Press release: Historical notes on Black, Asian, and Minority Ethnic (BAME) staff working in the Foreign Office published

first_img The publication of today’s booklet was launched at an event hosted at the FCO today (4 October) for civil servants across Whitehall. This was the first in a series of internal events the FCO’s network for BAME Staff have organised to celebrate Black History Month throughout October. FCO staff who come from a BAME background now represent the UK all around the world and at all grades. We have our first black career diplomat in Mozambique (Nnenne Iwuji-Eme), and over 23% of our graduate entry scheme intake came from a BAME background, one of the highest levels across Whitehall. Further information on the FCO Historians and their publications can be found here or on Twitter @FCOHistorians. As part of Black History month, the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) has today published a new booklet which for the first time provides an insight into the history of Black, Asian, and Minority Ethnic (BAME) staff in the department over the last 70 years.The booklet, entitled ‘Black skin, Whitehall: Race and the Foreign Office, 1945 to 2018’ reveals the challenges to ensure equal representation for non-white people in the British diplomatic service in the context of decades of political debates about Empire, immigration and racism and pressure from campaign groups.The document, written by FCO Historian James Southern, also highlights the progress achieved in recent years, including this year’s appointment of the first black female career diplomat being appointed into an Ambassadorial Post and in 2017, over 23% of the FCO graduate entry scheme intake coming from a BAME background, one of the highest levels across Whitehall.The publication, part of a series of FCO historical notes, which included a document published last July entitled ‘Homosexuality at the Foreign Office 1967 to 1991’ shows how attitudes can change and these documents can be used to support the work of British diplomats around the world to promote inclusion and end discrimination.Sir Simon McDonald, the FCO’s Permanent Under-Secretary and Head of HM Diplomatic Service said: James Southern, FCO Historian and author of the publication said: For journalists The diversity of our staff and their heritage is a prime source of our strength. This historical note sets out the challenges faced by BAME staff working at the FCO over the last 70 years, but also the important progress achieved. It is essential we make further progress to ensure our modern Diplomatic Service reflects the best of the diversity of the UK. Read more about the Black skin, Whitehall: Race and the Foreign Office, 1945 to 2018 report. Email [email protected]center_img Further Information: Media enquiries We are more diverse on ethnicity than we have ever been, with a number of BAME Ambassadors, the first black career diplomat appointed into an Ambassadorial post, and one of the highest BAME Fast Stream intakes across Whitehall. Yet, as this report also shows, there is still a long way to go to ensure that we are bringing up the best of British diverse talent and supporting all staff to meet their aspirations. Muna Shamsuddin and Fouzia Younis-Suleman of the FCO’s network for BAME Staff and authors of the afterword, said: This publication tells the story of non-white people at the Foreign Office. Like many similar British institutions, the FCO has a difficult history when it comes to race; it is hoped that this History Note serves as a basis for the beginning of a long overdue conversation aimed at building a more inclusive organisation.last_img read more

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A movie as a mirror

first_imgDamien Chazelle ’07 says he believes in “somewhat unrealistic plans.” After all, they’ve served him well.The onetime Visual and Environmental Studies (VES) concentrator drove to Los Angeles after his graduation, and made his filmmaking debut with the warmly received “Guy and Madeline on a Park Bench.” He took gigs writing pithy horror scripts and, unable to launch another project he’d been working on, turned to his own experiences.In New Jersey, Chazelle had attended Princeton High School, where he was a jazz drummer, was involved with the school band, and came under the direction of a harsh music teacher who’d eventually become the inspiration for J.K. Simmons’ portrayal of a blistering, abusive music teacher named Fletcher in Chazelle’s critically acclaimed and Oscar-nominated film “Whiplash.”“It will always be a fresh memory, a somewhat traumatic memory,” Chazelle said of his days drumming.Making “Whiplash” was both serendipitous and stressful. Chazelle earned the backing of two other Harvard grads, co-producers Helen Estabrook ’03 and Nicholas Britell ’03, who believed in his script and talent. But they needed money, and to get it Chazelle took a scene from his script and made an 18-minute short, which screened at Sundance. It won second place — and investors. With a still-meager budget, the cast and crew worked long hours, with only 19 days to film the movie.Oscar Wilde famously said that “life imitates art far more than art imitates life,” and that could be said of “Whiplash.” The film draws on Chazelle’s biography. Much like the film’s character Andrew, who is in a car crash en route to a performance and crawls from the wreckage to make it to the stage in time, Chazelle was in a serious car accident during the final week of shooting. He was hospitalized — but he turned up on set the next day to make the film’s deadline.Some things you can’t make up.The alumni were introduced by President Drew Faust, who said the film “raises questions about art and performance, about learning and teaching, about the pursuit of perfection and the mania that pursuit can engender.” Rose Lincoln/Harvard Staff PhotographerChazelle returned to Harvard Wednesday afternoon alongside Estabrook and Britell for a talk at Farkas Hall moderated by his former teacher Robb Moss, professor of visual and environmental studies and chair of the VES Department. They were introduced by Harvard President Drew Faust.“‘Whiplash’ provokes,” said Faust, a strong supporter of the arts in learning. “It raises questions about art and performance, about learning and teaching, about the pursuit of perfection and the mania that pursuit can engender.”While the film was the key topic of discussion, Moss also quizzed the trio about how they ended up in Hollywood. After graduation, Estabrook had headed to New York, where she continued working in theater, but she always knew she wanted to produce. Los Angeles beckoned.“I ended up getting a job trading currencies by day while writing music for short films at night,” said Britell. “But I realized that I really wanted to be doing music, and music for film.”Moss praised the craftsmanship behind “Whiplash” — not only Chazelle’s direction, but the lighting, the camera work, and the sound.“I knew the music world firsthand,” explained Chazelle. “When it came to putting these things on screen — more so than if I’d been doing anything that didn’t directly reflect experiences of my own — I had a barometer of what was right. I knew I would be as harsh on how to make those things seem accurate as anyone else.”The result is a cacophony of sound mirroring the intensity of Andrew’s struggle to please Fletcher, who abuses him both mentally and physically. And at the 2014 Academy Awards, the film won three Oscars — for best sound mixing, best film editing, and best supporting actor for Simmons.“It was vindicating to us,” said Chazelle, “because the entire idea behind the approach to this — within our narrow budget, and the location, and within the insularity of the music — was to make something that felt like a big populace action movie, or war movie.”Estabrook called the film a “parking lot movie,” something people would argue about while exiting the cinema.“One of the greatest joys in my life over the past two years,” said Estabrook, “is sitting with my friends arguing about the ending of this movie.”last_img read more

