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Changing the Narrative Part III



In December we have gained more useful insight of the approaches that you can take as an individual to affect meaningful positive change. Since then we have spoken with Blueprint for All (formerly Stephen Lawrence Charitable Trust), Femi Oresanya of HOK & Architects for Change, as well as Marsha Ramroop the newly appointed Director of Inclusion at RIBA. Read on to find out how you too can 'change the narrative'.






Blueprint for All (formerly known as the Stephen Lawrence Charitable Trust)

In December we made contact with Blueprint for All through Neil Pinder, who has been a trustee to the Stephen Lawrence Charitable Trust for over fifteen years. Neil put us in touch with Senior Programmes Manager Paraskevi Koumi who in turn put us in touch with Maia Ardalla who is the Built Environment Officer.

In January, we met with Maia and Paraskevi, to speak about the work that Blueprint for All do in the context of how we might offer our support. Maia explained that she is working on putting together an upcoming news series, aimed at those looking to break into the construction industry, as well as those who are looking to expand their knowledge by learning from industry professionals. The events in the series will be a combination of formal presentations with Q&A sessions, alongside more informal, conversational formats that will allow beneficiaries to dig deeper into the professional’s journey into the industry.

Blueprint for All also run a mentoring programme for beneficiaries to be paired with professionals on an ongoing basis, helping them to navigate the decisions and actions they take as they enter further education.

Maia and Evi were incredibly approachable and enthused at our contacting them. They expressed that they see the value of E2 becoming involved with Blueprint for All’s work and partnering in the future.

We look forward to engaging further on this and assisting Blueprint for All in the work they have been doing to change the narrative.

 

Femi Oresanya of HOK & Architects for Change

David made contact with Femi on LinkedIn following a post we had seen with Femi speaking about the impact of Brexit on architects of African heritage working in the UK, providing his support and looking to solutions that would help overcome any obstacles.

Femi graciously accepted the connection with David, and the two spoke briefly over email last month about the work we are doing, and Femi’s active and vocal role in the industry in looking to increase diversity. We are looking forward to speaking further with Femi who is Chair of Architects for Change, an advisory group to the RIBA, about the work he is doing and how we might be able to support him.

Femi mentioned that one of his acquaintances would soon be taking up their post as Director of Inclusion at the RIBA, which was encouraging news to us, and that he would put us in touch when the time was right.

Below are some links to Femi speaking about diversity and inclusion in architecture, all providing his invaluable insight into this pressing issue. Have a read. Femi is changing the narrative.

https://www.hok.com/ideas/hok-voices/cultivating-the-next-generation-of-designers/

We need our practices to increase the diversity of their senior leaders (architectsjournal.co.uk)

Guest blog: Femi Oresanya discusses why diversity must start at the top (architecture.com)

Creating an equal and diverse profession (architecture.com)

Stephen Lawrence Day (architecture.com)

 

 

Marsha Ramroop Director of Inclusion for RIBA

As luck would have it we had in fact sent several emails to the inclusion team at the RIBA, offering our support and explaining our approach with our project. It was reassuring to hear back this week from Marsha Ramroop who has recently been appointed to the post of Director of Inclusion for RIBA. Especially reassuring indeed that less than a week into her new role Marsha found the time to contact us.

Marsha has a background in inclusivity, being a Cultural Intelligence certified practitioner, with a strong organisational understanding, diversity and change strategy. She describes herself as ‘a compassionate and honest agent of change’, a term we at E2 are no strangers to.

Marsha is looking to implement her experience and knowledge at the RIBA, helping to bring about inclusive change underpinned by Cultural Intelligence (CQ) training in Architecture. Marsha has communicated that:

“CQ is a measurement and skill which makes anyone more effective at working and relating to people who are different from you. However, the solution involves more than just a workshop. It also looks at inclusion as an overarching issue, not at separate agendas in isolation e.g. Race, Women or Disability.”

This is incredibly encouraging, and important work. We look forward to communicating with Marsha once she has settled in, looking at how we can support the work she is doing. Marsha taking her post is an exciting and positive development that deserves to be celebrated, therefore we congratulate Marsha on this big step in her work changing the narrative.

 

The Launch of our Video Series

Our ‘Changing the Narrative’ blogs are taking on a new format – video. We will still no doubt produce written blogs to convey the developments that we make on our project. But we are now also looking to launch a series of video talks featuring our own David Obaro. The aim of the series will be to explore in more depth David’s journey into architecture, which he touched on in October last year with his mini-blog series ‘An Architecture Pilgrimage’. We will also be featuring guests as part of the series. Stay posted for more on this.

 

Look out for our next E2BH365 Blog, coming soon.




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