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Events & Updates

The Equality and Diversity Unit works with colleagues across the University of Wolverhampton, as well as friends in other institutions and the local community, to organise public events that highlight the diverse experiences of people within Britain and across the world. Please see below for our forthcoming events: 

Each Staff Network is led by a Chair and two Vice-Chairs, now elected by their colleagues within the Staff Network. Being a Staff Network Chair or Vice-Chair is a unique opportunity for staff members to work at senior level to shape the future of direction of the University, work that involves regularly meeting with senior leaders and participating in University committee meetings.  There are currently three vacant positions in our Staff Networks:

Chair of the BAME Staff Network: The lead representative of Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic staff members within the University of Wolverhampton. 

Chair of the LGBT Staff Network: The lead representative of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual & Trans staff members within the University of Wolverhampton.   

LGBT Staff Network Vice-Chair: Works with the Chair of the LGBT Staff Network or other colleagues on specific projects, and may deputise for the Chair on occasion.  

How to Become a Candidate

To be accepted as a candidate, a staff member must provide a written statement explaining their candidacy in less than 300 words. Should a staff member wish to run as a job-share, they should work with a colleague to submit a joint candidacy. This written statement should be emailed to Will Cooling at by 5pm on Tuesday 3rd October

Any Full Member of the BAME Staff Network may stand to become the Chair of BAME Staff Network. A Full Member of the BAME Staff Network is any University of Wolverhampton Staff Member who self-defines as having an ethnicity other than White. Any Full Member of the LGBT Staff Network may stand to be the Chair or Vice-Chair of the LGBT Staff Network. A Full Member of the LGBT Staff Network is any University of Wolverhampton Staff Member who self-defines as having a sexual orientation other than heterosexual and/or a gender identity other than cisgender. You do not need to have already signed-up to your Staff Network's mailing list. 

Election Schedule 

Nominations Close in Staff Network Elections

Tuesday 3rd  October 2017 at 5pm

Voting Opens in Staff Network Elections 

Tuesday 17th October 2017 at 5pm

Voting Closes in Staff Network Elections

Tuesday 31st October 2017 at 5pm

Winners of Staff Network Elections

Wednesday 1st November 2017 at 1pm

Further Information 

For more information about the BAME Staff Network and the role of its Chair please read the  BAME Terms of Reference (Word doc 19k). 

For more information about the LGBT Staff Network and the role of its Chair/Vice-Chair please read the LGBT Staff Network Terms of Reference (Word doc 19k). 

If you have any questions please email Will Cooling, Head of Equality and Diversity, at 

The University has three Staff Networks; Black, Asian & Minority Ethnic Staff Network, Disabled Staff Network, and Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual & Trans Staff Network. Every term these Staff Networks These meetings will allow for discussions on common challenges whilst also reserving time for each Staff Network to breakout into a meeting of just their members where they can discuss the issues particularly relevant to them.

All meetings take place between 12.30pm and 2.30pm, with lunch provided to all attendees. 

The details of each meeting are as follows:

Autumn Term 

  • Tuesday 31st October 2017 in Walsall
  • Wednesday 1st November 2017 in Wolverhampton  
  • Thursday 2nd November 2017 in Telford Campus 

Winter Term  

  • Tuesday 9th January 2018 in Wolverhampton City Campus

Spring Term 

  • Tuesday 17th April 2018 in Walsall City Campus 
  • Wednesday 18th April 2018 in Wolverhampton City Campus 
  • Thursday 19th April 2018 in Telford City Campus

We hope you will take the time to attend this Staff Network Meeting. It is your chance to meet other members of the Staff Networks, guide the future direction of your Staff Networks, shape the policies of the University, and seek support with any relevant challenges you've been facing. Please note, that if you only wish to attend part of the meeting, that is perfectly okay! 

