This Workshop brings together researchers, teachers, community members, activists and policy practitioners to provoke an in-depth discussion on the question of sexuality (including sexual orientation) and fundamentalist religious beliefs and practices within schools. What kinds of conflicts arise in the interface of individual and communal religious beliefs and sexual and reproductive choice? What kinds of specific challenges do children who identify themselves as bisexual, gay, lesbian or trans come up against in terms of dealing with religious orthodoxies within schools, communities and families? How can educators, policy practitioners and feminists create space for such discussions to be “out”, and what kinds of practices and policies are best suited to ensure the well-being of children and the values of secularism, liberty and human rights? These are some of the questions that the Workshop will seek to explore. We hope you will join us for this important discussion.
Editorial collective member of Feminist Dissent; author, journalist, translator and academic; Chair of English PEN and advocate for writers at risk, especially in Turkey.
Elly Barnes is the founder and chief executive of Educate and Celebrate, an organisation focused on tackling homophobia and bullying in schools. In 2015, she was shortlisted for the National Diversity Awards.
Ruth Marx has been teaching in Tower Hamlets for 8 years as a Secondary School Religious Studies teacher. In 2014, she completed a Farmington Fellowship at Oxford University investigating the role of the Religious Studies teacher as a progressive force in a secondary school. She draws upon her links with the Inclusive Mosque Initiative, the Safra Project and the Naz and Matt Foundation, to enrich her teaching in Tower Hamlets.
Razia Aziz has studied and worked professionally in the field of diversity, equality and inclusion for over 20 years as a researcher, writer, coach, consultant, trainer and facilitator. In 2010 Razia co-founded the Equality Academy, an organization that offers coaching, consultancy and training to the corporate sector. Her work and study span the fields of counseling, coaching, voice and bodywork, performing arts and interfaith ministry.
Udaramati Pope works in Nottingham Trent University. She has been involved in teaching, learning and research for over twenty years, at all levels from secondary English teaching to postgraduate PhD supervision, and has led programmes of initial teacher education at secondary level. She has worked at the University of Warwick, Newman University Birmingham, Loughborough University and Royal Holloway University of London. She has also recently worked as a consultant for Ofqual, leading the validation of the new A Levels.
McCartan is a Sexual Health Education Officer at the Rainbow Project Northern Ireland.
Mandeep S. Sehmi
Sehmi is a PhD student at the Centre for Trust, Peace and Social Relations at Coventry University.