St Mary's Values Talks

St Mary's Values Talks are a collection of inspirational talks and discussions to keep your spirits up and show you new perspectives. They're run jointly by the Widening Participation Team and SMSU. All of the speakers have one thing in common - they exemplify the four St Mary's values which are Excellence, Generosity of Spirit, Inclusiveness and Respect. Here's our next Values Talk...

A portrait image of Rinke Joseph

Creating an LGBTQ+ Inclusive Society – Are We There Yet? – Wednesday 9 June May, 1pm - virtual event

At this Pride Month Values Talk, Chris Gibbons (an inclusion and anti-discrimination expert with over 15 years’ experience and lecturer at St Mary’s) will explore the journey towards LGBTQ+ inclusion ranging from the legislative battles to how we can win over hearts and minds. We can all play our part in this, so all students are very welcome to join us whether you identify as LGBTQ+ or not! You can sign up to watch this talk here.


Below are some of our past values talks. You can watch them all on YouTube, so dive in and let us know your thoughts on them...

A portrait image of Rinke Joseph

Why not me? The role of generosity of spirit in overcoming adversity – Values Talk – Wednesday 19 May, 4pm - virtual event

Ronke Joseph is an Author with a hugely inspirational and motivational story to tell. In 2015, she lost her leg in a traffic accident. Since then she’s used her incredible positivity and generosity of spirit to not only survive the incident, but to come to terms with it and to thrive in her new situation. Hearing Ronke’s story will teach you that you’re never alone, and it will also help you to recognise how important learning to tell your own story is. Join us at this Values Talk to meet Ronke and to let her inspire and motivate you – you can sign up to watch it online here.

Sofia Qvarfort, one of the panelists in this talk

Hidden Disability in Academia Panel Event - Watch on YouTube

It’s estimated that over 11 million people in the UK are living with a disability, and up to 70% of these are hidden. In this panel event guest speakers Anastasia Liasidou, Senior Lecturer in Education at St Mary’s University and critical disability studies researcher; Sofia Qvarfort, a postdoctoral researcher at Imperial College London and University College London who also has a visual impairment; and Israel Bernal Romero, former St Mary’s Student and Autism Awareness Trainer, will explore some of the challenges, often unrecognised, faced by people living with hidden disabilities face in academia, whether as a student or going into academia as a career choice. You can watch this talk back here.

Liyana Pama, cyclist

‘Under-served not unwilling; improving diversity and inclusion for BAME women in sport’ - watch on youtube

When RideLondon photoshopped a black woman into promotional material it was a perfect example of trying and failing to be inclusive. As far as representation goes, even a digital cut out falls flat. BAME women cyclists exist but are under-served not unwilling participants. BAME women must fight doubly for inclusion where both women and BAME people are underrepresented, a fight hugely amplified in the sporting world. This Values Talk looks through the lens of a black woman cyclist (Liyana Pama, pictured) at the role of communities in realising inclusion and organisations actively fostering pathways to drive diversity in sport. Watch the talk back here.

An image Obi Oputa, the moderator for this talk

The Intersectionality of Race, Gender and sectionality - Watch on Youtube

We're never just one 'linear' thing - we are the sum of multiple identities, personas, and experiences that shape not just how we interpret and make sense of our realities, but also how society sees us, how we see society and the relationships, and connections we make. In this talk, our guests shared their own professional experiences and academic knowledge around issues of intersectionality. Watch it back here.

Join us for an exciting panel discussion as we explore how race, gender, and sexuality intersect, for LGBTQ+ history month.

Check out some recommendations for further viewing and reading from our amazing panellists here:

Dionne recommends Slay in Your Lane by Yomi Adegoke & Elizabeth Uviebinenè, specifically the first 4 chapters. Lurraine recommends:

Symeon recommends:

  • Why I’m no longer talking to what people about race by Reni Eddo-Lodge
  • White Privilege: The myth of post-racial society by Kalwant Bhopal
  • Youth Sport Physical Activity and health: Global perspectives by Symeon Dagkas; Kevin Hylton and Laura Azzarito
An image of Lennox from GGT Solutions

Motivational Talk from Georgina and Lennox from GGT Solutions - Watch on Youtube

"When we live by our values and principles we gain a sense of meaning".

This Values Talk, from wonderful professional speakers, Georgina and Lennox from GGT Solutions, is focused on helping you to find your values and the energy and motivation that comes from living by them. They'll help you to move from negative to positive thinking, to think about your own values, and to get you motivated during difficult times. Crucial skills for getting through 2021! Watch it back here.

An image of Dave Thomas

Dave Thomas - Published Author and Student Success Project Manager - Watch on Youtube

Dave S.P Thomas is an Occupational Therapist and Public Health Specialist, with a remit in social justice. This talk focuses on all of the St Mary's values. He has published lots of research in the areas or ‘race’, racial justice, inequality, Occupational Justice and Social Justice. In this talk, he discussed the notion of 'race', the 'whiteness' of the curriculum and how all of this affects students' mental health and wellbeing. Watch it back here.

An image of Claire Harvey

Claire Harvey - Paralympic Athlete (in 2 disciplines) - Watch on Youtube

Claire Harvey was part of the GB women's national sitting volleyball team and is now a track and field athlete for Great Britain. Her talk focuses on excellence. She competed at the 2012 London Paralympics as their captain too, which she elaborates on in this inspirational talk - her career has been packed with highs but there have been low points too which she discusses here.

An image of Sammy Massiah

Sammy Massiah - CIO of St Mary's University - Watch on Youtube

This talk is on the subject of the Black Lives Matter Movement and focuses on inclusiveness, generosity of spirit and respect. He discusses his background, his story and his own personal struggles that he's experienced through racism. He then discusses ways in which we might begin to dismantle it with the audience - it's a hugely insightful and educational talk, and it's something we hope that every St Mary's student will watch.

An image of Hannah Kettley-Linsell

Hannah Kettley-Linsell (pictured) and Lauren Whitehouse - PhD students at Loughborough University and trans activists - Watch on Youtube

This talk focuses on inclusiveness. While there has been much media discussion about the participation of transgender women in elite sport very little attention has been paid to what constitutes good practices for inclusion in PE and grassroots sport spaces for transgender and non-binary individuals. Hannah and Lauren discuss these in this insightful talk.

An image of Jason Arday

Jason Arday - Published Author, Lecturer and Deputy Executive Dean at Durham University - Watch on Youtube

Jason is an ex-St Mary's student who has gone on to accomplish big things. He also was the founder of the West London Varsity, so we've got him to thank for some incredible days on campus and at Brunel. This talk focuses on generosity of spirit, but that's really just one aspect of it - since his time at St Mary's, Jason has gone on to achieve an MA in Pedagogy, Professional Practice in Education (MA) and a PhD in Sociology of Education. Jason has run 30 marathons in 35 days and raised £4.5 million for over 80 national charities including local charity shooting star chase! You can watch his talk here.

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