Diversity Digest

Equality, Diversity & Inclusion at King's College London

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Ramadan Reflections: Shabnam

The Muslim holy month of Ramadan is the ninth month of the Islamic calendar and traditionally begins and ends based on the sighting of the new moon. This year, Ramadan is expected to run from Wednesday 22 March to Thursday 20 April 2023

During the month we will share some Ramadan Reflections from members of the King’s community. As Ramadan draws to a close we hear from Shabnam Nawaz, a Senior Teaching Fellow at the Florence Nightingale Faculty of Nursing & Midwifery, who has written a poem.

We are now within the last ten days of Ramadhan, and they hold a special significance for Muslims. This is as Laylat al-Qadr (the Night of Decree) falls within these days. This night is thought to fall on an odd night, and possibly the 27th night. It is when God revealed the Quran to the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him). Laylat al-Qadr is one of the holiest nights of the year for Muslims, as one night’s worship is equivalent to 1,000 months (83.3 years). For this reason, many Muslims will aim to stay awake and pray through the night during the last ten days of Ramadhan.

I wanted to share a poem that I have written with you all about Ramadhan:



Ramadhan happens but once a year,

A month to pause, abstain, and reflect,

Mealtimes move to before sunrise and after sunset,

A time to focus and realign one’s faith,

Daily contemplation about those less fortunate,

Hunger, thirst, and tiredness keep one grounded and appreciative of the basics in life,

Anticipation in waiting for iftar (opening of the fast) is a daily occurrence!

Nice foods, prayers, adorning ones best clothes, and precious moments with friends and family await us on completion, with Eid insha’Allah (God Willing).

If you would like to share your own reflection of the holy month of Ramadan please email diversity@kcl.ac.uk

Supporting students & staff during Ramadan

We have produced resources on the support available for Muslim students and staff during Ramadan and guidance on maintaining health while fasting, along with more information on the month and how staff can support our Muslim community.

You can also find guidance on support for students on Student Services Online:

We should all be mindful of this important event for the Muslim community and be respectful of colleagues and students who are fasting and some of the challenges they may experience.

For any queries, please contact the Chaplaincy team, or either of our Muslim Chaplains, Imam Abdul Mumin Choudhury or Romana Kazmi.

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Ramadan Reflections: Ehsan

The Muslim holy month of Ramadan is the ninth month of the Islamic calendar and traditionally begins and ends based on the sighting of the new moon. This year, Ramadan is expected to run from Wednesday 22 March to Thursday 20 April 2023, which falls in the revision and assessment preparation period for many students. 

Ramadan is considered one of the holiest months of the year for Muslims and commemorates the Qur’an being revealed to the Islamic prophet Muhammad. Fasting during Ramadan is one of the Five Pillars of Islam and many Muslims will be abstaining from food and drink during the sunlit hours.

It is also a time when Muslims are encouraged to increase their good deeds, from acts of charity and community engagement to increasing good values such as generosity, solidarity, kindness, patience and forgiveness.

During the month we will share some Ramadan Reflections. As Ramadan commences we hear from Ehsan Khan, a Senior Lecturer in Nurse Education at the Florence Nightingale Faculty of Nursing & Midwifery. 

Ramadhan used to be a time of trepidation and caution for me when I was young.  I am a big foody and not being able to eat or drink during the daytime hours FOR A WHOLE MONTH! was daunting.  However, I always used to get through it. What I learnt over the years is that Ramadhan is like no other month, there is a collective spirit in people partaking in this annual blessing, people are blessed with patience during this month that helps them endure the fast.   

Ramadhan is a core practice in Islam and Is mandatory on all able-bodied and minded people.  There are many exceptions related to health and medication, as well as dispensations for travel.  The duration of the fast is from the dawn till sunset. It is desirable to wake up in the morning before the dawn to eat something before the fast begins.  The fast should be finished promptly on sunset. 

Although the focus of the fast tends to be on abstaining from food and drink, people fasting also need to abstain from other activities which are mainly considered morally undesirable or religiously sinful.    

Ramadhan starts and finishing with sighting of the new moon, this causes some uncertainty on when Ramadhan may start and finish.  As Ramadhan is linked to the lunar calendar, the start date shifts by approximately 10 days each year. Therefore, for countries far from the equator, fasting can range from 12-odd hours in the winter to up to 21 hours in the summer, as the start date is earlier every year.   

One aims of this month is to recharge the person spiritually, so there is an attempt to spend more time in prayer and acts of worship.  There is a special prayer called the Tarraweh, that is offered after the evening prayer.  This prayer can be offered in congregation or at home.  Thus, this month provides a Muslim with time to return to their religion and establish or re-establish acts of worship that will carry them through the year till the next Ramadhan. Ramadhan is also a time for charity.  Any act of charity during this month is magnified in value.  There is a small mandatory charity paid during the month of Ramadhan to ideally reach the needy by the end of Ramadhan.   To celebrate the end of Ramadan there is a day of festivity known as Eid,  this entails a morning prayer and then gatherings with friends and family. 

