at institutions in the UK and the USA and is a Trustee of the Runnymede Trust, the UK’s leading race equality think tank. He sits on the Centre for Labour and Social Studies (CLASS) National Advisory Panel and the NHS Race and Health Observatory Academic Reference Group and is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts (RSA).

Dr Arday says: “I am honoured to be able to have the opportunity to work with LSTM in their mission to create a racially equitable organisation. Its commitment towards addressing racial inequality will provide concerted efforts to better mobilise Race Equality for all members of the LSTM community. I look forward to working with all colleagues to achieve this objective.”

Dr Arday’s approach to this work is three-fold: Initially arranging focus groups with staff and students from across LSTM, to ensure that all members of our community are given an opportunity to raise any issues. The second stage will be to address these concerns with solutions-focused discussions, while the final stage will be an implementation plan. This plan will be embedded into an Inclusion Strategy, currently in development, to ensure an LSTM-wide, sustained approach to embedding race equity work.

Reader Charles Ameh, Co-Chair of REAP, and Rinki Deb, REAP Co-Chair and Co-Chair of LSTM’s BAME Staff Network, said:“The LSTM REAP has used a meticulous, competitive, process to identify an independent consultant to support LSTM in our mission to create a racially equitable organisation. We are pleased that Dr Jason Arday is available to bring his wealth of experience with race and equality in UK higher institutions to support LSTM. We encourage everyone to participate in this process, so we can have evidence based, specific measurable actions by the end of the summer, so that we can catch-up and be on the leaderboard for racial equity in Global Health Research.”

This appointment is part of LSTM’s Management Committee’s ongoing commitment to address staff concerns, which has also included the creation of a number of policies, groups and committees ensuring inclusion of staff and students in relation to issues such as representation, decolonising education, develop an new image use policy and engage with local and global communities about LSTM’s history.