"Excellence without Exclusion’ is not just about opening doors – it is about opening minds."

Director of Strategic Development & Impact, Louise Perry, discusses what we mean by "Inclusion."

Once you have removed your own limited idea of who is part of  ‘Everyone’ you have the opportunity to harness the power of ideas you would never have imagined, words you could not have spoken and worldviews you have never experienced. This collective valuing of the individual is what makes our difference. Through this, and the shared creative adventure which follows, we strive for excellence – we at Chickenshed believe we achieve this BECAUSE of the people we have included.

The phrase communicates the fundamental principle we have that ‘inclusion’ is natural but the society in which we live works really hard to avoid this natural inclusion and ‘exclude’.

From the other side, it can appear that systems and structures that we have generated to ‘organise’ our society work from principles of separation and limitation. For those of us who have benefited from achieving through an inclusive system inclusion makes sense, but ‘inclusion’ can be interpreted in different ways which can sometimes be just as exclusive and excluding as the systems we are seeking to change. So it was important for us to make this point by identifying within the phrase that if you weren’t ‘including’ you were ‘excluding’.

We call it "excellence" without exclusion because of our affirmation that this process does not rely on an acceptance of compromise – of standards or achievement or quality. That would be the assumption – it is morally good but not good in its own right. We believe our work does achieve excellence – and simultaneously provides those involved, either as participants or as observers, with an opportunity to re-evaluate their value system and make sure that it reflects the world they want to be part of.