Overall, the month helps the Muslim to gain self-control and discipline,  experiencing hunger and thirst teaches empathy and consideration for the less fortunate in society. Importantly linked to this, for many, Ramadhan is the deadline month for payment of Zakat a mandatory charity of 2.5% for those who are eligible to pay.  This money is ring fenced for the needy and less fortunate. It is ideal to give this money to those close to you first, such as friends or family that fit the criteria for receiving zakat. 

If you would like to share your own reflection of the holy month of Ramadan please email diversity@kcl.ac.uk

Supporting students and staff

At this time of year, fasting throughout the day combined with disturbances in normal sleep patterns can leave individuals feeling more tired than normal, particularly mid-afternoon and towards the end of the day. It is also the case that towards the latter part of the day some individuals who are fasting might feel a little light-headed.

We have produced resources on the support available for Muslim students and staff during Ramadan and guidance on maintaining health while fasting, along with more information on the month and how staff can support our Muslim community.

You can also find guidance on support for students on Student Services Online:

We should all be mindful of this important event for the Muslim community and be respectful of colleagues and students who are fasting and some of the challenges they may experience.

Supporting students preparing for assessments during Ramadan

Ramadan will have ended by the time Assessment Period 2 starts, so it is not likely that students will be affected during exams as a result of fasting. However, staff are encouraged to be aware of students who could still be affected, especially in revision classes and the revision period.

Students who are on clinical placements may also need specific support to ensure that they can meet their clinical learning and assessment requirements whilst maintaining their religious observances.

Where an assessment or revision class has a specific timing, this should not clash with the time of breaking the fast in the UK. However, if you are in a different time zone then this may be a problem – please contact the Dean’s Office as soon as possible if this is the case.

For any queries, please contact the Chaplaincy team, or either of our Muslim Chaplains, Imam Abdul Mumin Choudhury or Romana Kazmi.

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Endometriosis: Back pain, dizziness, nausea, must be my cramps kicking in again!

March is Endometriosis Action Month. Endometriosis affects 1 in 10 women and those assigned female at birth in the UK according to leading charity Endometriosis UK. Jess an Equality, Diversity and Inclusion Administrator here at King’s shares her own experience.

Back pain, dizziness, nausea, must be my cramps kicking in again!

Whether you call it “Aunt Flo”, “that time of the month” or the “crimson tide”, people who menstruate have different experiences with their period. For some, it is a slight inconvenience (how does it feel to be God’s favourite?). While for others, it is a living nightmare of misery and torment (can you guess which category I fit into?). My name is Jess, I am an EDI Administrator, and I am writing this blog to share my experiences of expected but undiagnosed Endometriosis.

Endometriosis is a chronic illness which is characterized by the presence of tissue resembling endometrium (the lining of the uterus) outside the uterus. It causes a chronic inflammatory reaction that may result in the formation of scar tissue (adhesions, fibrosis) within the pelvis and other parts of the body[1]. Endometriosis can cause many symptoms including those I have mentioned and infertility.

I have had painful periods for over 15 years and had various symptoms that include severe pelvic and back pain, headaches, loss of appetite, nausea and presyncope (feeling faint). These symptoms can become overwhelming and can take over my life. I’ve missed so many days of school, lectures and often take time off work due to spending days at a time in bed with crippling pain. As you might imagine, popping a couple of paracetamols never seemed to help. I think morphine might be more suitable!

I’ve had many visits to the doctors over the years regarding my pain, but it was never carefully considered by medical professionals. It wasn’t uncommon for it to be brushed off by my doctors who would say things like “oh it’s normal to have a bit of pain every now and then” or “just take some ibuprofen and you will be fine. Don’t worry, I will prescribe you some painkillers, or you might want to think of taking birth control”. Don’t get me started on the doctors who suggested I exercise, have a healthy diet, or try yoga. On my worst days, I can barely stand up straight, let alone correctly execute a downward dog!  Unfortunately, I have come across multiple stories from people who have had similar experiences (for more information, please see further resources section).

You feel like you are constantly being fobbed off and hurried out the door with a new prescription you know will never work. There seems to be a lack of urgency when it comes to gynaecological matters. It’s no wonder why it takes on average 8 years on to be diagnosed with endometriosis[2].

Often, this comes down to the misogyny present within the medical profession and the lack of awareness of issues that largely effect marginalised genders. Our pain can sometimes be overlooked, and we are expected to push through and get on with it with little support. Caroline Criado Perez a British Journalist and author of “Invisible women: Exposing Data Bias in a World Designed for Men”, explains that women are routinely under-represented in clinical trials, as it is thought that periods obscure results, and that medical research proposed by women, for women, is not allotted the same funding as medical research proposed by men, for men.

