Ipswich to host free diversity and inclusion sessions for teachers

Ellisha Soanes, Aspire Black Suffolk director

Ellisha Soanes, Aspire Black Suffolk director - Credit: John Ferguson

Ipswich educators can sign up for free training sessions discussing diversity and inclusion in the classroom.

Aspire Black Suffolk is working in a partnership with the Ipswich Opportunity Area (IOA) and Suffolk County Council to deliver the free sessions for teachers and community group leaders that can be passed on to young people. 

The in-person training will be delivered by Ellisha Soanes, an award-winning diversity consultant, Liz Pemberton, the director of the Black Nursery Manager Training and Consultancy, Bex Bothwell O'Hearn, director of Loud & Proud Education Ltd, as well as Aisha Thomas, founder of Representation Matters. 

Liz Pemberton, diversity expert

Liz Pemberton, diversity expert - Credit: Liz Pemberton

Ellisha Soanes, Aspire Black Suffolk director and the first black history lecturer in the UK, said: “The sessions are called ‘join to dance’, because when one person starts dancing by themselves, they look a bit funny, but when other people start getting involved and being a part of it, then everybody does a little wave, and it starts the motion. That's what the whole sessions are about.   

“I think it's fundamentally important that everybody who is going to be working with young people of any age to come along and listen to the talks. 

Aisha Thomas, diversity expert

Aisha Thomas, diversity expert - Credit: Rosie Parson Photography

“We’ll have four incredible women in the room to talk about their own journeys and coming together. It's an amazing day for everyone and anyone.” 

The sessions will include topics that concern children and young people of every age. 

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Ms Soanes added: “I don't think something like this has happened in a very long time, where you have free sessions from some amazing national and diversity leads, including myself, and we are able to put it in place, here, in Ipswich. 

Bex Bothwell O'Hearn, diversity expert

Bex Bothwell O'Hearn, diversity expert - Credit: Bex Bothwell O'Hearn

“I think there's just something really amazing when you can be in a room with people that have done some amazing things when it comes to diversity and also ask them questions.” 

The event will take place on Monday, July 4 from 10am to 3pm at the University of Suffolk.

The university is organising the first conference dedicated to anti-racism in education that will be held in July.   

There are limited spaces. A place can be booked online