Ceremony Matters is to hold a new Diversity and Inclusion conference aimed at the funeral sector starting on the 10 October.
The ‘super conference’ is composed of three weekend conferences in October 2020, January 2021 and April 2021 covering gender, race, sexual orientation, disability, mental health and addiction with an extended pro- gramme over eight months offering discussion groups, book clubs, networking and an exclusive online community.
Founder Emma Curtis will be joined in seminars and discussions by experts with lived experience in each field of diversity, many of whom have working experience within the funeral industry.
Ceremony matters said the conference comes as The NHS, Department of Education, Armed Forces and Emergency Services all have well publicised declarations of allyship guided by the Equalities Act ensuring that everyone is treated equally with dignity and respect, but there has been no similar move in the funeral industry until now.
The conference will be exploring why there has been “no visible move’ to promote inclusion and equity in the funeral industry and will discuss what can be done to change this.
Curtis said: “Old habits need to be changed. We must learn a new language of equity if we are to serve our clients and families well. We need to become more aware of our words, attitudes and behaviour with our clients, before, after and within the ceremony.
“It is still common to see a celebrant asking colleagues for ‘a poem for an alcoholic’ or ‘suicide’. Ceremony personalisation should not include a generic poem chosen to define someone, by a professional who only sees one dimension. We are all unique and diverse. Individuality deserves to be acknowledged and honored as we mark the end of a life.”