Conversations around menstruation and the effect of painful periods are being discussed more, and some companies are arranging adjustments for their staff; Spain has recently become the first EU country where it is legally required for staff to be provided with paid menstrual leave if requested.  Following a similar initiative which started in Japan in 1947. At King’s our menstruation policy allows adjustments to be put in place to support staff with painful, or inconvenient menstruation symptoms, which affect their quality of working life. Our policy allows for more flexible working, which can be explored further and discussed with your manager.  The purpose of this blog was to raise awareness of chronic illnesses associated with the female reproductive system that has an impact on so many people such as myself, and to reassure others going through a similar experience, that you are not alone. If you feel that you are being ignored by the healthcare system, you should always strive for an appropriate solution that gives you the assurance that it will be properly investigated.

You can also read more about our Menstruation Policy and our Menopause Policy, which includes important resources that may be useful.

Further Resources and reading


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Race Equality Week: It’s everyone’s business

Race Equality Week takes place between the 6th – 12th February 2023. The week is a an annual event brining together organizations and individuals to tackle barriers to race equality within the workplace. This years theme is ‘It’s everyone’s business.’ In this blog we explore how members of the King’s community can get involved.


Race Equality Week takes place every year, seeing organisations and individuals join forces to further race equality in the workplace. This year’s theme is “it’s everyone’s business”, which is the approach we have taken to tackling racism at King’s. This doesn’t negate the effects of power and privilege- a person’s individual impact can depend on a number of factors- however it does enable us all to take responsibility for creating an anti-racist institution.   

So how can you get involved? 


Leaning and development 

On an individual level, you can ensure you have completed the EDI e-learning module on WorkRite. There’s also a range of other training opportunities available to you, from Diversity Matters to Active Bystander. The EDI training webpage has more information. For self-directed learning, take a look at our race equality allyship toolkit, which is designed for the whole of the King’s community regardless of prior knowledge.  

Give something back 

If you want to take things a step further, why not consider being a mentor? More than Mentoring is our scheme for women, disabled, LGBTQ and Black, Asian & Minority Ethnic staff. We’ve had significantly more applications for mentees than mentors, and so the deadline to apply to be a mentor has been extended to the 19th February.  

Let us amplify your work 

King’s Race Equality Action Plan covers a range of areas, from inclusive recruitment to tackling the awarding gap. We also know there’s lots of brilliant work happening outside of this plan, which we would love to hear more about. Tell us what you’re doing to progress race equality in your area and if you require any support. 

Report racism 

John Amaechi defines culture as ‘the worst behaviour that you tolerate’. By taking the approach of racism being everyone’s business, we can see that we are all responsible for the culture at King’s. If you have experienced or witnessed racism (or any form of bullying, harassment or discrimination), you can report it (anonymously if you prefer) via Report + Support 

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LGBTQ+ History Month 2023

What is LGBTQ+ History Month? 

It seems incredibly apt to start a blog about LGBTQ+ History Month with some historical information.  

First formed and celebrated in 2005 by Schools OUT co-chairs, Paul Patrick & Professor Emeritus Sue Sanders, LGBTQ+ History Month is an annual celebration held in February to raise awareness and challenge the prejudice faced by the community. 

Each year has a theme, with the 2023 theme being #BehindTheLens– LGBTQ+ contribution to film and cinema. 

Why is LGBTQ+ History Month Important? 

The attitudes to and position of LGBTQ+ within society has evolved over the years. Whilst inequality and hostility can still be a feature of LGBTQ+ peoples day to day lives; rights and protections today are a significant improvement on those of 50 years ago. These rights haven’t appeared by coincidence, they have been the result of individual and collective campaigning and acts of courage to destigmatise, challenge inequality and take up space which was often not forthcoming. LGBTQ+ History Month educates and celebrates this, along with spotlighting the diverse contribution LGBTQ+ people have made to society.  

What are the key milestones? 

A vast amount has changed, certainly too much to include everything in a blog post. Stonewall has a guide to the key dates for LGBTQ+ equality which is well worth a read.  

To provide an sample of the breadth of events covered on the Stonewall LGBTQ+ Timeline: 


  • 1967: The Sexual Offences Act 1967 decriminalised sex between two men over 21 and ‘in private’. 
  • 1988- 2003: Section 28 was introduced by UK Prime Minister, Margaret Thatcher and was only repealed in 2003. The Act prohibited schools maintained by the local authority from promoting homosexuality, publish material related to homosexuality or teach about homosexuality as an accepted family relationship.  

Gender recognition- 

  • 1951: The first known changing of a birth certificate in recognition of gender confirming surgery took place.  

