Formerly known as BAME Recruitment

09 Sep 2022

Diversity Lens - Issue 141

Bringing you a diverse selection of news stories, social commentary, cultural recommendations and job opportunities from the past week.
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With the death of Queen Elizabeth II this week, comes an uncertain period of flux in the UK. A new monarch - a King - as well as the new prime minister. While the passing of a 96-year-old is not particularly necessarily unexpected, it remains upsetting and unsettling for generations which have never known the UK without the Queen. The funeral is expected in around ten days time with billions estimated to tune in. Meanwhile, the phasing out of the Queen's face from stamps and currency will begin immediately, as Prince Charles becomes King Charles III. 
 
Book: Bad Gays: A Homosexual History

"One of the most original queer history books of recent years"

Ben Miller and Huw Lemmey aren't interested in the uncomplicated queer icons whose stories have been told and re-told. They take as their focus the messier parts of queer history, the 'bad gays'. Hadrian, James VI and I, Lawrence of Arabia, J Edgar Hoover and Ronnie Kray - they're not often lauded as gay role models but their stories may be more intriguing. Starting life as a podcast, their published work keeps to slightly less controversial figures. We'd definitely recommend checking out both. 
 
STORY OF THE WEEK
Serena Williams celebrating on a tennis court, racket in hand, other hand in a celebratory fist.
For a black woman to succeed in an overwhelmingly white, male-dominated space, she must go over and above. To get a seat at the table, you had to be extraordinary.

Serena Williams not only succeeded in carving out this space for herself, she dominated.

When Serena and Venus entered the world of tennis, they broke it open; they changed the game irrevocably. A whole new audience, previously closed off from the game, now had a stake in it. The stuffy and outdated principles cherished by some were held up to scrutiny when the Williams' walked onto the court in tutus, glitter, braids; a body type deemed "wrong" for the sport. They didn't try to fit into any mould.

Comedian and Actor Leslie Jones ruminates on how Serena dealt with this atmosphere of hostility, similarly present in the comedy realm too. Serena was unapologetic and, while she had every right to, never used racism or sexism as an excuse in her game.

She channeled all her energy into being the best, so that even the biggest racists couldn't deny her talent. Leslie Jones empathises with this pressure, to not just meet expectations but exceed them in order to be taken seriously in a field that hasn't quite accepted you as 'one of them'.

Tennis is undeniably a better game, for players and spectators alike, thanks to the Williams sisters.

 
IN OTHER NEWS
Real Change is More Than The Colour of Cabinet

 
Liz Truss has appointed one of the most racially diverse cabinets in British history, with appointments including Kwasi Kwarteng as the first Black Chancellor of the Exchequer. There has been celebration of this diverse team, but there is also concern.
 
The statistics of the cabinet still do not reflect the diversity of lived experience that is missing from the government, especially considering that 74% of the new Cabinet went to private school. Will this new Truss government take structural racism seriously and take the steps to tackle it, from within and throughout the country?
"Having sufficient melanin in your skin to fight off the tropical sun doesn’t make you immune to self-interest, it doesn’t force you to form community with people who look like you, and doesn’t define your political views. "
Spain Passes ‘Only Yes Means Yes’ Sexual Consent Law
New legislation in Spain stipulates that sexual consent must be explicitly given, and cannot be assumed or given by default or silence. A 2016 gang rape case prompted this new law, a case which tried to argue that footage of the victim “immobile and with her eyes shut” constituted consent. One judge went so far as to suggest the men should only be charged with stealing the victim’s mobile phone. After originally being sentenced to nine years in prison on sexual abuse charges, the ruling was escalated to rape with a 15 year sentence. The law has finally caught up to protect more victims, despite many Conservative and far-right MPs voting against it.
7 LGBTQ+ Issues Liz Truss Needs to Urgently Prioritise, From Conversion Therapy to Hate Crime

The new Prime Minister, Liz Truss, has garnered little faith from leading LGBTQIA+ activists. She has been urged to build bridges with the community, however this will be no easy task, especially given her history of inaction as Equalities Minister. Seven key issues have been highlighted that Truss should tackle to make life better for LGBTQIA+ people in the UK, which include a full ban on conversion therapy, improving trans healthcare and scrapping of plans to replace the Human Rights Act. These issues and others, such as addressing anti LGBTQIA+ hate crimes, which increased over 32% in the last year, would be a huge step in the right direction.

 
WORK SPHERE
World Suicide Prevention Day: Deliveroo launches training programme
Tomorrow is World Suicide Prevention Day. We applaud Deliveroo Singapore who are being provided with training on suicide prevention and how to identify signs of distress among the public. The initiative is called Be a Samaritan, carried out in partnership with non-profit organisation Samaritans of Singapore, in order to equip ordinary individuals to identify warning signs, offer assistance and signpost resources. Deliveroo riders will also display Suicide Prevention Awareness stickers on their delivery bags in September to raise awareness across the country.
Formula One’s Race Against Racism


F1 is experiencing a boom in popularity right now. Thanks partly to the wide success of Netflix docuseries Drive to Survive, and the activism of F1 icon Lewis Hamilton. However, it's growth in public popularity is diluted by its poor stance on many social issues; from abusive fan behaviour to ignoring human rights concerns in race locations. In 2020, Formula One answered with their We Race As One campaign initiative, tackling racism and inequality in the sport.

Now, two years on, it's effectiveness is being questioned. As recently as July 2022, a F1 employee publicly alleged workplace harassment and racism. TIME’s Sam McPeak explores how they can push for a more inclusive future.

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