Schools OUT UK, the education charity working towards equality in education for LGBTQ+ people, announces #PrideInEducation, the first-ever global equality inclusion conference aimed at educators, teachers, publishers and anyone looking to make education more inclusive.
This one-day event will take place online on 27 June 2020 and draw together 25 international speakers across six webinars that will examine various aspects of best practice across education, from primary to university level, as well as published resources. It will offer panel discussions and live Q&As and include contributions from actor Sir Derek Jacobi and author Juno Roche. The conference is supported by a range of community and media partners and powered by Zoom.
#PrideInEducation is taking place at a difficult time for LGBTQ+ people across the world. The Trevor Project 2020 reports that LGBTQ+ helplines are currently experiencing double the amount of calls. LGBTQ+ people are being hit hard by the COVID-19 pandemic. Those who were already facing unbelievable challenges – living under anti-LGBTQ+ laws or facing violence, discrimination or eviction from their homes or countries because of their sexuality or gender identity – are now struggling to survive. In addition to raising awareness of these issues and their impact on the lives of LGBTQ+ people, #PrideInEducation will offer practical tips and send out a strong message of compassion and inclusion.
Conference organiser Laila El-Metoui comments: “The ongoing pandemic has serious implications for the mental health and wellbeing of LGBTQ+ people. School closures and lockdown have negatively impacted on everyone but even more so on LGBTQ+ people trapped in homophobic and transphobic households. It is of the utmost importance that teachers and educators continue to provide an inclusive and compassionate education. This conference was put together really quickly to ensure LGBTQ+ people continue to be visible and celebrated.”
Professor Emeritus Sue Sanders, Chair of Schools Out UK, comments: “In this time of lockdown, we are seeing a rise in hate crimes perpetrated against LGBTQ+ people yet minimal response from the UK government. I wish everyone would recognise their responsibility to educate out prejudice; at this time, to leave it to just teachers is not acceptable or practical. We at Schools OUT UK have worked tirelessly to produce free resources to usualise and make visible LGBTQ+ people in all their diversity. These resources are available not just in February – LGBT History Month – but all year round, for libraries, archives, museums, local authorities, galleries, museums, unions etc as well as educators. The aim is to enable all of us to play our part in making our society a place where we can all be safe, and to celebrate the many achievements and contributions that LGBTQ+ people have made to our society.”