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Demand BetterOpen, Listening and Learning - our approach to Diversity and Inclusion

Diversity

We are keen to ensure that the Lib Dems are, and are seen to be, an open and diverse party, welcoming to all, regardless of background, ethnicity, religion, gender, sexual orientation and other personal characteristics related to an individual's identity.

We aim to foster an open, diverse and inclusive culture, demonstrated by our actions. We all need to understand, accept and respect our differences.

Undoubtedly a good place to start is educating ourselves on how and why issues around diversity arise, and what the barriers to inclusion are. This entails examining and understanding our own behaviours before tackling other people's.

Be part of the conversation

What do we mean by Diversity & Inclusion? It's about engaging with all kinds of people and making them feel welcome, able to participate in debate and respected, whatever their personal characteristics may be. It is not about 'political correctness' or box-ticking, but our every-day interactions, which demonstrate how we value each other.

To learn what that means in practice, all members are invited to come along to our interactive session, led by our Diversity Officer, Rachel Dineley, on Saturday 18 May 2019 at the Small Barn, at Amersham Community Centre (more details below). There will be plenty of opportunity to ask questions, voice opinion and enjoy the debate. The session will end with a quick and simple quiz (Rachel has a prize lined up).

Do we really know what we think?

In due course a follow up session will take the discussion further and look at unconscious bias: a topic much discussed but commonly misunderstood. It's about our natural and inherent instincts and reactions. How and why we may act, without consciously pausing to think. Without exception, we are all subject to it. We would all wish to "do as we would be done by" but it's all too easy to do otherwise, however unintentionally. Understanding and addressing unconscious bias should be seen as an essential and potentially profound way of positively impacting our behaviours on a day to day basis.

Rachel Dineley

Our Diversity Officer, Rachel Dineley (left), is a retired London solicitor who specialised in discrimination and employment law and was a recognised leader in her field. For over 25 years she worked with employers and individuals in tackling the practical problems associated with discrimination, often arising from misunderstanding and miscommunication. She regularly led training sessions and worked closely with leading organisations such as the Employers' Network for Equality & Inclusion.