Birmingham City University (BCU) has once again been recognised for its continued mission to offer university education and support to those from different walks of life, picking up the Excellence in Diversity and Inclusion award at a recent national awards ceremony.
Posted 07 November 2022
A celebration of inclusion, diversity and better representation
BCU clinched the accolade at the 2022 Multicultural Business and Community Champion (MBCC) Awards, which recognises and celebrates the nation’s most inspirational business, community and education unsung heroes.
The University proved victorious thanks to its ongoing commitment to provide an inclusive and diverse educational offering, from its pioneering research and employability programmes to its facilities and steering groups.
It forms part of BCU’s continued mission to be the University for Birmingham, powering regional transformation within local communities.
Namely, the University was selected as the winner for:
- The Sir Lenny Henry Centre for Media Diversity, a research centre that brings together established media professionals and academics to increase representation, diversity and inclusion in the media. The Centre has produced research into black representation in UK documentaries, shone a lens on the use of the ‘BAME’ terminology for the BBC, and worked with both Channel 4 and ITV.
- The We Gather Exhibition by Dr Karen Patel, Director for the Centre for Equality, Diversity and Inclusion in the Arts, a celebration of diverse craftswomen and the issues they face in a typically white field. The research, funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Council, has revealed significant inequalities in the craft industry, and has subsequently helped to inform the Crafts Council's diversity strategy.
- The LGBT+ Network and student LGBTQ+ Society, which has provided a sector-leading approach to inclusion, creating a calendar of events celebrating LGBT History Month, launching the LGBT+ Allies training scheme to help staff develop a more inclusive university community, and delivering a message of unity and float at Birmingham Pride.
- IntoUniversity Birmingham North, an educational support initiative for young people in the Kingstanding area of Birmingham that helps young people from disadvantaged neighbourhoods with the support needed to enter higher education. The Centre, which launched in 2020, has worked with over 2,200 students in the local community, with 76 percent advancing into university education.
There was also cause for further celebration at the awards.
University employee Nicole Riley – a graduate talent consultant who has worked closely with a number of businesses, including cultivating BCU's relationship with Lounge Underwear - was named as a finalist in the Employee of the Year category.
Meanwhile, Dr Martin Glynn, Lecturer in Criminology at the University, received a coveted Lifetime Achievement award.
BCU’s Chancellor, Sir Lenny Henry, also attended the event and was on hand to offer congratulations.
Continued recognition for excellence in diversity and inclusion
The MBCC award wraps up what has been a great year for BCU with regards to recognition of its inclusion and diversity efforts.
At the start of 2022, BCU took home the Excellence in Diversity and Inclusion accolade at the Signature Awards, which celebrate Birmingham institutions that are contributing excellence across all sectors in the UK.
This recognition continued in the summer, when BCU was named as a finalist in the same category at the Nachural Summer Business Awards.
An inspirational evening
The MBCC Awards took place on Saturday 5 November at The Eastside Rooms in Birmingham.
It saw a wealth of established business leaders, academics, media professionals and more receive highly deserved recognition.
Alongside BCU, others picking up awards included legendary broadcaster Sir Trevor McDonald and late DJ and music entrepreneur Jamal Edwards MBE, who both received honorary accolades for their inspirational work.
"It has been a wonderful evening celebrating people and organisations across the UK who have been standing up and making a difference, often across decades," says Professor Diane Kemp, Director of the Sir Lenny Henry Centre, who was one of the BCU representatives at the ceremony.
"The whole thing gave us a shared sense of how great it is to be among the number of people working to make life a better place for all citizens.
"When receiving the award, I said that we all felt truly grateful for the recognition, that there was more to be done, and that our University would continue doing it."