The Staff Networks are a valued part of the University, with each Staff Network Chair meeting the Vice-Chancellor on a termly basis to discuss the issues affecting their members. University policy says that line-managers should allow their staff members to attend Staff Network Meetings during work time. If you encounter any problems with attending please let the Equality and Diversity Unit know by emailing 

You do not need to reserve your place at either Staff Network meeting but it is helpful if people provide us with advanced notice so we know numbers when ordering catering so please email to confirm that you will be in attendance and if you have any dietary requirements. 

The Equality and Diversity Unit, in conjunction with the Staff Networks and the Athena Swan Project Team, will be hosting the following one-day conferences:

  • Black History Month Conference on Thursday 19th October 2017
  • Disability History Month Conference on Wednesday 15th November 2017
  • LGBT History Month Conference on Tuesday 6th February 2018
  • International Women’s Month Conference on Thursday 8th March 2018
  • Asian Heritage Month Conference on Wednesday 2nd May 2018

These conferences will all run from 10am to 4pm, and contain a mixture of lectures, seminars, interactive workshops and relevant updates from University Senior Management. They are open to students, staff, colleagues in other institutions, and the general public.  More details will follow shortly but please save the dates of any events you’re interested in attending. 

Get Involved

We want staff and students to be at the heart of these events. You don’t need to be an academic or manager to get involved – we welcome contributions from all members of our university community.  Please consider the following ways to get involved:

Lead a Seminar  

We want these conferences to reflect the wider work of the University. We would therefore encourage staff and students to volunteer to deliver a thirty-minute seminar that is relevant to one of the conferences’ themes. This can be about research that you’re doing as a student or academic, an initiative that you’re working on within the University or something about your personal experiences.

Be a Panellist

All conferences will include staff and student panels where people talk about their experiences at the University of Wolverhampton, and take questions from participants.

Recommend an External Speaker, Seminar Leader or Topic

All these conferences will be a mixture of external and internal presenters. If you know of anybody who you think would be a great speaker or seminar leader then please let us know. Likewise if there’s a topic you’re particularly interested in being covered, please let us know, even if you don’t know who could talk to it. 

Encourage People To Attend 

Staff, Students and members of the general public are all welcome to attend. Please encourage anyone you know who you think would be interested in attending, to do so. 

October is Black History Month, a chance to celebrate the unique experiences and contributions made by those of Black African or Black Caribbean heritage. The University is proud to act as the lead sponsor of Wolverhampton Black History Month, working with the local community to deliver the biggest Black History Month in the city’s history.

The University is hosting the Wolverhampton Black History Month Launch Event in the Arena Theatre on Friday 29th September. The event will start at 5.30pm as attendees socialise whilst eating a hot African-Caribbean buffet and listening to music. Then from 7pm we will have an evening of talks and performances, including a speech from the Vice-Chancellor and a live concert from the West Midlands’ very own international chart-topper, Jaki Graham. This event has sold out but staff are welcome to add themselves to the waiting list by visiting

The University will be hosting its first ever Black History Month Conference on Thursday 19th October 2017. We will be welcomed by the New Statesman’s Stephen Bush to discuss the role that Black people played in the recent General Election and local BAME councillors to discuss how they got involved in public life. A free lunch will be provided, and there will be other workshops throughout the day. There are also several BHM events that evening.  

The University of Wolverhampton, in conjunction with the Arena Theatre and Wolverhampton Students' Union, is organising an unprecedented number of BHM events throughout October. These are:

  • An Evening with an Immigrant on Tuesday 3rd October at 7.30pm in the Arena Theatre. Staff and Students pay concession of £10.
  • Just an Ordinary Lawyer on Wednesday 5th October at 7.30pm in the Arena Theatre. Staff and Students pay concession of £10.
  • Ada Lovelace Day Talk on Black Women in the Sciences and Screening of Hidden Figures on Tuesday 10th October at 5pm in the Lighthouse. Tickets are £4.50 and can be purchased here
  • Black History Month Conference in the University (City Campus) on Thursday 19th October between 10am to 4pm in SU Venue, Ambika Paul Building. Free Tickets by clicking here
  • Black History Month Public Health Talk by Elsie Gayle in MC437 on Thursday 19th October at 5.00pm. Please email to reserve a place.   
  • Rivers of Blood in Wolverhampton? Enoch Powell, Racism and Resistance on Thursday 19th October at 5.30pm in MH002. More information is available here
  • Quarter Life Crisis on Thursday 19th October at 7.30pm in the Arena Theatre. Staff and Students pay concession of £10.
  • Talk on Muhammad Ali: The Great Black Hope on Wednesday 25th October at 2pm in WN218. 
  • Our Dream - Celebration of Black Excellence on Friday 27th October at 5pm in the SU Venue, Ambika Paul Building. More information can be find on the SU's website
  • Black/LGBT Intersectionality Discussion and Screening of Moonlight on Monday 30th October at 5pm in the Lighthouse. Tickets are £4.50 and can be purchased here

