Equality, Diversity and Inclusion are highly contested terms that mean different things to different people. For many disability organisations, ‘inclusion’ is the primary goal of the work they do and helps to produce meaningful change. But as part of an ‘EDI agenda’ promoted by governments, businesses and institutions, inclusion has been criticised as a new form of tolerance, something that appears to welcome more people into spaces but fails to transform those spaces and keeps existing power dynamics intact. Our project aims to move beyond these institutional approaches to EDI. For LBO, ‘EDI’ is not an agenda we are following, but rather a foundational commitment that informs all aspects of the work we do.
We want to develop ways of working that are founded on care, creativity and accountability. Throughout the project we are engaging in research, reflection, and experimentation about how we work with our partners and communities according to these values. We are interested in how our approach to research spaces and methods can destabilize conventional power dynamics and contribute to positive change in academic research culture.
Our Ways of Working Agreement and Project Glossary are living documents that we are constantly developing as we move through the project. They inform the work we do and provide a space for reflection about what works and doesn’t work, what matters to us and our partners, and which practices or assumptions we need to change. We’ll post updates at regular intervals and we welcome input and feedback.