Family life- 

  • 2004: The Civil Partnership Act 2004 was passed in the United Kingdom, giving same-sex couples the same rights and responsibilities as married straight couples. 
  • 2005: The Adoption and Children Act 2002 came into force allowing unmarried couples, including same-sex couples, to apply for joint adoption. 
  • 2014: The Marriage (Same Sex Couples) Act 2013 came into force, with the first same-sex marriages in England and Wales taking place on 29 March 2014. 


  • 1983: The UK’s first national lesbian and gay TV show, One in Five, was shown on Channel 4. 
  • 1990: The first professional football player, Justin Fashanu comes out as gay. He later dies by suicide. 


  • 2009: Stonewall conducted the first large-scale study of lesbian and bi women’s health. 
  • 2011: The Department of Health lifted the lifetime ban on gay and bi men donating blood, although a 12-month celibacy clause was still in place for men who have sex with men to be eligible to donate. There has been further relaxing of the rules in recent years. 


  • 1961: The Stonewall riots took place in America – they were a series of spontaneous demonstrations by members of the LGBTQ+ community against a police raid on the Stonewall Inn. This key event triggered the modern LGBTQ+ liberation movement in the US and beyond. 
  • 1972: The first Pride was held in London, attracting approximately 2,000 participants. 
  • 2020: Religious leaders from every major faith came together in a show of unity to urge the UK government to legislate a ban on conversion therapy. 

How can I get involved? 

What is happening at King’s? 

There are a number of events held by Proudly King’s, KCLSU and faculties across the institution. A planner of events can be found here.

Lessons From Auschwitz Universities Project  

Jemma Adams, Equality, Diversity & Inclusion Consultant at King’s College London reflects on her recent participation in a new Lessons from Auschwitz Universities Project. Jemma previously led on the development of KCL’s religion & belief policy and continues to as as a link between the EDI & chaplaincy teams at King’s. The Auschwitz Universities Project is a collaboration between the Holocaust Educational Trust (HET) and the Union of Jewish Students (UJS).

Recently I had the opportunity to take part in a new Lessons from Auschwitz Universities Project, a collaboration between the Holocaust Educational Trust (HET) and the Union of Jewish Students (UJS). This universities project is a new initiative following the pattern of HET’s post-16 programme with the aim of bringing together campus leaders, both students and staff, to learn about the Holocaust and antisemitism, visit Auschwitz and reflect on how we can make our campuses safer for Jewish students. This year was the first cohort of the project and since taking part I have been sharing my learning and reflections with other members of the King’s Community. It has also been important to talk to my fellow staff and students about the practical actions we can take at King’s to tackle antisemitism, educate on the Holocaust and ensure our Jewish students and staff are safe and included in our community. In this blog I will share a bit about my experience on the project, my learning and some suggestions for further reading and action.  

Please note that the focus of this project and of this blog is the mass murder of 6 million Jewish men, women and children during World War Two. This is how the Holocaust is defined by historians, but that is not to deny the suffering of many other marginalised and persecuted groups during this period, including political prisoners, gay men, Sinti and Roma people and disabled people. These groups had their own genocide experience, and many have their own terms to describe this. I encourage you to learn more about this by looking at the links at the end of this blog.  

Do you remember when you first learnt about the Holocaust? If you’re anything like me, you will have an array of memories, feelings and facts around this topic that have lodged in your mind. For me there are two key ideas that stuck to me and are still vivid in my memory and emotions. When I learnt about the Holocaust in school, the first thing that entrenched itself in my mind was the idea of being prepared to flee and why not everyone had a suitcase packed and ready to go at the earliest opportunity when oppression and fear came into their lives. I thought how I would have a bag ready to go and imagined the things I would have packed, ready to leave in the night and escape to somewhere safe. The second thing was learning about the separation of families – people being sorted and split upon arrival at the camps and the terror that this must have evoked. My young mind grasped on to that fact and could not comprehend the trauma of being wrenched from the safety of family, separated from a parent and any sense of comfort. 

As I engaged in the Lessons From Auschwitz project, these ideas, as key markers in my own learning about the Holocaust, emerged again alongside a wide range of concepts and themes that I was able to unpack and reflect on with my fellow participants. Having not studied the Holocaust since school, I feel lucky to have had the opportunity to expand my understanding of these formative learning points and others.  

The project consisted of two pre-webinars where we discussed definitions of the Holocaust and antisemitism, learnt about the history of antisemitism and also had the privilege of hearing the testimony of a Holocaust survivor. This gave us the contextual grounding to prepare for our visit to Auschwitz and start to explore some key themes that emerged throughout the project. We then had a one-day visit to Auschwitz I (the concentration camp) and Auschwitz II (the extermination and slave labour camp) in Poland and were able to then reflect on our experience and next steps in a follow-up webinar. The learning and the impact of this project was broad and there are many concepts I continue to reflect on and which I could write about. I have chosen a few of these themes to share with you here.  