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Bielema announces 1st recruiting class

first_imgThe first of February 2006: A day that will go down in history for UW athletics.A new era began for the University of Wisconsin football program Wednesday, as Bret Bielema officially became the successor of Barry Alvarez, nominally taking hold of the post he has run since Wisconsin’s 24-10 victory over Auburn in the Capital One Bowl. He celebrated the occasion by unveiling his first recruiting class as head coach of the Badgers, a class he praised for its loyalty to the program, sticking with Wisconsin despite the multitude of coaching staff changes.”Obviously this has been a unique recruiting process,” Bielema said. “Everybody wants fast guys, everybody wants strong guys, guys who can make plays, all the little things that can make a difference on the football field. But the part that gets left out of the equation is what goes on [in their heart] … I think these guys, because of the way this recruiting season has gone, have shown great perseverance.”Bielema also stated that he expects to have his coaching staff completed in the upcoming weeks.The Wisconsin class was not ranked particularly high nationally. According to Rivals.com, the UW class was 43rd in the country, slightly ahead of Purdue (50th) and behind Michigan State (33rd). ESPN.com ranked the Badger recruiting class even lower, as 67th best in the country, one spot ahead of Northwestern, with only Minnesota (70th) and Indiana (81st) finishing below them. Ohio State was the top ranked Big Ten school in both recruiting services.Bielema was not at all worried about the perceived strength of the class, however, making the point that the accuracy of such rankings has proven to be sketchy at best in the past.”I do believe that the University of Wisconsin is a development program,” Bielema said. “Our guys are going to play their best football in year three and four. Obviously, we hope they’re good in year one and two as well.”Bielema was adamant in his belief that working shorthanded, while much of the UW coaching staff was in flux, did not play a negative role in the recruiting class”I don’t feel it has any [impact],” Bielema said, praising the efforts of assistants Paul Chryst (offensive coordinator) and Henry Mason (receivers coach) who were held over from the Alvarez staff.”There was never a time where I wasn’t able to get anywhere or see anybody because of lack of man power,” he said.Bielema stated that when he first began looking at recruits, he identified several positions that needed to be recruited heavily.”I felt there were three areas that I really needed to be strong in with this recruiting class,” Bielema stated. “There was an immediate need at wide receiver, [defensive backs] and offensive linemen.”To that end, the Badgers were successful in filling their roster in areas of need, as they signed four players at each of the positions plus several other athletes that could move into any one of those roles. The team also signed a pair of tight ends to try and reload that position.Although Bielema wouldn’t speculate as to how many recruits from this crop could see playing time in the upcoming season, there are several safe bets as players who could play a significant role in the 2006 campaign.At least three players on the roster are expected to possibly be four-year starters for the team. Running back Lance Smith (5-foot-10, 197 lbs, Warren, Ohio) and wide receiver Lance Kendricks (Milwaukee, Rufus King High) are considered to be the class of the staff, both bringing loads of potential to Madison.Smith was rated among the top 20 running backs in the nation by Rivals.com, compiling over 2,500 yards and 20 touchdowns his senior year. He is already considered to be a prime candidate to fill the starting running back position vacated by Brian Calhoun, who declared early for the NFL Draft as a junior.”Running back was also a priority,” Bielema said. “After we got Lance committed, I really didn’t feel a strong need to go anywhere else, even with the announcement of Brian [Calhoun], because we signed three running backs a year ago.”Bielema’s confidence in the Badgers’ running back position speaks volumes of the respect he has for Smith’s ability.”He has the ability to move a lot of different directions in a short amount of space,” Bielema said. “He’s got good hands, good size, good speed. [He’s] someone that, along with the group of running backs that we have, can compete for the start.”Kendricks was one of the in-state recruits to sign with UW. He was rated as the second best prospect in Wisconsin and among the top 30 wide receivers in the country by Rivals.com. “[Kendricks is a] guy that had many different opportunities throughout the country. He’s a big athlete that can run,” Bielema said. “We’re going to start him at the wide receiver position. We think he can come in and add a presence there early on.””He is a taller guy that doesn’t have taller guy problems,” Mason said.One of the feats the first year head coach was proud of was the fact that they managed to recruit Wisconsin exceptionally well.”I do know this: Anybody that we offered [a scholarship to] in the state of Wisconsin is in this program now,” Bielema said.As well as UW did in Wisconsin they also raked in bodies from across the state line in Minnesota.Three players were recruited from the North Star State, and another recruit — Brad Thorson of Mequon, Wis. — had committed to play for the Golden Gophers, not to mention Bielema’s theft of the Minnesota’s defensive backs coach, Kerry Cooks.”[It will] probably spice [the Minnesota-Wisconsin rivalry] up a little bit,” a grinning Bielema said of the Minnesota recruiting coup.last_img read more

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