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Issue  79                                                                                                 March 2020

A word from the Chair

Hello everyone, 

I do hope that you, your loved ones and friends are coping well at this very difficult and challenging period in our lives. 

I'm not sure that any of us could have envisioned just how much our world could change in the space of a few short weeks. The words 'unprecedented' and 'uncertainty' are being used extensively as we find our selves suddenly living in conditions that many of us would expect to see at the movies. 
I think that it's fair to say that many of us are still trying to process the sudden changes in our reality, like food rationing, working remotely, self isolating, homeschooling etc...many of us becoming aware of just how vulnerable we really are....But as well as highlighting vulnerability, our resilience is also being demonstrated along with our community spirit.

You just have to look at the outpourings of respect and gratitude being directed at front line staff like those who keep our NHS and Social Care systems running, as well as the new found appreciation for those essential workers who keep our city moving like delivery drivers and supermarket staff. Let's not forget the army of volunteers who are supporting the vulnerable by delivering parcels of essentials to the elderly and disabled as well those who've gone online offering an amazing array of activities to help keep kids occupied and engaged. 

Unfortunately, racism and bigotry always manage to make their presence felt with an increase in attacks on Asians around the world because of the Chinese link. This is where you would expect leaders to demonstrate strong leadership instead of one particular president calling it the 'Chinese Virus'. 
As we journey through the next few weeks those of us committed to Diversity and Inclusion have to continue our work in whatever ways we can, educating and bringing awareness to those that we interact with. 
The IEDP will be offering more online activities like the webinars that we started doing recently. The next one is at the end of April and an invitation will be sent out to you with registration details. 

If any of you would like to contribute an opinion piece please send us an email at

Have a lovely weekend.


Denise Rabor, IEDP Chair 

P.S. Please don't forget to follow us on Twitter and join the conversation on Facebook. Also please check you are in our new Linked In group - i.e. the one called Institute of Equality and Diversity Professionals - not the old one (Institute of Equality and Diversity Practitioners)
Here's an article from Advisory Friend Cherron Inko-Tariah MBE

Do you remember that programme called Monk? The former police detective who suffered a breakdown after the death of his wife Trudy. Monk had numerous compulsive habits and a number of phobias but had a sharp memory and could solve the most complex of cases.

But one nearly got the better of him.

The binmen went on strike and there was rubbish everywhere. The sight and stench of it affected Monk deeply. He couldn’t focus or concentrate. He just couldn’t function. His fears and phobias magnified – all because everything that was going on around him.

A colleague takes Monk to a "clean room" in a computer factory. It was hermetically sealed, soundproofed, and 100% dust and germ free, and they had to wear white bodysuits to keep it that way. It was the cleanest room in the city and the perfect place for Monk to think. Within seconds, he solved the case.

I share this story with you because I have to confess something. I thought long and hard about this and realise I need to practice what I preach. I encourage people to #sharetheirstory because you never know whether what you say will affect someone else.

So here goes.

I struggle with social distancing. I really do. As a speaker, facilitator, and coach, my business is all about people and human contact. So when the COVID19 crisis hit and we were advised to stay at home, I thought I would be ok. On the surface, I convinced people (and almost myself) that I was ‘fine’ and enjoying the time at home to catch up on little jobs but it wasn’t 100% true (and to be honest, I didn’t know why I wasn’t coping). I saw other people share their coping strategies and I would think, 'yeah, I can do that'…but I just couldn’t muster the energy. I've heard that this crisis is a marathon but for me it's more like the Marathon De Sables! I felt that I couldn’t tell anyone how I was truly feeling because everyone was in the same boat. AND I’m usually the strong one; the encouraging one; the positive one…and yet here I was not being strong, encouraging or positive! I just felt blah (and it was only week one!).

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There was one point last week when I said to myself: “I can’t do this”. Like Monk, I just couldn’t function and all my insecurities felt 10ft tall -towering all around me. I forgot what day of the week it was, and I actually started to look forward to watching things like Quincy for heaven’s sake. I had enough tea and coffee to fill the river Thames. I felt out of control and a little manic. I wanted to laugh hysterically and cry all at the same time. I would fire up the laptop and look at the screen shouting "come on Cherron”

Something had to change.

I went for a walk (as permitted) and felt much better. I realised that I needed to create the right environment. I needed my own “clean room”. While the right physical environment is important, I had to focus on my mental clean room. 

How can I create my mental clean room because the motivational memes and posts just weren't cutting it. I had to get back to basics and start doing those things that trigger my creativity, and energises me such as music, prayer, quiet time, making lists, dancing, watching comedies, listening to inspirational talks etc. I also thought about what I can control: my response, routine, diet, and my thoughts.

I'm learning to take things step by step and day by day.

“Crisis doesn’t make a person; it reveals what a person is made of”

Yes, I may struggle throughout this crisis and it may take me a while to adjust but it doesn’t change who am and what I am made of.  If anything, it has increased my empathy and taught me not to be hard on myself. It’s ok not have everything together all the time (I have to repeat this to myself).