The Holocaust was not inevitable  

One of these themes, and connected to my childhood thoughts around fleeing the danger, was that the Holocaust was not inevitable. With the privilege of hindsight, we can look back and wonder why Jewish people didn’t escape to safety when their rights started to be removed, when they were excluded from education and government, when their businesses were attacked, when they were violently assaulted, when they were deported from their homes and forced to live in ghettos or when their countries were invaded by the Nazis. We know the final outcome of these persecutions, but people at the time did not, and how could we possibly expect them to imagine the horrendous outcome that did occur. Even the Nazis had not devised the Final Solution when the violence and discrimination began, or even when the first concentration camps were set up.  During this project, as we heard and read the testimonies of Holocaust survivors, we learnt how the people experiencing these horrors thought they were facing the worst, that they should not antagonise their aggressors and that it could only get better. The mass murder of millions of Jews was not inevitable. It was a series of decisions that led to the mass murder of Jews; decisions, collaboration and quiet complicity, which leads me to the second theme. 

Responsibility, culpability and collaboration  

Another key theme we explored in this project was that of responsibility and culpability. Of course, these policies and actions were instigated by the Nazis but murder on this scale was enabled through the collaboration of many other people. The Holocaust relied on the antisemitism that existed within Europe, on other governments handing over their Jewish populations, on other agencies like the railway system transporting Jews to the camps. The multiple decisions of multiple people who chose to take part in these actions. There may have been career implications for those who chose not to take part, but there is not a single case of someone being killed themselves for refusing to have a role in this industrialised murder. It was a choice and people made that choice.   


When you enter the buildings at Auschwitz I, the scale of the destruction of human life and the dehumanising process is displayed to you through the objects, clothing and possessions taken off the people who arrived there. Piles of shoes, suitcases, spectacles, disability aids and even human hair cut from the murdered corpses of those gassed to death. Jews were stripped of their identity and tattooed with a number. This dehumanising continued in the treatment they experienced and it’s important to note that half of the Jews killed in the Holocaust died from starvation or being shot – they were seen as subhuman by their murderers, not worthy of any dignity, respect or life.   

The industrialisation of murder 

The other half of the 6 million Jews murdered in the Holocaust were killed in the gas chambers. These gas chambers represent the industrialisation of their murder. This method of murder enabled the Nazis to kill vast numbers of people every single day they operated, but it also created a controlling method to sanitise this process and make it easier for the perpetrators. As Jews were herded towards the chambers, they were told they were being taken to have a shower and the gas chambers at Auschwitz II were even built to include fake shower heads to cajole the victims into a false sense of reassurance – to keep them under control, to keep them quiet, to make it easier for those murdering them.  

Resistance, resilience and rehumanising  

During the project we also learnt about the acts of resistance from those at Auschwitz and other camps and I was struck by the resilience of anyone who even endured one moment in those places. Those who were selected to work rather than be taken straight to the gas chambers had to endure starvation, cramped conditions, extreme weather while wearing nothing but thin pyjamas bare feet, disease, hard labour, being separated from family and in many cases, not knowing if your family were dead or alive. How anyone survived in these conditions is beyond my comprehension. Walking around Auschwitz II was perhaps the coldest experience of my life and my constant thought was how it was possible for the inmates to survive for any length of time there. Despite these conditions and cruel treatment, many carried out acts of resistance – hiding babies born in the camps to try and keep them alive; smuggling in paper and pen to write their stories; sketching the scenes of the camp and hiding them for future liberators to find; enacting spiritual resistance through continuing to pray, holding hope, preserving cultural life and even organising education. These acts of resistance mean the Nazis crimes were recorded and that the stories of the victims were preserved and can be told. A key aim in the project was accessing these stories, learning about the individuals who were murdered, who suffered, who survived, and in doing so rehumanising those who’s humanity had been denied. A part of this process for Jewish people has also been about rethinking the word Holocaust and describing the event with their own Hebrew word. Holocaust means ‘completely burnt sacrifice’ – it is a Greek word which originally described a type of religious sacrifice. The connotations, therefore, of willingness and a sense of martyrdom is extremely problematic and many Jewish people prefer the word Shoah; a Hebrew word that means ‘catastrophe’.  

There are so many other things I could share about what I learnt on this project. I hope this has given some sense of the impact of this experience and I would really encourage everyone to read more, learn more and take part in this programme or anything similar if the opportunity arises. We all know something about the Holocaust already, some of us may have studied it extensively, but antisemitism is still very present in our society, as is holocaust denial. We should all take any opportunities we have to remind ourselves of this catastrophic human event and to combat antisemitism and holocaust denial through our own education and the encouragement of others to do the same.  

