Many of us want to make the world a better place. However, a UK-based organization called Equaliteach has taken this mindset to the next level with their programs to foster environments in which equality and diversity are core values. They provide educational resources to provide clients (most often, students) the tools they need to combat stereotypical and sexist incidents, which gives them the knowledge at an early age to become upstanding citizens, who accept and celebrate everyone for who they are. I had the opportunity to speak with Rachel Elgy about Equaliteach’s mission, values, and story.
Can you tell me a little about who you are and your role at Equaliteach?
My name is Rachel, and I’m the Business Development Manager at EqualiTeach. Having joined about 4.5 years ago, I was involved initially in delivering workshops and training on equality and diversity to young people and adults across the UK. My current role is focused on reaching out to schools and organizations who may benefit from working with us, bringing new schools onto our Equalities Award scheme, and managing our communications including our newsletters and social media accounts.
Can you tell me about the organization's mission and how it got started?
EqualiTeach was founded by two women who, having studied various topics surrounding equality and diversity, met while working together at an anti-racism education charity. While they recognised the importance of having organizations tackling specific equality issues, they also noticed a need for an organization that could work across different areas of equality, bringing an intersectional approach, and looking at equality and diversity in a more holistic way. So, EqualiTeach was founded with the mission to inspire and empower people to create equal, diverse and inclusive environments where everyone feels safe, valued and able to succeed.
Can you provide an example of the resources and/or workshops you provide?
Our services include delivering workshops to young people, staff training, and developing educational resources and guidance; all covering a range of equality topics. While some training sessions may take a broad approach to equality and diversity, we also tackle specific equality issues.
For example, our ‘Outside the Box’ workshops, training and resource, are on the topic of gender equality. We regularly deliver these workshops to young people aged 10-18 in which we explore gender stereotypes, learn about sexism, and for the older age groups, analyze challenging sexist language and how to tackle sexual harassment. We also run ‘Agents for Change’ projects which involve bringing young people together from several secondary schools to learn about gender stereotypes and sexism, and to plan ways in which they can better manage these issues while promoting gender equality in their schools. These are accompanied by staff training for teachers on promoting gender equality, and how to recognize and respond effectively to sexist incidents in school.
Finally, our ‘Outside the Box’ resource is full of guidance, information, lesson plans, and activities to support schools in taking a whole school approach in promoting gender equality and tackling sexism and sexual harassment. You can find out more and download the resource free of charge here: www.equaliteach.co.uk/outside-the-box.
How has COVID affected your organization?
COVID has had a huge impact on the way in which we’ve been working over the past few months. The majority of our work is in education settings which have, of course, been closed, so we haven’t been able to deliver any face-to-face training. Being based in the UK, we’ve been able to benefit from the Government’s furlough scheme, so we have been working with a reduced team since April.
We’ve spent the last few months developing new ways of working using online tools. We have been able to successfully deliver our staff training sessions via Zoom, and are proud to have launched an E-learning platform, which includes courses for educators, as well as courses suitable for parents and care-givers. More courses are due to be added in the coming weeks as well. Our Equalities Award also operated predominantly online, so we’ve been able to continue supporting schools to embed equality throughout their settings.
Who do you work with for customers mainly?
Our main customer base is education settings, but we have also worked with other (often public sector) organizations such as National Trust, National Museums Liverpool, housing associations and local authorities.
What is your favorite part about working for this organization?
EqualiTeach is an organization which really lives its values. The directors (and co-founders), demonstrate effective feminist leadership, creating a safe and inclusive workplace, listening to employees, leading with empathy and respect, and investing in each of us as individuals. Aside from the fact that I believe whole-heartedly in the organization’s mission, they are a really wonderful team to be a part of and I consider myself very lucky to work here!
Is there anything else you'd like to share about Equaliteach?
You can find us on social media (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram) as @EqualiTeach where we share information about our work, but also our blogs on equality topics, and information/articles relating to equality and diversity!
Thanks to Rachel, for sharing Equaliteach’s story and mission and we hope you check them out for more information and resources!