Will you wear the rainbow?
2018 marks the two year anniversary of Open@TUoS and we want to celebrate what it means to be part of this network of LGBT+ allies, who are working together to progress LGBT+ inclusion at the University.
Open@TUoS was developed with the LGBT+ Staff Network and aims to empower all staff to help create an open, inclusive environment for LGBT+ colleagues and students at the University. Supporters do this by sharing information, encouraging people to become actively involved in LGBT+ activities and by asking staff to visibly support LGBT+ inclusion.
In the last two years more than 1,300 members of staff have proactively become supporters of Open@TUoS. We would like to invite more of you to visibly show your support by signing up here and wearing a rainbow lanyard.
Colleagues who sign up to Open@TUoS will receive a pack that includes a rainbow lanyard, one of the most popular ways of visibly showing support amongst colleagues. In the pack, there are other ways supporters can show their commitment to the LGBT+ community, including wearing rainbow badges and displaying Open@TUoS door signs. Colleagues will also be added to the Open@TUoS mailing list and will receive updates.
To spread the word about the importance of visible allies and of creating a visually inclusive campus, we will be showcasing the commitment of some of our allies to LGBT+ equality around campus in the run-up to LGBT History Month (February 2018).
From Monday 22 January, outlets across campus will be serving your hot drinks in a special limited edition rainbow lanyard cup. Share your rainbow cup selfies on Twitter with the hashtag #rainbowlanyard and @SheffUnistaff to show your support.
Throughout LGBT History Month in February, look out for the posters and web pages showing a number of colleagues and senior leaders showing support by wearing the rainbow lanyard and telling us why it's important to them.
Any member of staff is welcome to join Open@TUoS regardless of sexuality and/or gender identity. You can sign up to become a member and receive your rainbow lanyard here: www.sheffield.ac.uk/lgbt
Let us know why you wear the lanyard and encourage more colleagues to join, by Tweeting @SheffUniStaff, using the #rainbowlanyard.
The University’s Senior Diversity Champion, Provost and Deputy Vice Chancellor Gill Valentine, wears her lanyard with pride:
“The rainbow lanyard symbolises equality and inclusion. Equality is a hugely important thing for me personally. I believe people should be accepted for whoever they are and they should be able to bring their whole selves to work in a warm and welcoming environment.”
Dr Matt Mears, Chair of the LGBT+ Staff Network and Co-Founder of Open@TUoS talks about the importance of visible allies:
"For a new student or member of staff who identifies as LGBT+ it can be scary moving to a new place, but immediately seeing so many staff committed to visibly stating their support as an LGBT+ ally shows that the University of Sheffield truly is a safe and welcoming place for people to be themselves.”
LGBT History Month
The LGBT+ staff network are holding a series of events throughout February to mark LGBT History Month. These will be open to everyone, to encourage a better understanding of the issues affecting LGBT+ individuals and how we can champion diversity, equality and inclusion throughout the University. Keep an eye out for further information.