Keele academic named as Stonewall Role Model of the Year

A Keele academic has received a prestigious Stonewall award in acknowledgement of her commitment to inclusion and equality.

Dr Fiorella Montero-Diaz, Lecturer in Ethnomusicology at Keele University, has been named as Stonewall Role Model of the Year for the Midlands region. The charity commended her work as a BAME LGBTI lecturer, her participation in the BAME Voices Stonewall documentary, the organisation of LGBTI awareness events at Keele, and her commitment to dialogues on equality, diversity, and inclusion in higher education across universities in the UK.

Dr Montero-Diaz received the award at the Stonewall Regional Awards ceremony in Nottingham on 7 February.

Upon receiving the award, Dr Montero-Diaz said: “Keele is a fantastic place that has welcomed me with open arms and has supported my activism since day one.

“As a BAME LGBTI lecturer, I consider it very important to be a visible role model. I am convinced that it is hard to imagine what you can’t see when you are young. How can an 18-year-old LGBTI student, maybe from a conservative background, imagine getting to a place and time where they are healthy, happy and working in an inclusive place? Seeing this with your own eyes, surely makes a positive future feel much more feasible.

“Keele places great importance on having LGBTI Role Models and Allies, so we are delighted that our work to promote inclusion, equality and diversity has been recognised in this way.”

Pro-Vice Chancellor for Advancement and Global Engagement, Professor Shane O’Neill said: “We are really proud of Fiorella for being recognised with this well deserved award. She truly is an outstanding role model for LGBTI colleagues and students, for those from BAME backgrounds and indeed for all members of the Keele community. Fiorella has brought such enthusiasm and joy to the events she has organised to ensure that everyone at Keele feels welcome, fully included in all we do, and entirely comfortable being themselves and expressing their identities.

“Our LGBTI Role Models and Allies programmes owe a great deal to Fiorella’s energy and creativity, and for that we are very grateful.”