UOG Celebrating commitment and leadership to advancing race equality and inclusion across the county


I wanted to share some recent good news from the University of Gloucestershire.

At our 2023 Graduation ceremony we were delighted to confer Honorary Fellowships on two members from our county community, Teddy Burton and Rupert Walters.

Teddy is a former student at University of Gloucestershire. He studied Law and graduated in 2010. Today, he is Chair of the Community Legitimacy Panel (CLP) in Gloucestershire, and an inspirational speaker on the need for racial equality. He has spoken at events including the Black Police Association Conference in October 2022 and the Diversity and Community Relations Judges Conference (DCRJ) of 2023.

The CLP was launched in August 2020 in response to a recognition of the need to improve the experience of policing for ethnically diverse communities in Gloucestershire. It holds the Constabulary to account in how it uses its powers. The panel includes around 20 public service minded individuals, such as nurses, students, educators, lawyers, broadcasters, and retired professionals.

For the last three years, among other things, they have reviewed and made recommendations in matters relating to wrongful arrest, stop and search, use of body worn cameras, how additional police powers were used during the pandemic, and how the objectives of the Police Race Action Plan should be delivered locally. They work in a wide range of areas, including public meetings to encourage dialogue between the community and the police, and strive to improve relations such as through the Better Together community sports and fun day.

Another Fellow, Rupert is a social entrepreneur, a business owner, and a Non-Exec Director, and Trustee for several organisations. He strongly believes in the positive benefit to our communities when we combine the passion for social impact with the skill of commercial enterprise. For him, the key to success is understanding each other’s values, creating common interest and sustained partnerships that evolve to deliver tangible impact on our society.

Unsatisfied with the pace of change to alleviate the inequalities that racially minoritised communities face, and committed to making a palpable difference, he started The Jigsaw, a Community Interest Company, to create definitive change for Black and minoritised groups.

The Jigsaw takes a holistic approach to change, mobilising and supporting individuals to deliver better outcomes around finance, social capital, business networks, creative representation, education, health and social justice. Its aim is to build constructive, collaborative partnerships that will innovate, lead, learn and connect regional and national strategies, opportunities, and initiatives to benefit individuals and communities.

Both of these honorary fellows presented to the class of 2023 Business School Graduates and spoke of their journeys and the importance of collaborative working.

Teddy Burton quoted Maya Angelou
“People will forget what you said and what you achieved but they will not forget how you made them feel”, he went on to encourage our new graduates with his own take on this idea, that as potential leaders in organisations people won’t remember that you gave them an increase in salary or that you gave them that big promotion, they will however, remember that you gave them a phone call when they lost a family member or offered a listening ear when they faced a challenge at work. So to echo the powerful words he shared with the UoG’s class of 2023, its important to remember that each of us can use our spirit of compassion and embrace the ‘neighbour principle’ because being remembered for how you made people feel is the best way to be remembered no matter what path you take.