We want to mainstream equality, diversity and inclusion issues and awareness within Edinburgh College of Art. We will do this by supporting and nurturing an inclusive and non-discriminatory working culture. To support our aims we have set up the ECA Equality, Diversity & Inclusion Committee.

Killing of George Floyd

Further to the University of Edinburgh statement on the brutal killing of George Floyd, Edinburgh College of Art (ECA) recognises its responsibility to speak out and address the issues of racism and discrimination that have been highlighted by (but are not limited to) recent events in the US. We need to make it clear that we support the calls made by students to address racism and discrimination within our own institution and recognise the suffering BAME students and staff are currently experiencing.

We also have the responsibility to make sure that the things we say are followed up by actions that are supported by the planning, resources and determination required to make a palpable difference, and that our way forward is informed through listening and active consultation with those most impacted by inequality. There are several examples of such dialogue across ECA and the broader University, but we recognise that at ECA we should be doing much more, and are committed to engaging in meaningful consultation to ensure that BAME students and staff are central to developing objectives and actions which we will embed in our ECA institutional plans and achieve through careful planning and dedicated resources. We will be working through the next weeks and months on a more extensive and detailed declaration of intent.

Professor Juan Cruz, ECA Principal
Statement posted 4 June 2020

Black Lives Matter

As EDI Directors we stand in solidarity with the Black Lives Matter movement.   

We recognise the distress and anxiety that BAME staff and students are experiencing. Should you want to communicate with us directly our contact details are listed below along with some links to University support pages.  

We acknowledge that action is required to address racism and discrimination within our own institution and have made this a priority within our remit.   

The burden of responsibility to advocate for and enact this change should not fall to BAME communities but to all of us. In order to support self-reflection and further education we list here a starting point for further reading.

Links to support:

University of Edinburgh Chaplaincy >  

The Advice Place >  

Support and guidance for students who have experienced racial harassment or a hate crime >

Guidance for students and staff on reporting and dealing with racial harassment hate crime >  

Further Reading

Black Lives Matter - Toolkits >

Reni Eddo-Lodge. Why I'm no longer talking to white people about race >

How Stuart Hall Exposed the Racist Agenda Behind ‘Harmless’ British Humour > 

A 1979 televisual essay by the cultural theorist offers insight into black politics and representational struggle in the British media

Peggy McIntosh. White Privilege: Unpacking the Invisible Knapsack >

Art for a Few : Exclusion and Misrecognition in Art and Design Higher Education Admissions >

Howardena Pindell "Free, White and 21 1980" >

Cornel West: What It Means to Be Human >  

Remembering Whitney M. Young Jr.'s Landmark Speech (1968) The Journal of American Institute of Architects, May 2018 >

Sharable Anti-racism Guide collated by @yokoyamateh >

Race in Britain: the best books to help understand. The Guardian, August  2019 >


The committee

The committee has evolved out of work focussed on gender equality that led to ECA winning an Athena Swan Bronze Award in May 2017. We are now, however, committed to a wider remit of equality, diversity and inclusion.

The committee is grounded in the ideals of the Equality Act 2010 which recognises nine protected characteristics (age, disability, gender reassignment, marriage and civil partnership, pregnancy and maternity, race, religion or belief, sex and sexual orientation) but also recognizes the intersectional aspects of these characteristics.

The committee brings together staff and students from different areas of ECA, with an interest and expertise in these issues. It will:

  • Take an informed and action-based approach to stimulate and support staff and students to build good practice and innovation in equality, diversity and inclusion throughout the institution.
  • Promote teaching and research by staff and students on issues relating to equality, diversity and inclusion.
  • Identify, discuss, and advise on ECA policy with regard to ensuring equalities processes and considerations are embedded at all levels including the highest strategic planning and decision-making levels.
  • Take forward the Athena Swan Action Plan which includes measures to monitor ongoing improvement in the equality, diversity and inclusion agenda at ECA. To facilitate this, it will develop a yearly action plan and will oversee its implementation.

The committee reports to the ECA Management Group and the University’s Equality Management Group, through the joint ECA Directors of Equality and Diversity, Emma Gieben-Gamal and Deborah Jackson.

To reflect the inclusive aspirations and commitments of the equality, diversity and inclusion agenda at ECA the Equality, Diversity and Inclusion Committee encourages participation from people with a diverse range of backgrounds and experiences and particularly those from minority groups. There are no criteria for membership other than a commitment to the aims and objectives of the Committee.


Co-directors of Equality, Diversity & Inclusion: Emma Gieben-Gamal and Deborah Jackson

Dignity & Respect at Work and Study

Equality, diversity and inclusion are central to the University of Edinburgh’s policy on Dignity and Respect.

Examples of Equality, Diversity & Inclusion at ECA and the University of Edinburgh