Here are some links and suggestions for actions and learning you can take forward:  

  • To learn more about Auschwitz and the Holocaust I recommend looking at/listening to:  
  • To learn more about antisemitism in our current society and media I recommend Jews Don’t Count by David Baddiel – there is both a Book and recent TV documentary 
  • To learn about how you can support Jewish members of the King’s community I recommend you look at the Religion and Belief Policy and accompanying Religion and Belief Guidance. These contain information about how to support religious observance and the facilities and provisions that are available at King’s. 

More than Mentoring Scheme 2023 – Open for Applications!

*Update 10.02.2023*

We have been blown away by the response to the launch of this years More than Mentoring scheme, since going live in January over 200 people have completed our expression of interest form.  To date 2/3 of those who have applied want to be mentees. We are now looking for more volunteers to sign up to be mentors. Thus we have extended the application window for mentors only to 19th February 2023.

You can still sign up to be a mentor. The expression of interest form will remain open until Sunday 19th February 2023. We are no longer accepting applications for mentees.


Please contact the team using diversity@kcl.ac.uk if you have any questions.

Why do we run mentoring schemes?

We encourage all members of the King’s community to be involved with EDI activity which is largely about community, learning and development. Mentoring is a great opportunity to get involved as well as developing relationships with other colleagues and picking up skills which enhance career development. We know of the value and many benefits of mentoring, this scheme offers this and more: the opportunity to network and develop a community through training, workshops and events.

What is the more than mentoring scheme?

Our one-of-a-kind positive action scheme gives staff the opportunity to be paired with a colleague within King’s for mentorship. This is a fantastic chance to expand networks, build relationships and gain skills. Where possible, we match mentors and mentees with shared lived experience to enable a deeper understanding and connection between participants. Mentor pairs are encouraged to meet at least once a month for 6 months, from the end of February – end of July 2023.

What is the benefit for mentees?

For potential mentees, this is a great opportunity for you to connect with a mentor who can offer insight, advice, opportunity – and help you navigate the next stage of your career. King’s recognises that staff who identify as women, LGBTQ+ or have a disability, and those from Black and Minority Ethnic backgrounds are significantly underrepresented at senior level. Therefore, the More than Mentoring scheme prioritises these groups to take part.

What is the benefit for mentors?

For potential mentors, this is a great opportunity to give back, become a better leader, and refine your own skills and networks. A previous mentor on the scheme had the following feedback and encouragement:

“I enjoyed meeting my mentee and building a good relationship that hopefully we will take forward. Also, I enjoyed pushing myself to help and develop another colleague at King’s in any way I was able to”.

In the past, the scheme has received more applications to be mentored rather than to be a mentor. We would encourage all the King’s community to consider whether they could undertake the mentor role. It can be easy to doubt what you have to offer, but many of us have valuable skills which could be shared and benefit others.

What do previous participants say about taking part?

Anne-Marie Wylie, Wellbeing Manager took part as both a mentor and mentee and has shared her experience and encouragement to take part. Here is what she had to say:

“I really enjoyed being a mentor, it was something I thought might be outside of my comfort zone or I wasn’t experienced enough for, but it was a great way to develop my inter-personal skills and gain insight into the work of a completely different area of King’s (and also gave me fresh perspective viewing work through someone else’s eyes). I would encourage anyone to sign up to become a mentor, you will have unique experiences and perspective to offer someone else and you will probably gain the same for yourself. 

My experience of being a mentee was equally as enjoyable and beneficial; it was great having someone more experienced as a sounding board to discuss how to navigate different work situations, who was impartial but also understood King’s cultures and structures. It gave me the opportunity to talk through my own approach and consider different ways to manage situations. 

My favourite part of the scheme was learning about the work of other areas, that I would likely never come across if it wasn’t for More than Mentoring. Through sharing our experiences and different perspectives, I learnt something from both my mentee and mentor and would tell anyone to take part to gain new ideas and perspectives”.

How to apply:

  • Deadline to express interest to be a mentor is now Sunday 19th February 2023.
  • The deadline to apply to be a mentee has now passed.
  • If you have any questions please contact the EDI team using diversity@kcl.ac.uk
  • Complete this expression of interest form.

DHM 2022: #SelfCare

To mark UK Disability History Month Equality, Diversity & Inclusion Manager Jennifer Hastings explores the months theme Disability, Health & Well Being. Jennifer explores self-care, mental health and access to support provisions.

Events to mark Disability History Month and explore this years theme further are taking place across King’s and you can find out about these here 


Portrait of Jennifer Hastings.

Jennifer Hastings

Mental health has had quite the PR treatment in recent years. From Love Island alumnus Dr. Alex George being appointed as Youth Mental Health Ambassador, to influencers talking about their mental wellbeing against a backdrop of candles and White Company bedding. Whilst I applaud the efforts to talk more about our mental health, these discussions tend to stay in the realm of the more “palatable” symptoms; I imagine swapping stories of intrusive thoughts or manic episodes is likely to grind the conversation to a halt.  

