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Race awareness highlighted at Higher York conference

Posted on 3 November 2003

Slavery expert Professor Jim Walvin will be highlighting local and regional links to the slave trade when he speaks at a Higher York conference on race awareness tomorrow (Tuesday 4th November).

He is one of a number of speakers at the conference who will highlight the contribution of York's education providers to race awareness.

The conference, 'A hair across your cheek', has been organised by Higher York to mark Black History Month and is being held at the National Early Music Centre in Walmgate.

Higher York, which is a joint venture between the four higher education providers in the city - the University of York, York College, York St John College and Askham Bryan College - is holding the conference to consider race awareness issues across the post-16 education and training sector in York and North Yorkshire.

The conference will consider issues such as organisational culture, identifying actions to achieve positive outcomes, and look at where the education and training sector should be by 2010 in respect of race equality.

Those attending the conference will include students, teachers, lecturers, governors and managers in Post-16 education and training organisations.

The panel will be chaired by Yvie Holder, Director of Equal Opportunities at the University of York, and Dr Stuart Billingham, Director of Quality Innovation at York St John College.

The conference also includes Professor Gus John, a nationally-renowned guest speaker whose consultancy carried out the review of Race Equality Policies for HEFCE (the Higher Education Funding Council for England) this year, and who is formerly Director of Education and Leisure Services for Hackney. Professor John is a member of the Home Secretary's Race Relations Forum and has worked closely on the drafting of the Race Relations (Amendment) Bill.

Displays of work by historical and contemporary black writers including Caryl Phillips, who received an honorary doctorate from the University of York in July, are being held to support the conference in Blackwell's shop on the University campus and in the University library.

Notes to editors:

  • The conference, A Hair across the Cheek, will be held from 6 to 9 pm at the National Centre for Early Music, Walmgate, on Tuesday 4 November. Those wishing to attend should contact Lucy Willis on 01904 770247.
  • Higher York promotes higher education in York and facilitates a number of joint projects between the university and colleges of York.
  • Professor Jim Walvin is professor of History at the University of York.
  • Yvie Holder is a former chair of the York Racial Equality Network and a founder member of the York Building Bridges initiative.
  • Dr Stuart Billingham has worked to promote racial and ethnic equality in further and higher education in institutions across the UK, and has designed and delivered staff development in tackling racism in mainly white educational settings.

Contact details

David Garner
Senior Press Officer

Tel: +44 (0)1904 322153