Disability, Discrimination & DEIJ Statement
In recent years, progress has been made in widening access and participation to coach training to disadvantaged and underrepresented groups of students, but we also aware that substantial inequalities persist between students of different socio-economic and ethnic backgrounds.
SunLight Academy is deeply committed to promoting diversity, equity, inclusion and justice in our world. We believe that organizations must recognize their role to ensure that any strategies developed seek to address these issues and create a more just society. It is important for us at SunLight Academy to consider how to frame our priorities and commitments in relation to this topics. We have identified eight of the most significant steps needed for success in promoting awareness, reduce the gaps around DEIJ and sustain a consistent evolution in our Community:
1. Contextualizing definitions to our reality
We believe that including standard definitions of DEIJ is not enough. To make progress on DEIJ priorities, we need to have a clear understanding of what each theory actually means. We are aware of the role of the language used in our interactions, that is why we ensure that all our community members (coaches in training, graduates, trainers, mentors, assessors) have a shared, specific understanding of what diversity, equity, inclusion, and justice means. We believe that this creates a common foundation for progress.
2. Committing to recognize social identities
At SunLight Academy we promote an intersectional DEIJ approach that recognizes that social identities do not exist in isolation and instead are interconnected and impact one another. We know it is imperative that as educators we embody the desire to learn and to combine reflective practice with a kind, curious and caring approach to creating change in inequitable structures. We aim to create opportunities for educators and students to learn with and from one another.
3. Providing strong leadership
As providers of coaching education programs, we are aware we have a unique position – and therefore a unique responsibility – to lead the industry forward and create a more just and equitable training experience. SunLight Academy leaders and members of our Community are required to demonstrate a commitment to reduce the gaps around DEIJ and lead by example.
4. Having conversations about race and changing the culture
We ask our leaders and members of our Community to create opportunities to talk directly about race, racism and the attainment gap and to identify what thinking is causing it and how it can be transformed. A change in culture is needed alongside a clear message that DEIJ issues are embedded within wider strategic goals of SunLight Academy.
5. Understanding neurodiversity
We are committed in improving the collective understanding of difference and especially improve the collective understanding of neurodiversity. Neurodiversity is a viewpoint that brain differences are normal, rather than deficits. Neurodiverse people experience, interact with, and interpret the world in unique ways. At SunLight Academy we believe that this concept can reduce stigma around learning and thinking differences and can promote the emergence of the uniqueness of each human being. It is an important perspective to embrace for a professional coach and therefore a key topic in coaching education.
6. Understanding what works
Our leaders and our Community members are committed to work together to ensure that evidence on ‘what works’ is high quality, and to share evidence of what works and what doesn’t. We are creating a collection of case studies and different success cases with the purpose to develop our successful cases and spread their benefits in a higher number of situations.
7. Celebrating diversity
All members of the SunLight Academy community have a responsibility to promote equality, dignity and respect, and most of all to celebrate diversity and to challenge unfairness and discrimination. We believe that by being grateful and by celebrating diversity is a value that brings more awareness and a more collaborative environment, especially in the coaching education sector, where welcoming the clients as they are in the moment is one of the highest competencies for a coach.
8. Addressing inequalities from different perspectives
SunLight Academy is committed to invite keynote speakers to share their knowledge and experience around DEIJ, to inform our leaders and Community members and to inspire further thinking and action to expand our awareness and to promote equality in what we do and in who we are in our roles and as human beings.