There are many more Black History Month Events occurring across the City. For more information about all the Wolverhampton Black History Month Events please read the local community’s Black History Month Brochure. You can also read an interview with Jaki Graham and a special article on the depiction of Black people in comics, that were provided by the Equality and Diversity Unit. Physical copies will be available throughout campus. 

The University is pride to be acting as one of the platinum sponsors of Wolves Pride, which will be taking place outside our own Ambika Paul Building on Saturday 30thSeptember. With over 6000 free tickets claimed already, this promises to be the biggest LGBT event in Wolverhampton’s history. The event will feature live music, community stalls, a family fun area, cocktail bar tent, dance tents and extensive food stalls. The University will also be hosting a Fringe event in the Harrison Learning Centre featuring talks and discussions on LGBT history, culture and identity. Headline acts include S Club and soul sensation Jaki Graham, and the dance tent, hosted by Gorgeous Nightclub, will feature ILL PHIL, Lisa Sharred, Wayne H, James Ball b2b Mark Chapman, plus Gorgeous Nightclub residents James Levett and Jonny Chapman.

The Wolves Fringe, taking place in the Harrison Leaning Centre within the Ambika Paul building, will offer a series of talks between 1pm and 7pm. These are:

1pm to 1.45pm: Official Launch of Wolverhampton LGBT Alliance

A special reception to celebrate the launch of the Wolverhampton LGBT. A chance to hear from local figures about the Alliance’s plans and to suggest possible issues it could explore.

1.45pm to 3pm: TransMilitary

As America struggles to accept Trans people serving in the military, Anwen Muston talks about the history of Transpeople serving in the armed forces before Caroline Paige speaks about her experiences of being the first person to service in the British armed forces whilst transitioning. Anwen served in the Armed Forces for over 23 years and is currently a City of Wolverhampton Councillor. Caroline was a jet and helicopter navigator in the Royal Air Force, and recently released a memoir entitled True Colours.

3pm to 4pm: Being LGBT+ in the Squared Circle & Meaning of Pansexuality

Will Cooling speaks to Jack Sexsmith about the history of LGBT+ people in pro-wrestling and how fans have responded to him being open about his pansexuality. They then talk about what his pansexuality means to him. Jack Sexsmith is a British pro-wrestler who regularly appears for Progress Wrestling, one of the world’s leading indie promotions. Will Cooling covers pro-wrestling for Fighting Spirit Magazine.

4.30pm to 5.30pm: LGBT+ In Films

Film Reviewer Daryl Griffiths talks about the two hottest LGBT films of the year; God’s Own Country and Moonlight, both of which will be shown in Wolverhampton during October. There will then be a discussion about of the greatest LGBT films.

5.30pm to 7pm: Open Mic

The Wolves Pride Fringe will end with a special chance for local LGBT people and allies to take the stage. Whether you want to perform your art, speak your mind or do both at the same time, this is your chance!

To book your free tickets please visit

The University of Wolverhampton's Policy Statements on Sexual Orientation Equality and Gender Identity Equality asks non-LGBT staff members and students to proactively support the cause of LGBT equality, and to push themselves to better understand the unique challenges facing LGBT people.       

