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Dr Muna Abdi Tackling Racism Across the Leadership Pipeline

Online event brings people together to discuss the impacts of systemic racism in Sheffield and find solutions for collectively disrupting the system.

Organised by Dr Muna Abdi and MA Education Consultancy, the Tackling Racism Across the Leadership Pipeline in Sheffield conference will take place virtually on Thursday 8 October from 10am-3pm. The conference will highlight the key issues around access to employment, workplace culture, progression and representative leadership. We spoke to Muna to find out more about the upcoming event.

Firstly, can you tell us a bit about yourself and MA Education Consultancy.

I'm an Education and Racial Equity Consultant with over ten years of experience in Education, Research and Training. I hold a PhD in Education and have previously worked as a university lecturer and researcher. I am currently the Director of MA Education Consultancy CIC, a Community Interest Company that works to bridge the gap between community voice and institutional change.At MA Education Consultancy CIC we apply an antiracist and solution-focussed lens throughout our services in order to work with clients to inform, educate and empower them as they work towards creating more inclusive and equitable spaces.

Your upcoming event Tackling Racism Across the Leadership Pipeline takes place on Thursday 8 October. What can people look forward to at this event and who is it for?

The conference is an opportunity to (virtually) bring together people from across the city to discuss the impacts of systemic racism and how we as a city can come together to disrupt these systemic challenges. It is a solution-focussed event so we will be discussing the key issues in order to present a call to action.This work requires insight into both data and lived experiences, and so we will be focussing the conference on listening to those who have experienced institutional racism in the city, as well as presenting data that allows us to see clearly what our starting point is as a city.

What are your hopes for the outcome of the event?

I hope that this is the start of work and further dialogue in the city. We are at a really crucial time and we need to work with this momentum for change. The last year has exposed all the ways in which our systems are not fit for purpose and so now we must work together to develop systems that are.The October event is part of an ongoing series focusing on Tackling Racism Across the Leadership Pipeline.

Here are a few words from Professor Laura Serrant OBE, keynote speaker at Thursday’s event with her talk 'We, Us... I: Hearing Silences from the Margins of Experience'.

I am Black, I am female, and I am a leader. Racism, discrimination and opportunity are bound within my experiences. Learning to navigate these challenges while walking the line between personal opportunity and communal responsibility are part of my leadership journey. Often, our stories of leadership are silenced within the stories of failure. This talk highlights the importance of speaking, being heard and enabling others to speak - for in silencing ourselves and our journeys, we may not see how that silences others - giving organisations and our communities little sense of the possible.

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