Speech: Race to change the face of the diplomatic civil service

first_imgIn the mid-1960s, three high-performing civil servants from a BAME background were denied entry into the Diplomatic Service because they weren’t trusted to be loyal to the country. Seventy years ago, we suspect that the only way people like our grandparents or great grandparents would have been allowed into the Foreign Office would have been to serve tea to British diplomats.We have come a long way since then – the FCO is now more diverse than it has ever been with more BAME ambassadors and one of the highest rates of BAME graduate new entrants across Whitehall. We can reflect on the progress led by pioneers like Noel Jones, who would go on to become Britain’s first ever BAME ambassador when he was posted to Kazakhstan in 1993; and Robin Chatterjie, who was the first BAME entrant into the diplomatic service fast stream (graduate entry). There were also enlightened politicians and civil servants who were prepared to challenge convention.And of course, it is also down to the extraordinary resilience shown by our parents’ generation settling in the UK as Commonwealth citizens in the 1960s and 1970s and the changes they helped to introduce in wider British society. Overcoming significant hurdles including significant racism, they worked all hours, often for little money, to ensure that their children and grandchildren had the best access to opportunities.Yet, as the note concludes, we have a long way to go. The new BAME entrants appear to be predominantly from a south Asian background. We are still struggling to attract black candidates. Too many of our BAME staff are stuck in the most junior grades. And even when you think you have finally made it, there are still people who think you have only got to where you are because of the colour of your skin.This has to change. It matters to us that we act as agents of this change. When the three of us joined the FCO in the 2000s, we felt like fish out of water. Our extended families wondered whether it was even allowed for non-white, second-generation immigrants to be British diplomats. And in the FCO, we were acutely aware of being watched by the granite statues of former diplomats who had governed our forefathers in the colonies.It is true that each of us has experienced some form of racial discrimination in our careers, whether that’s being refused entry into an event (because they had assumed we were drivers), being stopped more frequently at airports or military checkpoints, or simply being ignored in favour of white colleagues. However, our diversity has enabled us to develop deep relationships and build influential networks, often challenging and breaking down tired stereotypes of the quintessential British diplomat. Since we joined, we have had incredibly rewarding careers which have given us unique experiences. We feel proud and privileged to work for the FCO, to represent the UK overseas, and to play a role in keeping the UK safe, secure and prosperous. Sir Simon McDonald, the FCO’s permanent under-secretary recently said that it was “essential we make further progress to ensure our modern diplomatic service reflects the best of the diversity of the UK”. We couldn’t agree more.Our country needs to attract the best talent from all backgrounds in society to fulfil this responsibility. This also means that we embrace and ensure that we make the most of our uniqueness and our heritage links – to be who we are.Diversity is a huge strength for our country. Two of us come from the West Midlands, not all of us went to Oxbridge, our heritage links span three continents, we went to state and non-state schools, and speak several languages. From Baghdad to Dhaka to Kuala Lumpur, we have taken our diversity with us wherever we have been posted. For those reading this article, we would encourage you to read the history note. And if you feel, like us, that you could be a part of a bold and diverse diplomatic service, look at potential careers in the FCO and help us make history, like our parents and grandparents who didn’t accept the status quo.We owe this to our current and future generations of British diplomats, and to the country that we represent. We hope that a future version of this note will say that the FCO recruits the very best from society irrespective of background, and that the diplomatic service at all levels now reflects modern Britain. This is not just because it’s morally right to have a diverse diplomatic service, but because our diplomacy needs it. a person of un-English appearance or speech might be unsuitable for a situation in which he would act as a representative of the United Kingdom to foreigners. On a cold autumn afternoon last month, nearly 200 British civil servants and diplomats packed into the Locarno Room at the Foreign and Commonwealth Office to mark a historic moment. For the first time in such detail, the history of black, Asian, and minority ethnic (BAME) staff in the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) – our history – was published and discussed.The note, Black Skin, Whitehall: Race and the Foreign Office, 1945 to 2018, written by FCO historian James Southern tells the story of BAME officers in the context of decades of debate in the UK on the legacy of the Empire, immigration and integration of minority communities. It was an emotional moment for us all.The historical parts of the note make for deeply uncomfortable reading. In the early 1950s, successive Civil Service commissioners argued that,last_img read more

