Diversity Role Models (DRM) was founded in 2011 and has gone from strength to strength. Year on year we continue to reach more students, staff, governors and parents/carers. April is an exciting month for us because we will reach our 100,000th young person with our classroom based student workshops. We are incredibly proud and excited to celebrate this milestone, but we recognise our work is far from over. When I first started volunteering with DRM in 2013 the team was made up of just four people. Now as the Chief Executive I am honoured to work alongside 8 inspiring people and I am excited to continue to grow the charity and have a positive impact on the lives of thousands more students and schools.
It is incredibly important to remember your journey that led you to where you are today. For me, that is using my personal negative experience from school to be more motivated to inspire the future generations to be inclusive. For DRM, I asked the founder Suran Dickson, who is now living in New Zealand, what her thoughts were on DRM reaching its 100,000th young person.
"Wow, 100,000 young people. I often think of the work of DRM as a ripple effect – we never know when each workshop participant might see the world through a new lens, with the realisation that we’ve been fooled into believing that gender is one of two options or that natural love is only between men and women. But through thousands of courageous stories told by role models, young people have experienced a ripple that progresses their thinking towards being more inclusive and kinder members of society. In one of my favourite workshops, a year 8 boy had literally thrown himself on the ground in a fit of disbelief that there were actual gay people in his classroom (or heterosexual male posturing as I like to call it…), he then hung off our every word during the workshop and at the end he proclaimed loudly and indignantly ‘anyway, my Aunt is gay and I don’t care’. Courage is contagious! I am so proud to watch this invaluable work continue from New Zealand. 100,000 young people with more open hearts and minds. As they say on my side of the world, that’s bloody great mate! Keep doing what you do, all of you. Much love, Suran"
There are many opportunities for you to support DRM to reach our next 100,000 young people. Please have a look on the website ways you can support us on our journey.
"My overall view has changed because I have learned to be nice and to respect LGBT+ people just the way I would respect a random person"
- Year 8 Student