Pride Month may be over but for Collina Angus, UNISON learning rep at Loughborough University, equalities are a year-round passion. That’s something that she’s combined with learning to create a dynamic, engaging series of online events, inviting experts to share their knowledge with members at the university.
She began last October with an event for Black History Month, entitled Black History is My History is Your History. Then in February she followed up with The Love That Dare Not Speak Its Name: LGBTQ love poems through the ages for LGBT History Month, and organised Getting To ‘Yeh’ Without Feeling ‘Meh’ for International Women’s Day.
Most recently, Collina invited Dr Line Nyhagen to give a sociological perspective on Doing and Performing Gender and Sex. In this special event for Pride Month, Dr Nyhagen explored the distinction between sex and gender, the changing ways in which people have understood the two concepts over the centuries, the impact of social expectations and socialisation. She looked at what gender means for people as individuals, in groups and institutions, and as communities and societies, and how we challenge gender and sexuality binaries.
This event repeated the success of Collina’s other equality events, with over 30 people attending. But this isn’t Collina’s only interest as a ULR. She’s also organised activities for Learning At Work Week and has collaborated with other branches as part of UNISON Leicestershire Learning.
Before becoming a ULR Collina says she had never done anything like it. The previous ULR had organised the Reading Ahead challenge, which she loved, but was leaving and Collina wanted to keep it going as a way to read more and also for staff to meet up and socialise. Once she’d done that, she wanted to do more. She brought together her passion for equalities and her passion for learning and now she can’t stop.