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Meet the Members of the UWC Anti-Racism, Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Steering Group (ARDEI SG)

24 February 2021

Dear UWC Community,

It gives us great pleasure to announce that the UWC Anti-Racism, Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Steering Group (ARDEI SG) of the UWC International Board is now fully formed. We are delighted to congratulate and introduce you to its 14 members. 

Having received more than 160 applications from across generations, schools, national committees, short courses and more - Think Tank members have spent the past months interviewing, deliberating and selecting this group of dedicated individuals. This has not been easy, bearing in mind the quantity and quality of applications received, and it has been hugely encouraging to see the number of experienced and thoughtful UWC community members who are willing to help the UWC movement move forward in this area. We invite all of you to remain engaged in the work of the ARDEI SG as the 14 selected Steering Group members support the efforts of the entire UWC community in our pursuit to place anti-racism, diversity, equity and inclusion at the centre of all UWC structures and entities. We understand this is no small task, but we are excited about the outcomes we will achieve together.

The ARDEI SG will convene in late March for its first meeting to:

  • Understand the most urgent needs of UWC;
  • Identify specific areas of concentration;
  • Establish the frequency of meetings;
  • Create ways in which we will communicate with the larger community and how often;
  • Determine the scope and sequence of reporting lines to UWC schools.

With many additional areas that we would like to cover in the future, we will reach out to the UWC community for assistance and feedback in due course. In the meantime, continue reading so that you can meet the members of the Steering Group and to find our answers to the FAQs about the ARDEI SG. 

Thanks again for your patience, support, and commitment to ARDEI.


Maria Ines Kavamura
Co-Chair of the UWC Anti-Racism, Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Steering Group; UWC International Board Member

Roderick Jemison
Co-Chair of the UWC Anti-Racism, Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Steering Group; Head of UWC ISAK Japan


Why has the Steering Group membership only now been finalised? 

We were deliberate, thoughtful and intentional in creating a comprehensive process that would encourage applications from and vet the many valuable members of  our extremely knowledgeable and experienced community who would like to be more involved in shaping the future of ARDEI at UWC. 

The call for nominations to join the Steering Group was launched on 6 November 2020, and shared widely across the UWC International channels, with UWC schools and UWC national committees encouraged to share the call for nominations further with their own communities. The application deadline was 20 November. The remaining time was utilised to carefully consider each of the more than 160 applications received, before starting the interview process. 

While there will always be constituents and stakeholders who are not represented, this group of 14 members is very committed and dedicated to the UWC movement - and to ensuring it is a truly anti-racist, equitable and just movement.

What is the Think Tank?

This was the original group of ten UWC community members who initially volunteered to begin critically analysing and supporting the work of ARDEI at UWC. They will now pass the torch over to the ARDEI Steering Group.  

Who is leading the ARDEI Steering Group?

Maria Ines Kavamura (Waterford Kamhlaba UWC of Southern Africa, 1983-1984) is co-chair of the ARDEI Steering Group, she is also a UWC International Board Member. She is joined by Rod Jemison, founding Head of UWC ISAK Japan, who is the other co-chair of the Steering Group. 

Even if I am not part of the ARDEI SG, can I still be involved with the initiatives of the ARDEI SG alongside the wider efforts in the UWC community in the area of Anti-Racism, Diversity, Equity and Inclusion? 

Yes, this is a community effort, and we will be reaching out again to everyone in the UWC movement to participate - more news after the March meeting!

If I have experienced racism or prejudice at a UWC, can I contact the ARDEI Steering Group? 

The primary purpose of the ARDEI Steering Group is to support UWC entities and to advise them on appropriate practice including in how they receive reports on experiences of racism or prejudice. We, therefore, ask you to direct your concerns and issues directly to the UWC entity, where you experienced them as the entity will be best placed to understand and address issues appropriately. 

Should you not wish to address the entity concerned directly, you can report to the UWC International Safeguarding hotline and team. However, it needs to be noted that there are very few instances where concerns and issues will not be re-directed to the entity for investigation and addressing. You can choose to have your concern or issue anonymized, recognizing that anonymized matters generally are more difficult to investigate.

How long will it take for the Steering Group to make an impact?

We hope to see an immediate impact, and news will follow after the initial March meeting so that the community is aware of the initiatives, goals, and objectives of the Steering Group.