What diversity means to me as a member of the Family Justice Young People’s Board
My name is Aleesha and I have been a member of the Family Justice Young People’s Board (FJYPB) for seven years. My background is diverse. I am Muslim female and I also have a disability called cerebral palsy.
What diversity means to me is that it is an opportunity to benefit from a variety of viewpoints of people from lots of different backgrounds such as educational, cultural and religious. Diversity is also understanding that everyone is unique and to recognize our differences.
The FJYPB are very considerate about people’s background, perspectives, and views. I have experience working with a lot of diverse members. The value of diversity for the FJYPB is very high as we are equal. No matter what our background, everyone has an equal right to a voice and input and we are all included in the work of the FJYPB and contribute to making decisions.
Whilst being an FJYPB member, a skill I learned is to take part in public speaking which I wasn’t confident to do before joining the board. I have worked in a team and collaborated with other young people. I have had the ability to adapt to things when it is not going right. I look at things with a positive attitude when difficulties occur and get in my way. The FJYPB has helped me to be more confident and to use the knowledge that I have learnt outside of my work with the board, such as using jargon-free words so that everyone can understand it.
I would like professionals to consider that everyone is different in their own special ways and they should respect everyone. Don’t treat every person the same. Think about the uniqueness of the child and tailor your work to their needs. You need to communicate with the child. Be sensitive to their/their family’s background and consider the impact this has on them. Finally, don’t make assumptions about people’s diversity and make sure you ASK questions.