It’s great that people are taking a more holistic view of health, and it’s true that we all have good and bad days. But living with a mental health condition (whether it has been diagnosed or not) is so much more than not feeling your best self. Mental health difficulties can be debilitating, and feelings of isolation, hopelessness, and desperation don’t simply dissolve away in a warm bath (however Instagram-ready the setting may be). The author and journalist, Bella Mackie, has written brilliantly about this, questioning whether our current focus on getting everyone talking about mental health has taken airtime away from those who are experiencing mental ill health.  

Accessing support for mental health difficulties can be tough, not least because over one million people are on waiting lists.  There’s also lots of reasons many people are reluctant to take that first step, such as booking a GP appointment or contacting a therapist. We may not prioritise doing so until the problem gets particularly bad, or maybe we’re scared to divulge such scary thoughts to another person. Perhaps we know that people experience support services differently, for example, Black people are more likely to be sectioned than White people. If you are struggling, Mind has some really comprehensive information on accessing support for the first time, including a section on racism within the mental health system. Staff at King’s can also access the Employee Assistance Programme and students can access the Counselling and Mental Health Support Service. 

As well as increasing access to timely support, we must also remain vigilant against the “medicalisation” of injustice and oppression. I recently attended a lecture by Professor Camara Jones, who spoke about the social determinants of health. These are the things that can impact on the likelihood of us becoming unwell but that we, as individuals, cannot control (e.g. poverty). Over 2 million food parcels were provided by the Trussell Trust last year; is it any wonder people aren’t feeling great? We’re also increasingly being presented with the concept of “self-care” through a capitalist lens, as if all that stands between us and our sanity is expensive skin care or cashmere pyjamas. 

This is not to say that self-care, whatever that looks like to you, is meaningless. Making connections with others, becoming absorbed in an activity that brings you joy and taking time to switch off are all key components of a happy life. The danger is when we use this as a plaster for holes in service provision and systemic injustice. So where do we go from here? Some of the above problems may seem insurmountable, however we all have a voice. You can use yours at the polling station, to sign petitions or become a Mind campaigner.  Mental health difficulties can feel like the most individual of struggles however sometimes collective action is what’s needed to make a change. 

Want to Learn more about Equality, Diversity & Inclusion at King’s College London?


Race Equality Wrap-Up – Term 1, 2022/23

It’s important to communicate progress, especially when we can become preoccupied with daily challenges or jaded by barriers and push back. King’s is on a journey to become anti-racist and, whilst we’re certainly not where we want to be, we can (and should) celebrate our successes so far.  

Our Race Equality Action Plan guides our work, however we recognise the need to be flexible and react to the changing needs of our community. The below is not an exhaustive list; we know there’s lots of great work happening across King’s and so please do tell us what you’re doing in your area by filling out this short form

EDI Projects 

There have been a number of race equality projects undertaken by EDI this year. We have developed our first race equality allyship toolkit, which is a learning resource available to all King’s staff and students. It draws on various sources and is suitable for everyone, regardless of your prior knowledge. 

We have put together a race equality communications plan to ensure we’re talking to you about our plans, educating on racism and showcasing the achievements of Black, Asian & Minority Ethnic members of our community.  

We are developing a Maturity Model, which can be used to identify priority areas of work and encourage innovative practice within faculties and directorates. This has been out for consultation, and we are now incorporating the feedback we received.  

We have worked with the Alumni Team to add additional profiles to our Notable Alumni page on order to better represent the achievements of our Black communities. The intention is for staff to use this as a resource when considering external speakers, room names, etc.  

The Edi CAP (Combined Action Plans) has had its first meeting. This group is responsible for progressing the Race Equality Action Plan and the Athena Swan Action Plan. Combining the delivery of these plans enables us to streamline resources (as there’s significant overlap) and supports us to take an intersectional approach. 

Thanks to KURF (King’s Undergraduate Research Fellowships) funding, we were able to recruit a student to investigate King’s approach to Professors of Practice and whether this understanding could help diversify King’s academics. 

Training and Development 

Over the past year we have developed and delivered microaggression training to over 300 staff and students, received 216 applications for the More than Mentoring scheme and received 75 applications for the Aurora leadership programme.  

The B-MEntor scheme is currently open and spans a number of institutions so is a great way to build your network across the sector. You can find out how to get involved on our blog post. 

A snapshot across King’s 

We’re so pleased that Professor Camara Jones has joined King’s as a visiting Professor for the year. Camara has delivered a brilliant talk on race and health inequity, as well as a workshop for EDI Practitioners. 

FoLSM have organised this year’s Harold Moody lecture, which features Professor Stephani Hatch as the keynote speaker.  

King’s celebrated this year’s Black History Month with a calendar of events, including a talk by Professor Kalwant Bhopal on Black & Minority Ethnic experiences in higher education. 

