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Changing the Narrative Part I



You could say that we all have a vested interest in promoting the merits of diversity. We genuinely believe that we all have a vested interest in realising increased equity. In doing so we will all reap the benefit of the results. Let us change the narrative.






Sam

Sam set up E2 with a distinct vision; that architecture can be both ‘eco and sexy’. Having a sustainable approach to architecture was particularly important to Sam who has had a lifelong passion for nature, also being an avid twitcher.

With E2 Sam champions the idea that architecture can and should be a means to improve the planet at the same time as enhancing the lives of our clients, employees and those who inhabit the places we design.

Sustainability is key in reacting to the climate emergency and redressing the drastic global inequalities that result from it. This is how we can change the narrative.

David

After working on several projects and gaining more valuable experience towards his part 3, David has reignited a long-held passion he has for actively enacting change in developing countries, especially his home country Nigeria. Considering recent events in Nigeria, he believes that there is no better time to rebuild and empower the younger generation with stability and security.

David has recently taken the initiative and made this a reality. We cannot provide any meaningful details at this stage, however E2 have partnered with a Nigerian construction company to refine and deliver a proposal for a new city district. This has come about as a direct result of David’s knowledge and skills, which he has channelled into this proposal – specifically looking at how a housing development can promote a peaceful coexistence that seeks to enact positive change embedded within African heritage.

He has been at the forefront of this proposal and instrumental in bringing the vision to life. The key success story here has been in entrusting project-lead to our Head of Visualisation, acknowledging his Nigerian background and recognising he is best placed to deliver an impactful proposal. This is changing the narrative.

 

 

My interest in issues of equality, and specifically prejudice, stem from my childhood. I was born in Paris and undertook my education in a British school located on the outskirts. Being of British heritage but never having lived in the UK my white British “expat” (immigrant) peers never saw me as an equal. To them I was the ‘French frog’, later ‘lifer’, a term used to describe me and a small group of others who had grown up outside the UK to British parents. I had closer friendship bonds with the children to the African Ambassadors to Paris at the same school, children from other countries from across the globe, and fellow bilinguals, than I did with my white British peers – many of whom would only be in the school for two-three years before returning to the UK. Amongst my French peers I was known as ‘Ros-Beef’, although I knew that this was always said in jest, without any jealousy.

In general, I became wary of being close to anyone, and highly aware of my difference. I grew up never fitting in. I developed a fierce sense of my identity and independence as a result. I learned early to be proud of my difference, and that far from being a weakness, it was a strength.

I have learned to question the status quo, never listen to small mindedness, challenge my own ingrained implicit bias, and call out prejudice wherever I see it.

My wife is Black of Caribbean heritage, as are my daughters. You could say that this means I have a vested interest in promoting the merits of diversity… But I genuinely believe that we all have a vested interest in realising increased equity. In doing so we will all benefit from the results. Let us change the narrative.

 

Look out for Changing the Narrative Part II which will report on what we have been up to with our outreach following on from my November blog ‘Phew! Black History Month is Over – We Can Just Get Back to Normal, Right?’




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