Pride Banner by the artist STIK unveiled at Cambridge Judge Business School on 22 September to show the Business School’s commitment to diversity and inclusion.
A Pride Banner, created by the artist STIK, depicting two monochrome stick figures holding hands in front of a rainbow backdrop, has been generously given on long-term loan to Cambridge Judge Business School by an anonymous donor.
Created in 2016 as the Hackney Pride Banner to adorn the Hackney Council float in the 2016 London Pride Parade, the artwork was unveiled on 22 September in the Cambridge Judge Simon Sainsbury Centre. The two-metre-high banner will remain on display in the building and will be a visible symbol of Cambridge Judge’s renewed commitment to the core values of diversity, equity and inclusion.
Speakers at the event included the new Cambridge Judge Dean, Mauro Guillén, students from the School’s LGBTQIA+ community, professional staff, and faculty.
STIK is a sculptor and painter known for his emotive stick-figure style and dedication to radical social causes. The Hackney-based artist has painted some of the largest public artworks across Europe, Asia, and America, raising awareness of important causes. He has also founded several charitable arts organisations around the world since emerging from the British street art movement of the early 2000s. STIK’s artwork is now in many major international museums and collections, and he continues to work closely with local art communities.
STIK describes his artwork in the following way:
“This protest banner is a symbol of universal love and by bringing it into their home the University of Cambridge are spreading this message for years to come.”
Dean Mauro Guillén, who hosted the event, said:
“At Cambridge Judge Business School, we value the diversity and inclusiveness of our community – from students to staff, alumni and faculty. We are committed to preventing and confronting any form of discrimination in terms of race, ethnicity, place of birth, religious background, health status, gender identity, and psychosexual orientation and sex characteristics.
“We seek to make a meaningful and lasting contribution to the world in the task of promoting a sustainable, equitable, diverse, and inclusive future for all. As we celebrate the unveiling of our Pride Banner, we stand together with our LGBTQIA+ community, in recognition of the disrespect, discrimination and animosity that they often face in many parts of the world, including our own.
“We find inspiration and strength in your quest for equality and justice. We are all part of one all-encompassing community of learners focused on bettering the world.
“I wish to emphasise that this event is only the beginning of what will be a long-term commitment on the part of the Business School. We will work to adapt our admissions, student orientation, and the curriculum so that they embrace the principles of equity, diversity, and inclusion (EDI). We envision a future in which Cambridge Judge will be a leader and an example to emulate because we believe in the fundamental values of equity and fairness, and because we believe that companies and other organisations will be more effective and add greater social value if they implement EDI.”
In 2019, Cambridge Judge students formed the Pride@CJBS Special Interest Group (SIG) to be a resource network for LGBTQIA+ members of the Cambridge Judge community. The group has hosted activities including a series called “Authenticity at Work”, which included talks by LGBTQIA+ business leaders and others, and events to celebrate LGBTQIA+ History Month in the UK.
In November 2020, as part of the newly formed Student Diversity Coalition in collaboration with the Wo+Men’s Leadership and Veterans’ SIGs, Pride@CJBS planned and executed an event entitled “Diversifying the Workplace” which brought thought leaders and global organisations at the forefront of diversity and inclusion together to discuss real-world initiatives and innovations.
Outgoing Pride@CJBS co-chair Rae Yung spoke at the event.
Rae said: “The Pride@CJBS SIG was an absolutely essential resource for our members throughout this challenging year; I’m honoured to have led such an amazing group of people along with my co-chairs Maggie Simpson and Claudia Chau, and I’m thrilled that Dean Guillén is making such a clear statement through this event about Cambridge Judge’s priorities moving forward.”
Incoming ROMBA LGBTQIA+ scholarship recipients Ihor Kravets and Raghav Gupta, who will be co-chairing Pride@CJBS SIG, were also featured speakers.
Ihor said: “It is an honour to join Cambridge Judge and contribute to the development of Pride@CJBS in the moment when the Business School puts special emphasis on matters of diversity, equity and inclusion. It is encouraging to see that the long-term commitment behind matters important to the LGBTQIA+ community is outlined by Dean Guillén through specific plans across all parts of the School’s operations. I hope that the artwork unveiled will not only signify the start of this journey for the School and its commitment towards LGBTQIA+ related matters but will also work as a reminder for each one of us to keep an open mind and learn from each other. Understanding & embracing diversity in all of its aspects is a pivotal part of our learning path for the year ahead, and I encourage us to walk this path together.”
Raghav said: “I am humbled to represent Cambridge Judge as a ROMBA fellow for the 2021/22 academic year and look forward to being co-lead of the Pride@CJBS SIG. I am grateful to the outgoing Pride@CJBS SIG chairs and commend them for their useful contributions in the last year despite the numerous challenges caused by a global pandemic. Much work is still needed for the upliftment and betterment of the LGBTQIA+ community and we have already outlined a plan of action for the upcoming year. Through this art unveiling, a fresh chapter in the University of Cambridge’s Pride history shall unfold. And, with the support of our new Dean, Professor Guillén, I am optimistic that we would bring about some positive changes and create a lasting impact.”