Friday 15 November 2019

Our work is based on building meaningful, enduring and respectful relationships across different cultures. We cannot do this without a strong commitment to equality, inclusion and diversity. This is why we dedicate a full week every year to celebrate the diversity of our staff, programme participants, customers and partners. We are hosting a number of inclusive as well as educational events in the week of 18-22 November 2019 for staff, partners and the wider community to participate in. We hope you will join us in celebrating the value of diversity.

On 18 November, we are hosting a seminar on “Inclusive practices for media and film specialists” delivered by Barbara Lisicki, a practising trainer and consultant from the UK, with expertise in the field of visual and performance arts. Barbara is the founder and director of The Entertrainers Limited, which combines touring shows by disabled performers with delivering Disability Equality Training programmes in arts, cultural, education and government sectors. The seminar will take place at Holiday Inn Hotel (Moscow Room) between 10.00 and 16.00.

On 19 November, Barbara Lisicki will be joined by Dr. Paul Gibbs, who will share a short presentation titled “Global Diversity Management – Is it worth it?”. Dr. Paul Gibbs is a Professor of Higher Education at Middlesex University in the UK. His interests and publications span higher education marketing, happiness, philosophy, professional practice and time. The talk will take place between 10.00 and 12.00 at Landmark III Cineclub (Ground Floor).

After the short presentations by our guest speakers, we will also screen “Defiant Lives,” a film by Sarah Barton, which introduces the world to the most impressive activists you’ve never heard of and tells the story of the rise and fight of the disability rights movement in the United States, Britain and Australia. The event will be attended by Her Majesty’s Ambassador to Azerbaijan Mr. James Sharp. Media representatives are kindly invited to attend this event. Please join us at 09.30 for a short media briefing.

On 21 November, we will continue our Diversity Week programme with presentation from Murad Mammadov, founder of Hands Art platform for disabled people, followed by Para Dance presentation led by Farid Mekhtiyev, founder of Harmony Dance studio, a dance studio practising inclusive dance education, and Vusalya Kerimova, para dance champion. The presentations will be followed by a short dance lesson from the Harmony Dance studio. The event will take place at AF Business House between 16.00 and 18.00.

The British Council invites the members of the wider community to participate on all three days of our Diversity Week activities. To register please follow one of the following links:

Mr. Summer Xia, the British Council Country Director in Azerbaijan, says: “As the UK’s international organisation for cultural relations and educational opportunities, our goal is to develop inclusive programmes and projects that bring together people with different experiences, abilities and backgrounds. This is why we dedicate a full week every year to celebrate our commitment to equality, diversity and inclusion. This year, we are joined by dynamic individuals from the UK and Azerbaijan, who will share their ideas and work to promote and celebrate diversity in our two countries.”

Notes to Editor

EDI runs through much of our work around the world, whether in the arts, society, inclusive education, or offering exams. Our goal is to develop inclusive programmes and projects that bring together people with different experiences and backgrounds. We hope this will make everyone's experiences richer, and ultimately lead to more inclusive societies.

We focus on six areas of diversity, aligned to those protected by UK equality legislation:

  • Age
  • Disability
  • Ethnicity or Race
  • Gender
  • Religion or Belief
  • Sexual Identity

We recognise that these areas intersect and form our identity, together with other characteristics, such as socio-economic status and geographical location. We help colleagues understand the business case, the moral/ethical case, and the legal case for our commitment to EDI.

About the British Council

The British Council is the UK’s international organisation for cultural relations and educational opportunities. We create friendly knowledge and understanding between the people of the UK and other countries. We do this by making a positive contribution to the UK and the countries we work with – changing lives by creating opportunities, building connections and engendering trust. We work with over 100 countries across the world in the fields of arts and culture, English language, education and civil society. Last year we reached over 80 million people directly and 791 million people overall including online, broadcasts and publications. Founded in 1934, we are a UK charity governed by Royal Charter and a UK public body.

See also