Dean Serves as Panellist at International Symposium
Dean and Head of the School of Built Environment and Development Studies Professor Ernest Khalema participated in an international webinar on international perspectives on equity and inclusion organised by the National Association of Housing and Redevelopment Officials (NAHRO).
The webinar examined equity in housing access, community development, the intersectionality of race, gender, and ability, and the possibility building more equitable and inclusive communities.
Khalema highlighted the importance of cultivating a world that nourishes equity, justice, fairness and a spirit of respect. He added that equity and inclusivity are not simply terms on institutional checklists, but should be lived out in everyday lives.
‘Organisations need inclusive approaches to effectively address inequity; approaches that consider the overlapping and intersectionality of race, gender and additional markers of difference,’ he said.
Khalema also noted the need to interrogate oppressive structures and the ways in which biases run rampant in our practices, especially when it comes to designing and implementing diversity and equity programmes.
‘We know the consequences of lack of inclusivity; good intentions alone are not enough. Research shows that when we intentionally strive for inclusion, everyone thrives.’
The plight of low-income communities around the world is exacerbated by their lack of voice, rights, access to resources, amenities and opportunities. Khalema noted that a supportive and nurturing environment will enable all to prosper, thrive and grow.
Another symposium is planned for 26 to 28 June 2022. It will provide a platform to interrogate the possibilities of a truly inclusive Pan-African city from different thematic positions, possibilities and contexts with a special focus on housing development, spatial justice and inclusivity.
Words: Sinoyolo Mahlasela