The next step’

first_imgAfter a decades-long push by members of the Notre Dame community for official recognition of a gay-straight alliance (GSA), the University has announced plans for a student organization tasked with providing services and support to gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender and questioning (GLBTQ) students and their allies. Though this is a historic decision in Notre Dame’s efforts to better serve a diverse student body, University President Fr. John Jenkins said the plan for the unnamed student organization is a natural progression of previous initiatives. “In the 1990s, as I said, we created the Standing Committee [on Gay and Lesbian Student Needs]. In 2006, that was changed to the Core Council [for Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Questioning Students], and various initiatives were undertaken in conjunction with those efforts,” he said. “I see this as the next step to be more effective.” The decision comes at the conclusion of a five-month review process commissioned by Jenkins and conducted by the office of Erin Hoffmann Harding, vice president for Student Affairs. “[Harding] and her staff have had countless hours [working] extremely hard and have submitted this plan, which I enthusiastically support and accept,” Jenkins said. “It grows out of our mission as a Catholic university, it’s directed by that fundamental mission in a profound way, I think, so I’m enthusiastic about it.” The plan, titled “Beloved Friends and Allies: A Pastoral Plan for the Support and Holistic Development of GLBTQ and Heterosexual Students at the University of Notre Dame,” details the establishment of a “new support and service student organization for GLBTQ students and their allies,” as well as a new advisory committee and the establishment of a full-time student development staff position focused on GLBTQ issues, according to a Dec. 5 University press release. Harding said members of the Notre Dame community should consider more than the establishment of the student organization when evaluating the plan. “The comprehensiveness of this not only being about the organization is a very important element to the entire thing because of the education, because of the awareness, because of the support and interaction with other University offices, we think this is a plan that we believe and hope will be much more than about one organization,” she said. Harding explained the significance of the planned group’s intended status as a student organization rather than a club, a distinction she said is meant to ensure the continuity of the organization over time. “Here at Notre Dame, a club is actually in a sense a temporary structure,” Harding said. “It continues and does programming at the interest of the club itself. So our organizations have more permanence and more stature.” Harding said the status of the planned group as a student organization positions it closer in structure to student government and similar groups than typical student clubs. “The first [distinction] is that it’s part of someone’s full-time job to advise that group, and that provides some of the sustainability and the consistency over time,” she said. This new position will fulfill a number of responsibilities ranging from administrative to advisory. “Underneath all of [these goals], is the support of an individual who we will hire to have this full-time responsibility to work with these structures and with our students on our climate and the Spirit of Inclusion that we all hope to [live by],” Harding said. “That person will play several roles associated with a student organization: to serve as advisor; that person will participate on a new advisory committee that will work with and give input to my office; and lastly, will be responsible for the consistency of the training and the awareness that we build over time.” While the University has greater oversight of organizations than clubs, Harding said organizations have a high level of autonomy. “An organization, like a club, still develops its own constitution and puts in place its own practices, it elects its own leaders,” she said. “But it does have additional input in terms of the approval of that constitution by the University.” Members of the student organization will be free to meet independently, but official matters must be dealt with in the presence of the advisor. “Students will and do meet and discuss organization issues beyond official meetings. Because of the constitutional distinction I mentioned, official business is conducted with the advisor present, who we describe in the [Dec. 5 