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Portrait photo of Deokiesingh

Jenson Deokiesingh

Highly Commended, Inclusive Practice

During his tenure as the MCR Equality and Diversity Officer at Hughes, Jenson has made an indelible impact that will sustain long after he has graduated from Cambridge. He was instrumental in creating a series of events that honoured and paid tribute to black women [for Black History Month]: he organised a screening of "Short films by female Caribbean filmmakers", and invited Barbadian filmmaker and producer Lisa Harewood to share her feature and thoughts on what it is to be a black female Caribbean national in the industry. He also planned the panel, "On Being a Non-British Black Female Student at Cambridge,". The month culminated in a formal... where the biographies of black women who made permanent indentations in our world stood proudly on the tables. He has spoken out, urging the College to have this month fixed annually on its official calendar.

In addition... Jenson orchestrated Hughes' first ever Transgender Awareness Week. He successfully championed for the College to purchase and hoist the transgender flag for one week in support and in solidarity with the University's transgender community. The week entailed a discussion on being transgender and non-binary, as well as a documentary screening that plunged into the transgender experiences in East Asia. A colourful formal where the dress theme was "Whatever makes you feel most beautiful" was open to students from all Colleges. Wanting more diversity in the content and speakers at the Hughes group for Education students, he worked alongside the team to provide a platform for PhD students to share parts of their research. The event title "From Research to Practice: Experience from Education" had students from India, Macau and Pakistan provide insights into the specificities of their research contexts.

His dedication to representation at Hughes is further reflected in organising an Eid-ul-Fitr festivity to celebrate the Muslim holiday, working with a Chinese student to provide tai chi classes, and creating a monthly book club that focuses on the works of BAME authors. Following the murder of George Floyd, Jenson created a virtual space for students to form a collective where they shared the feelings that stirred within them following this travesty. He also penned a... powerful message to the College on its complicity with systemic racism that has since prompted discussions with seniors in the College and the MCR who have promised to enforce structural changes to address racism. Jenson is brave, hardworking, and passionate, and is certainly deserving of this.

 

Jenson Deokiesingh is a second-year Faculty of Education PhD student (2019-20) at Hughes Hall.

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