The University of Bradford's first Diversity Festival took place from 18-22 April 2016.
About the festival
It was agreed the Diversity Festival would link to the University’s corporate Equality and Diversity objective, and would also form part of the 50th anniversary celebrations.
The aim of the festival was to showcase the University’s commitment to Equality, Diversity and Inclusion by providing a range of events and activities intended to increase awareness across the staff and student body through thought provoking lectures, activities and exhibitions.
The festival provided a wide range of events across the week including:
- GENOVATE café
- Trans awareness training
- Wheelchair push from Emm Lane Campus to City Campus
- 24-hour hand bike challenge
- Lad culture in HE lecture
- E-book celebrating the Charlotte Bronte’s 200th birthday
- Testimony of a holocaust survivor
- The Mosque in the City lecture
- Suffragette and Carol film screenings
- NADSN (National Association of Disabled Staff Networks) Spring conference 2016
- An audience with Naz Shah MP
- Wellbeing fair
- University of Sanctuary – the story so far
- Comedy night
All of the events proved very popular to staff, students and external visitors.
The wheelchair push highlighted to the participants how many barriers disabled people face in society. They experienced both positive and negative interactions with the environment and the public. The experience had a huge impact on all of those taking part, particularly Mark Garratt who featured in an enlightening article for the Telegraph and Argus.
Our most popular event was the Testimony of a Holocaust Survivor. Marc and Rosa Schatzberger gave an honest and poignant account of their life experiences during this horrific time in history. A graduate from 1991 attended this event and stated "Fantastic event, very moving and personal, lovely venue…it's great to see the University moving forwards and actively supporting diversity events in this way".
The comedy night was a perfect finish to a thought provoking, educational and ground-breaking week. The feedback has been phenomenal and attendees are calling for the Diversity Festival to be an annual event. The atmosphere created on campus was one of celebration and positivity and defined the University of Bradford as a leader in confronting inequality and celebrating diversity.
Comedian Francesca Martinez sent her well wishes ahead of the University of Bradford's 2016 Diversity Festival, encouraging everyone in 'every hemisphere' to attend.
Message from Paralympian Hannah Cockroft
Paralympian and University of Bradford Honorary Graduate Hannah Cockroft took time out from her busy training for the Rio Olympics to record a message of support for the Diversity Festival.