press] release,” Harding said. “This is consistent with the practices and procedures of our other student organizations on campus.” The timeline for the establishment of this organization will hinge upon the filling of the new position, which Harding estimates will occur early next summer. “Our anticipation is that it is likely the person will not be here full time at the University until July 1, and the reason for that is the cycle of recruiting in the student affairs profession tends to occur in the spring,” she said. As these plans take shape, the new advisory committee will replace the Core Council and take up many of its functions, while incorporating a structure more conducive to performing its intended advisory role. “What’s interesting is the Core Council was started as an advisory committee, and its size reflected that, rather than letting it grow to a programming body,” Harding said. “So its size and composition … I think has limited its ability to grow with the growing needs of campus.” Citing the limits of the Core Council, a group of eight undergraduate students and a number of representatives from her office, Harding said the new advisory council will likely include graduate student representation, as well as staff, faculty and additional administrators. Harding praised the achievements of the Core Council, and said the new advisory committee will maintain and build upon these programs. “There’s been a lot of programs started and launched by the Core Council that have added great value to the University, particularly, I think, when we welcome students to campus for the first time – our first-year students – and training of our hall staff,” she said. “These are programs that can, and should and must be continued.” The road to a decision Harding said the process to develop her office’s proposal to the Office of the President included months of consultation with the various constituencies involved. “The parameter for this solution needed to serve our students well and be grounded fundamentally in our Catholic mission as a University,” she said. “So we’ve spent time with theologians and members, in particular, of our own faculty, who have given us advice on this matter and on Church teaching.” Jenkins said the organization’s roots in Church teaching had a broad practical impact, but these roots are not meant to serve as a basis for limitations the University could theoretically impose on the group. “It’s a rich teaching about the role of sexuality, about intimacy, about human relations, about responsibilities to the community, about relationships to the Church,” Jenkins said. “To put this in a ‘Well you can do this, you can’t do that,’ is to distort the issue.” Once the theological guidelines were defined, Harding said her office tapped the opinion of the constituency most heavily tied to the issue, the student body. “[There were] several groups of students we consulted along the way: first and foremost, students on the Core Council, since it is our structure in place; students who applied for club status; we also spoke with students who were uninvolved particularly with either effort,” she said. “We did two focus groups, one with undergraduate students, one with graduate students, to get their perspective and input on this issue. We consulted with student government, we consulted with a few students who just wrote me along the way.” Harding said her calendar held more than 40 such meetings by the end of the review. Looking outside the community, Harding’s team compared Notre Dame’s existing structures with those of other institutions. “[We] just refreshed some external benchmarking, particularly looking at other Catholic institutions to see the breadths of structures they had in place to serve students who identify as gay or lesbian,” she said. Throughout her office’s review, Harding came to see a commonality amongst many of these sources. “I’ve been struck throughout this process, how whether I’ve been talking to a student, an administrator, a faculty member or leaders in our Church, that we all share a common goal that really speaks back to the Spirit of Inclusion the University adopted many years ago, which is to provide a welcoming and inclusive environment,” she said. With the vast amount of consultation and research conducted by Harding’s office, the final decision came down to Jenkins. “We inform all parties who kind of have a stake in this, of what we’re doing and why we’re doing it. Just as Erin did with the students and graduate students, so I did with members of the Board [of Trustees], but ultimately it was a decision by the President to do this review,” Jenkins said. “[Harding] made a proposal that I accepted on my authority.” Sending a message Despite the challenges of tackling the controversial topic at Notre Dame, Jenkins said he is confident in the plan, which he expects will garner both positive and negative responses. “This is a contested area in society-at-large … whenever an issue like that is present at Notre Dame, it will get attention. I expect some criticism from both people who say – who are