03 Mar & 25 May 2016: Westminster Briefing: Diversity, Inclusion and the Power of Staff Networks

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Westminster Briefing: Diversity, Inclusion & the Power of Staff Networks

Thursday 3rd March 2016 & Wednesday 25th May 2016


Westminster Briefing invited Melanie Sharpe and Hamied Haroon to attend a conference on “Diversity, Inclusion & the Power of Staff Networks” and talk about The University of Manchester‘s Disabled Staff Network. This event was scheduled to take place twice: first in central London on 3rd March and then in central Manchester on 25th May. Melanie and Hamied have been invited to present at both and will use the opportunity to advertise NADSN too!

From the briefing on 3rd March:

  • The programme is available (as a PDF file) here.
  • Westminster Briefing was happy to share the slides from the day’s presentations, which are available (as a PDF file) here.
  • The slides that Hamied and Melanie presented is available (as a MS PowerPoint file) here.

From the briefing on 25th May:

  • The programme is available (as a PDF file) here.
  • Westminster Briefing was happy to share the slides from the day’s presentations, which are available (as a Zip file of PDFs) here.
  • The slides that Hamied and Melanie presented is available (as a MS PowerPoint file) here.

Feel free to share these with your networks!


Recent Posts

NADSN Black Lives Matter Statement

The tragic killing of George Floyd and others in the USA[1] along with the Black Lives Matter (BLM) movement serves to remind us that there are continued inequalities and fundamental differences that exist within our society.  Differences which are not acceptable.

The National Association of Disabled Staff Networks (NADSN) stands in solidarity with the BLM movement in speaking out against racial injustices and inequalities faced by our communities in the UK and beyond[2].

The pandemic has served to highlight further racial disparities in the UK. Death rates from COVID-19 were higher for Black and Asian ethnic groups when compared to White ethnic groups. This disproportionate impact is multiplied for Disabled Black and Asian people. The Public Health England Report found that structural racism plays a part.

“Together We Can – and Will – Transform”.[3]

Our purpose as a super-network remains vital.  As members, we seek to inspire support and success.  As a community, we share our opinions, values, culture and best practice and deepen our understanding of each other, our world and how we can have a positive impact. At this challenging time, we urge all our members to look out for each other and empower one another. When we work in collaboration, we can achieve great change.

Ableism Has Much in Common with Racism.

We understand that ableism and racism are not equivalent.  However, the experiences of ethnic minorities and Disabled people have some similarities. Disabled people regularly face systemic and institutional discrimination within society, education, work, and healthcare settings. We have been pitied, abused, excluded, stereotyped and met with disdain and platitudes. Disabled people have been underrepresented and misrepresented in entertainment and media. Our narratives and achievements have been appropriated and used as inspiration for non-disabled people. These forms of barriers are compounded for Disabled people from ethnic minority backgrounds, particularly those of us with a mental health condition or those of us who are neurodiverse.

Our Work.

Throughout our work, we strive to embed an intersectional understanding and approach. In 2019, we co-hosted a National Intersectionality Conference with the LGBT+ Network of Networks in Higher Education. We also appointed an Intersectionality Lead and two Intersectionality Partners onto our diverse Steering Committee. We will continue to work to better understand the inequalities and barriers Disabled people from ethnic minorities face and work to challenge and combat these. We will continue to work in partnership to support all members of our community, as well as seeking to set an example for others.

We strive to be a part of the solution.


[1] The wave of protests in the USA over the killing of George Floyd are the outbursts of anger and injustice that have erupted after the deaths of many other black Americans whilst in police custody. Data: US ‘Mapping Police Violence’ – https://mappingpoliceviolence.org/ and in the UK since 1990, 184 people from ethnic minorities have died as a result of police actions (20 due to police shootings and 164 in custody).  https://www.inquest.org.uk/bame-deaths-in-police-custody

[2]Many of the Black people killed by police are disabled. Inquest notes that ethnic minorities were twice as likely to die after restraint or use of force, and twice as likely to die if they had a mental health condition. https://rudermanfoundation.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/08/MediaStudy-PoliceDisability_final-final.pdf

[3] Slogan: “Together we can – and will – transform” – https://blacklivesmatter.com/


This paper is also available as a Word docx and PDF.


For Further Details

Email: uk.nadsn@gmail.com | Twitter: @nadsn_uk | Facebook: NatAssDSN | Web: nadsn-uk.org

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