Somerville and Oriel launch joint ‘Equaliweek’ events

Somerville and Oriel students are hosting ‘Equaliweek’ this week, a series of talks and events that aim to promote diversity and freedom from discrimination. 

The events, which range from talks and workshops to an art exhibition and a fashion show, are open to all. They aim to tackle some of the injustices faced by particular groups at Oxford, and to start a discussion about how equality can be achieved.

Equaliweek addresses a wide variety of issues, including homophobia, gender equality, religion and disabilities. This included a talk by the well known LGBTQ and Human Rights campaigner Peter Tatchell on Wednesday.

Whilst some of the events are aimed at particular groups of students (for example WomCam or the DisibiliTea), Jonathan Lawrence, LGBTQ rep at Somerville College, said “the vast majority of the events have been organised with the idea of inclusivity at heart – our goal is to educate, inform and entertain as many Oxford students as are willing to attend the events.”

Kate Bradley, the LGBTQ rep at Oriel College, said: “EqualiWeek is a chance for people to learn about and engage with inequality at Oxford and discuss solutions to injustices at our own university.”

Lawrence went on to state: “Our aims are simple – to highlight the problem of a lack of diversity in Oxford, to celebrate the presence of minority students in Oxford, and to provide a safe space for them to discuss issues pertaining to them. We aim to educate all students about different cultures, perspectives and issues of which they may not previously have been aware.”

The organizers hope that Equaliweek will have a positive impact across the university. Amy Lineham, Oriel’s Disabilities and Equal Opportunities Rep, said: “Equaliweek has been organized to oppose prejudice or discrimination of any kind – it is designed to get people thinking and talking about inequality and encourage positive action against such injustice.”

Events taking place throughout the week include talks on women in academia, homophobia, gendered intelligence, and autism, as well as a university-wide disability tea (Disibilitea).