FHS Transformation will be hosting a monthly webinar series called ‘Transferrable Successes’. These webinars will focus on UCT’s Transformation Benchmarks and will include presentations by Departments who have implemented exemplary interventions as per the annual Transformation Report. Staff and students are invited to attend the webinars to gain insight into why, how, and who was involved in each Department’s success and contribution to furthering transformation in the faculty for each benchmark.
Inclusive Language Project
It has been identified that there are no clear guidelines to inform identity language use practices in higher education, and so racialised terms are used in a variety of ways, many of which are problematic and exclusionary. Furthermore, this challenge is not confined to the use of racial terms, but extends to terminology and language use regarding gender, sexuality, and functional ability. This gap is particularly concerning within the context of the health sciences, where the use of intersectional identity language is frequently necessary.
The role that identity language plays is significant in terms of mediating experiences of belonging, inclusion, and in terms of establishing mutually beneficial and respectful relationships between staff, students, patients, communities, and funders. Documents such as the 2021 Transformation Survey Report, and 2019 Mental Health Working Group Report revealed the faculty’s gaps in transformation and lack of resources to practically implement transformation across various environments.
This research will allow the faculty to identify its position when it comes to language use and create a working document that can assist all members in gaining an understanding of the importance of inclusive language and how it can be used in research, teaching and learning, and administration.
There are 2 main aims for this project. To:
- Investigate and interrogate how language is currently used in faculty research and teaching while paying close attention to the intersections of race, gender, sexuality, class, and ability.
- Guide the production of a generative report that the faculty leadership can use to build guidelines or contribute to existing guidelines around language use in the faculty for research, teaching and general engagement.
FHS Transformation Survey
On the 1st of July 2021, the Faculty launched the first ever all-inclusive transformation survey. The aim of the survey was to establish a baseline measure of the issues that pervade in the faculty, and to provide a platform from which we engage the work of change through focused events, the pursuit of the employment equity goals of the University of Cape Town, the alteration of physical spaces and changes in pedagogy, research practices, and clinical service delivery. Ultimately, the intension of this survey is to move us towards an environment where all members of the faculty feel a sense of belonging, and that their humanity and diversity are respected and valued.
Informing and guiding the ongoing transformation work across the Faculty, the survey findings highlight that there is still much work to be done, particularly regarding discrimination, harassment, and violence in intersection with race and gender, career development and mentorship, leadership training, and curriculum transformation.
In 2021, the Faculty embarked on a campaign to start a meaningful conversation to celebrate, honour, and raise the voices of the LGBTQ+ community and its allies. This important work is ongoing as our learning journey continues… be an ally.
- Webinar 1: Nothing about us, without us - Celebrating Pride
- Webinar 2: Trans and Gender Diversity within Higher Education
- Musical: Human
Pride Month - Suggested reading:
- They Called Me Queer by Kelly-Eve Koopman and Kim Windvogel
- Transitions: Out Stories of Being Trans
- You Have to be Gay to Know God by Siyathokoza Khumalo
- Gender Explorers by Juno Roche
- The Book of Pride by Mason Funk
- The Pink Line by Mark Gevisser
- Queer Intentions by Amelia Abraham
- Lived Experiences of Ableism in Academia by Nicole Brown
- The Body Is Not An Apology by Sonya Renee Taylor
- Disability Visibility by Alice Wong (PRH 9781984899422)
- Hunger by Roxanne Gay - R215
- Sitting Pretty by Rebekah Taussig (JB 9780062936806)
Transferable successes for transformation
- Webinar 1: Transformation interventions in all their diversity within the faculty community.
- Webinar 2: Interventions advancing transformation: The Department of Medicine experience