on the left and the right – that we’re too far or not far enough,” he said. “Controversy is not necessarily a bad thing. If you avoid controversy, you don’t do anything.” Jenkins said he believes the soundness of the plan will withstand the scrutiny it is bound to receive from concerned parties. “I think if people look carefully at what we’re doing and really, in a thoughtful way, evaluate it, I think thoughtful people will see that this makes sense,” he said. “It makes sense for a Catholic university like Notre Dame to provide such structures to serve their students effectively.” Regardless of potential controversy, Harding said she stands by the plan’s compliance with the University’s mission as well as its ability to better meet students’ needs. “For me to sleep at night, I think about two things. I think first and foremost about the unique mission of this place, and my obligation and my role to serve students,” she said. “I sleep well thinking this is the next step in our evolution as a community. Jenkins said prospective students who truly believe in the University’s mission will likely find value in the plan. “If you look at how graduates of Notre Dame reflect on their experience, one of the things that comes out very strongly is that there is a deep sense of community at Notre Dame, and I think when you read this document, people will see what’s really front and center,” he said. “If people want to be part of that, then this is the place for them.” While Jenkins said expanding the diversity at Notre Dame is part of the administration’s duties, he said the responsibility does not end at the steps of the Main Building. “Diversity isn’t just about having a bunch of different people all in the same place. It really is about building a community,” he said. “As Erin said, we’re not there, we should never feel like we’ve got this down. … It’s my responsibility and Erin’s responsibility to work on this, but it’s everyone’s responsibility.”last_img read more

Julianne Hough Steps Out After Filing for Divorce From Brooks Laich

first_img“We have lovingly and carefully taken the time we have needed to arrive at our decision to separate,” they said in a joint statement at the time. “We share an abundance of love and respect for one another and will continue to lead with our hearts from that place. We kindly request your compassion and respect for our privacy moving forward.”In August, the duo sparked reconciliation rumors when they were spotted at lunch. One month later, a source told Us Weekly that Julianne and the former NHL player were “giving things another shot.”- Advertisement – – Advertisement – One day later, the Footloose star broke her social media silence when she chronicled her work out session with brother Derek Hough via her Instagram Story. Julianne shared a selfie in a gray sports bra and leggings and also posted a video of herself balancing on a wooden board.Julianne Hough Steps Out Without Wedding Ring After Filing for Divorce From Brooks LaichJulianne Hough and Brooks Laich. Sara De Boer/StartraksIn another clip, the Rock of Ages star filmed herself lying on her back as she stretched her legs in the air.Julianne filed for divorce from Laich, 37, on Monday, November 2. The pair — who tied the knot in July 2017 — announced their separation in May.- Advertisement – Keeping busy. Julianne Hough was spotted out for the first time since filing for divorce from Brooks Laich five months after their split.The Dancing With the Stars alum, 32, was seen heading to work out at a studio in Los Angeles on Thursday, November 5, without her wedding ring, in photos published by the Daily Mail. Hough wore a cropped black sweatshirt and leggings with matching sneakers and a Chanel purse.- Advertisement – A second source told Us on Wednesday, November 4, that the former couple “had a lot of back-and-forth moments” about their relationship.“When they took time apart, Julianne was heavily involved with Kinrgy, and because Brooks helped her develop it, they continued to stay in touch and also were connected because they share the same friend group,” the insider explained. “They missed each other and ended up hooking up a few times during their breakup and have tried to sort out their marriage and business commitments.”However, the source noted that Julianne and the Canada native “just can’t get past their problems,” despite their efforts.“Julianne had a dinner party with friends a few months ago, which Brooks came to,” the insider said. “They were trying to be lovey-dovey with each other and have a good night with a few friends, but Brooks ended up bringing up some of their issues in front of everyone and it became a big fight.”As Julianne has focused on working out amid their split, Laich has turned to prayer. The athlete opened up about his coping mechanisms on the Monday, November 2, episode of his “How Men Think” podcast.“I also say I’m grateful for the blessings and the challenges in my life,” he said. “I’m grateful that life isn’t just easy. Prayer has been a really big one for me to be able to acknowledge what I’m feeling. It’s just practicing gratitude out loud.”Listen to Us Weekly’s Hot Hollywood as each week the editors of Us break down the hottest entertainment news stories!last_img read more

