In 2010, I first learned of the soon to be Diversity Role Models. I was immediately struck by the necessity of the charity and how it linked so very well to my own area of expertise – citizenship education. To break down barriers and misconceptions, to teach others about difference while connecting them with what we all share.
Since then I have always been keen on seeing DRM grow, having supported it at Pride events and inviting the organisation into places of work to deliver workshops to staff and students. In the last few years, I’ve also volunteered as a member of the Education Steering Group.
The Diversity Role Models method to use storytelling to connect and educate is a pedagogically well thought-out and creative tool. It enables young people to hear about poignant lived experiences from individuals and in doing so, they develop skills of empathy and compassion.
I remember clearly the scrouge of Section 28 and how it was to live in a time where bullying predicated on LGBTQI+ experiences was commonplace at school. Not an hour went by when hateful language was used frequently, completely against the principles of education and development. Unfortunately, as we look around ourselves and the world today the work that DRM does continue to be as important as ever.
In citizenship education we teach about how political, media, legal, economic knowledge impacts society and what we can all do to make a difference. Young people learn about principles of equality and dignity that all of us as human beings deserve. As I start another year in citizenship teacher education I am delighted to support DRM as a Director and bring my experience in these areas together to help the team continue to tackle injustice in classrooms so that all children can learn in dignity.
– Hans Svennevig, Director