As part of this we would like to encourage staff members to become a LGBT Ally by taking a photo or video of themselves expressing their support for LGBT Equality, and then send it to the Equality and Diversity Unit by email ( or by sharing it with us on Twitter (@wlvuniequality). If you share it on Twitter please include the hastag #WolvesUniSupportsLGBTEquality

In particular we would be very keen for departments to follow the example of Human Resources in doing this as a team. See below for Human Resources standing with the University's LGBT Equality, Trans Pride and Bi-Pride Flags.   

HR embrace LGBT Equality

If you or your team would like to become an Ally, please contact the Equality and Diversity Unit at, if you have any questions or require support. 

Faculty of Arts Black History Month Celebrations

Fri 13thOctober Arena Theatre 1-2pm

Art and Race in Harlem in the 1920s and the Strange Case of Jean Toomer

Gerry Carlin and Nicola Allen, Department of English

The Harlem Renaissance of the 1920s saw a creative blossoming of Black culture in America, when artists and thinkers in all cultural fields found, at last, a presence and a voice. But how should the experience of Black America be represented? Should the modern future be its subject, with its new opportunities and political ideals? Then again, should Black artists aspire to join any ‘academy’ that had consistently ignored and excluded them? What about Black America’s interrupted and brutal history, and the persistence of its grotesque injustices in so many areas of the present? Jean Toomer embodied many of these tensions. The mixed-heritage author of a novel that was controversial for its brutal honesty, Toomer — notoriously — challenged the ‘deadening’ black-white polarity of racial categories by declaring himself an ‘American’. During a period when ideas of racial purity were taking sinister form in both America and Europe, this paper will suggest that many of the problems and tensions that Toomer’s thinking identified have tragically continued, and still demand consideration, a century later.


Wed 18th October 6pm-8pm Arena Theatre

Black Female Re-Presentation and Protest; Mary Prince’s Slave Narrative

Ifemu Omari- Webber (Faculty of Arts Alumni)

Mary Prince was born into slavery in Bermuda in 1781 and suffered terrible treatment for most of her adult life. She travelled to England in 1828 and by 1831 her narrative called The History of Mary Prince was published with a supplement by Thomas Pringle, the editor.

Ifemu argues that the supplementary letters in Prince’s narrative illustrate the tension between the Anti-Slavery Society’s re-presentation of Prince as an English Christian woman in direct contrast to the pro-slavery lobby’s image of her ‘baseness’.

Furthermore, Ifemu’s focus on the letter to the Birmingham Ladies’ Society for the Relief of Negro Slaves, not only provides graphic evidence of Prince’s suffering as a chattel slave, but illustrates the benign attempt of white witnesses to locate Prince solely within the discourse of the violated slave.

She argues that in spite of the unwitting restrictions placed on Prince by benevolent benefactors, Prince’s authentic voice seeps out time and again throughout her narrative, revealing a woman who actively resisted the dehumanising effects of West Indian slavery.

Wed 25th October Arena Theatre 1-2pm

Black feminism: Is this all we have on offer as Black women in Britain?

Dr Chijioke Obasi, Faculty of Arts

Black feminism has much to offer many black women researchers seeking an analytical framework that centralises collective and individual black female experiences and perspectives. Within UK scholarship questions have been raised about how relevant or otherwise the more influential American black feminist discourses are in application to British contexts. Developments in black British feminism have gone some way to address this; however the black British element of black British feminism raises further questions and contestations about who is considered black within these works. Feminism itself with its history firmly rooted in racism and the marginalisation of black women has caused many to declare their difficulty with the theory and more resolutely the terminology of any feminist frame no matter its variant.

The paper seeks to highlight the freedoms of self-naming in African Diasporic female research endeavours by discussing womanism, Africana womanism and ‘Africanist Sista-hood in Britain’ as alternative frames of analysis. There is recognition of the importance and value of collectivity, connectivity, commonality and difference amongst black women, where lived experience and self-definition are held in high regard. In doing so it seeks to build on existing works in black womanhood and add further contribution to emancipatory frameworks that seek to foreground the cognitive authority of subjugated knowers (May 2014).

To book a place on any of these events please contact Julie Capewell on

For further information please contact Chijioke Obasi at