Friday, 27 May 2016

Beyond My Ethnicity

I recently caught up with Stephanie Stevens, a second year Law student, who has launched an online magazine, ‘Beyond My Ethnicity’. The magazine aims to tackle the issue of institutionalised racism and act as a stepping-stone towards inter-cultural integration.

The 'core team' of the magazine 

Inspirations: Stephanie came up with this enterprising idea when she took part in an undergraduate research project on ‘Unconscious Bias, Curriculum Design and Assessment’. What she found ‘saddened’ her. There is a persistent problem throughout the education system: an ethnic attainment gap. Ethnic minorities, even at University level, are ‘coming in with the same grades as their white peers, yet leaving with lower grades than them’. She found out that culture was one reason for the cause of such divisions. So, she thought an online magazine would be a great way to bring student communities together. The magazine acts as a platform for students, from any background, to share their experiences and culture. Furthermore, it seeks to show students, especially BME students, that they can pursue their career goals, regardless of their cultural background or skin colour.

How did she do it? The idea first came to mind in October and the magazine was officially published on March 18th (and with great success!) Stephanie contacted people who she knew would be interested in forming the core team of the magazine. Stephanie is the chair of this five-person team: she manages the rest of the team, sets up and carries o ut interviews and she also reads over all the magazine content. She works alongside the rest of her team, consisting of a chief editor, assistant graphic designer, creative director and a treasurer. A canvas notification was sent around the Law School to find columnists. This enterprising idea become a reality through CLAD funding.

This particular issue consists not only of interviews with BME legal professionals but also with other inspiring BME people. For example, Reis Taylor, who was self-taught piano. To top it all off, readers are even given an opportunity to immerse themselves in different music from across the globe! The magazine launch was promoted through posters, canvas notifications and was even displayed on the Law Reception TV!

"It was a massive learning curve for me, requiring a lot of patience"

Enterprising skills gained: First and foremost, it taught her the how to prioritise her jobs: she has had to balance her course alongside the magazine. In addition, her team-work skills have increased. As a law student, Stephanie’s course requires a lot of independent study. So, through working on the magazine, she learned how work better with others and trust them to make the magazine a success.

Future magazine/career ambitions: Stephanie hopes to present the content of the magazine in more interesting ways, such as through more videos. This should, hopefully, be achieved through the use of a better camera. This particular magazine was aimed at law students, however, she hopes her idea can be expanded to other schools.

Stephanie aspires to become a corporate lawyer. Her experience gained from launching this law-focussed magazine is a great way for her to ‘stand out from the crowd’.

For more information, visit the 'Beyond My Ethnicity' website.

Pavinder Bhangu

- PR Team

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