Event date: 22 - 26 June, 2020

Diversity Week 2020

Celebration, Community, Debating, Events, General, News, Past Events, Senior School

In order for positive change to happen – people need to understand and listen. The more you read, listen, watch – the more understanding comes.

Putney’s annual Diversity Week has had particular resonance this year. Our theme has been “Knowledge is Power” and our students and staff have been coming together to read, listen, and share experiences in order to better understand and learn.

Here are some of the activities that were on offer...

Mrs Molan held discussions on, “The consequences of unconscious racial bias – an argument against the death penalty and a viable alternative to life imprisonment,” and “When They See Us” – What can lead to someone confessing to a crime they did not commit”.

Ms Deschamps lead a thought provoking lecture on “BLACK, BRITISH AND BRILLIANT – An exploration of black influence on music and television,” and Mr Carter sparked conversation  about “GB Rower Kyra Edwards – How can we learn from passive racial inequality?”

As Windrush Day marked the start of our annual Diversity Week we were also invited to attend a fascinating evening of poetry commemorating the Windrush Generation and their legacy read by the The Black Cultural Archives.


During the weekly Wellbeing Baking Club session, pupils decided to borrow a recipe from a different culture. Here are a few of the recipes they chose from:

  • Norwegian butter cookies
  • Indian biscuits
  • Austrian kaiserschmarrn
  • Greek biscuits called Kourabiethe
  • Biscuits from the north of Ireland

The Art and History of Art Departments encouraged us to creatively explore, and in particular analyse, the reasons for the historic lack of diversity within the history of art, and learn more about what has been, and is being done to address this.

This week’s POCSOC (People of Colour Society) meeting facilitated the opportunity to share personal experiences of racism and invited members of the school community to attend and gain a greater understanding of what racism is and how it can impact people.

Organised by Dr Kiek, Year 7 and 8 pupils debated whether “This House would remove all archive television programmes and films which contain racially offensive content from streaming platforms,” whilst students in Years 9 – 13 debated “This House defends the right of comedy to be offensive”.

Friday 5 June marked the end of Diversity Week and an opportunity for some of our rowing students to join Team GB sculler, Kyra Edwards in conversation. Kyra is outspoken about being a role model for black and LGBTQ athletes.

Read the full article here

Some fantastic resources have been shared throughout the week by both students and staff.

This is particularly true of the Diversity Week 2020 booklet, which contains some fantastic film, documentary, podcast and literature recommendations provided by POCSOC (People Of Colour Society), Documentary Society, LGBTQ+ Society, Feminist Book Society and more.

As the week comes to an end, it is NOT the end of building our knowledge of the world around us, being allies, understanding our differences and celebrating our diversity.
We will be continuing the dialogue and looking at all the ways we can address these important issues.

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