Dr Ashwin J. Matthew, Dr. Peter Chonka and Dr. Rhianna Walcott published a report on the experiences of Black students in Digital Humanities. 

The department of Biomedical Engineering successfully applied for funding for the “Success for Black Engineers” programme. This aims to increase the number of Black Engineering students at King’s, as well as improve their attainment and wellbeing. 

Want to Learn more about Equality, Diversity & Inclusion at King’s College London?

StellarHE Leadership Programme 2023 – Recruiting Now!

StellarHE is a targeted leadership development programme to support Black and Minority Ethnic academics, researchers and Professional Services staff. The programme has been designed specifically to develop and implement leadership strategies that reflect the unique challenges and experiences of Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic academic and professional staff across Higher Education.

King’s is dedicated to developing and supporting diverse talent and inclusive leadership and the university is committed to supporting members of the King’s community to take part in the StellarHE programme. The programme is for staff who aspire to operate at a senior, strategic level here at King’s and contribute to our institutional commitment to advance race equality.

The application process for the 2023 is now open!

Updated Deadline: 17:00 on Wednesday 18th January 2023

What is included? 

The scheme includes:

  • Ten one-day virtual workshops
  • Leadership diagnostics
  • Two individual Borderless Coaching sessions
  • One virtual Action Learning Set
  • Completion of a Leadership Challenge project
  • The programme also includes the opportunity to join the Beyond StellarHE Alumni network.

Key Programme Dates

  • 6 March 2023 Readiness Session
  • 17 March 2023 Managers Race to Action Session
  • 20 March 2023 M1 – Orientation & My Leadership Journey
  • 3 April 2023 M2 – Race Strategic Context in HE
  • 18 April 2023 M3 – Authentic Leadership, Identity and Race
  • 4 May 2023 M4 – Leadership Purpose & Vision
  • 24 May 2023                   M5 – Status Now – Leadership MoT
  • April/May 2023 Action Learning and Assessments – Factor8 & Borderless Coaching
  • 8 June 2023 M6 – iLead 360 – Cracking the corporate Code
  • Jun/Jul 2023 Action Learning
  • 12 July 2023 M7– Presence – iBrand & Communicating with Impact*
  • 13 July 2023 M8 – Career Strategy and Leaderships Signature*
  • September 2023 Coaching

*All the workshops are virtual apart from those annotated. Find out more on the StellarHE website.

Participants would be expected to participate in all of the sessions. 

Programme cost

The Equality, Diversity & Inclusion team intend to fully fund up to 1 place open to staff from across the university and part-fund 2 places on the scheme in collaboration with faculties & directorates. In addition, many faculties & directorates from across KCL have also committed to funding additional places should their staff be successfully selected. A list of faculties & directorates who have agreed to fund places will be added to this page in due course.

  • The programme fee is £4,495 + VAT per participant.
  • Successful applicants who are parents and carers are eligible for further financial support to enable them to participate from the Carers’ Career Development Fund.

Eligibility criteria

  • StellarHE is targeted at Black and Minority Ethnic (BME) individuals who aspire to senior leadership positions in Higher Education.
  • StellarHE is targeted at middle and senior managers – we advise that applicants are currently in roles grade 6 and above (see FAQs below).
  • Professional services, research and academic staff are all eligible to apply.
  • Staff members on fixed term contracts can apply for StellarHE as long as their contract continues at least 6 months after the programme has finished or you can provide evidence it will be extended.
  • You must be available for all the programme dates (see above)

How to apply

  1. Speak to your manager about StellarHE and confirm they are happy to support your application. If you apply the EDI team will contact them to ask for a supporting statement.


  1. Check that you are available for all the dates listed above and meet the eligibility criteria.


  1. Complete the expression of interest form by Midday Monday 16th January 2023.
You can apply for a place here.

How will my application be selected & assessed?

The answers in your application form, the personal statement and your manager’s statement will all be used to assess your suitability for the programme.

The application questions in the form will each be scored from 1 (does not meet the criteria) to 5 (significantly exceeds the criteria).

Your application will also then be scored against the King’s criteria.

The King’s criteria asses the strength of the application with regards to how the applicant demonstrates the positive impacts the programme could have on their career, their team and on race equality at King’s.

  • The impact of the programme on the individual and their career, i.e.:
    • Show they have proactively thought about career progression/development and how StellarHE will feed into this.
    • Demonstrate their capability and potential as a manager/leader.
  • The impact of the programme on the applicant’s team, department and King’s more widely, i.e.:
    • Show how they will apply learning to others, both locally and more widely.
    • What benefit this will have.
  • The impact of the programme on race equality at King’s, i.e.:
    • Demonstrate a commitment to Race Equality at King’s or externally (e.g., active membership of the Race Equality Staff network, personal activism in team/dept etc).

As you write your application you should think about how you are demonstrating these King’s criteria.

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