Once we get through this crisis (and we will get through it), my cleanroom will be a place that I visit regularly. A place where I can breathe, reflect, find my peace and get renewed. In the words of Rag ‘n’ Bone Man: “I’m only human after all”. 

If you can relate to anything I have said and need someone to talk to (without judgement), get in touch. 

Don't miss the next IEDP Webinar! 

The IEDP will be holding a webinar withA dvisory Friend Cherron Inko-Tariah MBE at the end of the month networks with a particular focus on Networks Day 2020. 

We will share more information and links to the webinar soon, so keep an eye out for the email!

Tsedal Neeley, a professor at Harvard Business School, says that there are simple ways leaders can help their employees stay productive, focused, and psychologically healthy as they work from home during the current global pandemic.

Here's a great podcast about adjusting to working remotely.

Find out more

Coronavirus (COVID-19): what you need to do

I think we can all agree: there's an awful lot of misinformation out there at the moment concerning this virus - and a lot of the time, this leads and undue panic. 

The best place to get information regarding updates - what's the best thing to do in the case of symptoms etc, is to directly refer to the government website - the link to it is below. 

Stay safe and informed, everyone!

Free to Be: Embedding LGBT+ Equality and Tackling Homophobic, Biphobic and Transphobic Bullying in Primary Schools

EqualiTeach is proud to introduce Free to Be, a resource which offers a complete strategy for transforming the whole school environment into a space committed to embedding LGBT+ equality and tackling homophobic, biphobic and transphobic (HBT) bullying.

This resource has been produced as part of a year-long project funded by Government Equalities Office, which has seen EqualiTeach work with 27 primary schools in Greater London.

Find out more
"Disabled people between the ages of 18-65 represent one third of social care users."
Source: Papworth Trust, Facts and Figures 2018
Getting under the skin of Bias
Following the publication of the Civil Service Diversity & Inclusion Strategy in October 2017, many of us embarked on a journey in awareness training. Indeed, some of us are now doing more than ever to understand, challenge and positively transform, our own personal biases.
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The Importance of Diversity and Inclusion During Uncertain Times

As inclusion strategist Vernã Myers says, “Diversity is being invited to the party; inclusion is being asked to dance.” But what if it’s a virtual dance party, where you’re unsure who to invite, how to send the invitations, who can DJ or what online platform would work the best? That is the situation many of us are finding ourselves in these days.

Read More
UK: COVID-19 Law Puts Rights of People with Disabilities at Risk
UK’s Coronavirus Act, which becomes law today, has serious implications for the rights of people with disabilities and older people, and its implementation needs to be carefully monitored to protect people’s rights to health care, education, and freedom, Human Rights Watch, the UK National Survivor User Network (NSUN), and international human rights expert Gerard Quinn, said today
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The UK’s first-ever dedicated LGBT TV channel, OUTtv, is launching next week

The UK’s first ever TV channel dedicated to LGBT+ series, movies and documentaries, OUTtv is launching on 1st April.
Read More
2020 diversity and inclusion awards open for entries
ENTRIES are now open for an awards event that will champion diversity and inclusion successes in Scotland.
Read More
Meals for the NHS: £250,000 raised in seven days to feed health workers

More than £250,000 has been raised to help provide free hot meals for NHS staff, less than seven days after a campaign was launched by a small group of friends.

Read More
Diversity Voices: Caroline Turner
Diversity Voices Interview:  Caroline Turner, CEO of Creased Puddle [specialising in Neurodiversity in the workplace]
Read the Interview
How technology has changed what it's like to be deaf
"Complete silence is very addictive," says Rebecca Knill, a writer who has cochlear implants that enable her to hear. In this funny, insightful talk, she explores the evolution of assistive listening technology, the outdated way people still respond to deafness and how we can shift our cultural understanding of ability to build a more inclusive world. "Technology has come so far," Knill says. "Our mindset just needs to catch up."
IEDP accreditation dates
If you join the IEDP, or are already a member, you can apply for our accreditation process. You have plenty of time to apply for the next round, as the closing date for expressions of interest is 17 April. You would need to confirm and pay the fee by 17 May for submission by 13 June. Further details on the accreditation page of our website.
Contact us

The Institute of Equality and Diversity Professionals
2 Old College Court, 29 Priory Street, Ware, Hertfordshire, SG12 0DE      

tel:     0844 482 7263
fax:     0844 8225 215
And finally...

We hope you enjoyed reading this newsletter and would welcome any feedback or suggestions about how we could improve it for the benefit of our members. If you have any ideas for future editions or would be interested in writing an item for the next issue please contact the IEDP office on: 

The deadline for contributions to the next issue is 15 April 2020. Please circulate this newsletter to anyone who may be interested in our work or who may wish to join the Institute.

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