Week 11 Fantasy PPR RB Rankings

first_imgWEEK 11 NON-PPR RANKINGS:Quarterback | Running back | Wide receiver | Tight end | D/ST | KickerIf you’re looking for PPR-specific sleepers, James White (@ Eagles), Kareem Hunt (vs. Steelers), Duke Johnson (@ Ravens), and Jaylen Samuels (@ Browns) are your top guys, and the usual crew of Tarik Cohen (@ Rams), Nyheim Hines (vs. Jaguars), etc. are in the mix, as well. J.D. McKissic is more interesting this week with Ty Johnson (concussion) ailing, while Hunt is almost a must-start after receiving 11 touches (four carries, seven catches) in his first game. Fantasy owners can’t expect exactly the same results every week, but it’s clear Cleveland wants to make sure of his talents. WEEK 11 PPR RANKINGS: Wide receiver | Tight endDevonta Freeman (@ Panthers) is also in a good spot to rack up PPR points, but a foot injury could keep him out. That would leave Brian Hill as the primary runner and likely receiving back, though Kenjon Barner could also mix in and steal some catches. Either way, Hill will be a virtual must-start if Freeman misses time. (Update: Freeman is expected to miss this week.)Another interesting PPR “sleeper” is Derrius Guice (vs. Jets), who’s expected to see his first playing time since Week 1. Assuming he’s fully recovered from his knee injury, Guice would likely handle some receiving-down work while splitting carries with Adrian Peterson. The talented second-year back had three catches on three targets in limited action in Week 1, so clearly he’s capable of making plays out of the backfield. WEEK 11 DFS LINEUPS:Y! cash | Y! GPP | DK cash | DK GPP | FD cash | FD GPPWe had a couple PPR surprises in Week 10, with Ronald Jones (vs. Saints in Week 11) coming out of nowhere to catch all eight of his targets for 77 yards. Kalen Ballage (vs. Bills) also managed four catches in his new starting role. It only went for two yards, but it was nice to see Miami involve him in that part of the offense.MORE WEEK 11 DFS: Values | Stacks | Lineup BuilderThe backs on bye this week are Saquon Barkley, Aaron Jones/Jamaal Williams, Derrick Henry, and Chris Carson. MORE WEEK 11:Waiver wire | FAAB planner | Trade values | Snap counts | Fantasy playoff SOSReminder: Check back for frequent updates during the week. LISTEN TO THE SN FANTASY WEEK 11 PREVIEW PODCAST BELOWWeek 11 Fantasy PPR Rankings: RBsThese rankings are for full-point PPR leagues.RankPlayer1Christian McCaffrey, CAR vs. ATL2Dalvin Cook, MIN vs. DEN3Josh Jacobs, OAK vs. CIN4Ezekiel Elliott, DAL @ DET5Le’Veon Bell, NYJ @ WAS6James Conner, PIT @ CLE7Melvin Gordon, LAC vs. KC (in Mexico)8Damien Williams, KC vs. LAC (in Mexico)9Nick Chubb, CLE vs. PIT10Alvin Kamara, NO @ TB11Devin Singletary, BUF @ MIA12Leonard Fournette, JAX @ IND13Todd Gurley, LAR vs. CHI14Austin Ekeler, LAC vs. KC (in Mexico)15Joe Mixon, CIN @ OAK16Marlon Mack, IND vs. JAX17David Montgomery, CHI @ LAR18Brian Hill, ATL @ CAR19Mark Ingram, BAL vs. HOU20James White, NE @ PHI21Ronald Jones, TB vs. NO22Tevin Coleman, SF vs. ARZ23Miles Sanders, PHI vs. NE24Phillip Lindsay, DEN @ MIN25Kareem Hunt, CLE vs. PIT26Carlos Hyde, HOU @ BAL27Kenyan Drake, ARZ @ SF28Derrius Guice, WAS vs. NYJ29Raheem Mostert, SF vs. ARZ30Royce Freeman, DEN @ MIN31Duke Johnson Jr., HOU @ BAL32Jaylen Samuels, PIT @ CLE33David Johnson, ARZ @ SF34Kalen Ballage, MIA vs. BUF35Sony Michel, NE @ PHI36Frank Gore, BUF @ MIA37Tarik Cohen, CHI @ LAR38Ty Johnson, DET vs. DAL39Nyheim Hines, IND vs. JAX40J.D. McKissic, DET vs. DAL41Adrian Peterson, WAS vs. NYJ42Latavius Murray, NO @ TB43Dare Ogunbowale, TB vs. NO44Darrel Williams, KC vs. LAC (in Mexico)45Peyton Barber, TB vs. NO46Jay Ajayi, PHI vs. NE47Tony Pollard, DAL @ DET48Rex Burkhead, NE @ PHI49Giovani Bernard, CIN @ OAK50Gus Edwards, BAL vs. HOU51Alexander Mattison, MIN vs. DEN52Jordan Wilkins, IND vs. JAX53Malcolm Brown, LAR vs. CHI The big question when compiling our Week 11 fantasy RB PPR rankings was what to do with David Johnson and Kenyan Drake. Johnson looked like a shell of himself as Drake doubled him in carries and received six more targets last week. Logicially, that should lead us to rank Drake over Johnson, right? Well, we’re not out of a stubborn belief that Johnson will be better this week. Stupid? Perhaps, but name value goes a long way in fantasy football, even when it shouldn’t. (Update: We’ve come to our senses and moved Johnson down further after Cardinals coach Kliff Kingsbury commented on his health, or lack thereof.)But even if you prefer Johnson or Drake, neither is an exciting play this week against the 49ers. Drake put up big numbers against them just two weeks ago, but the odds of that happening again seem slim, especially with Johnson “healthy”. Broncos backs Royce Freeman and Phillip Lindsay, both solid receivers, have similar matchups against Minnesota. You can play both as FLEXes, but neither seem quite worthy of RB2 status.last_img read more