Professor David Ruebain's Leadership Journey in Equality, Diversity, and Inclusion - A Preview of Vandu Languages and DRI's Annual Conference 2024

  • 04/03/2019
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Professor David Ruebain's Leadership Journey in Equality, Diversity, and Inclusion - A Preview of Vandu Languages and DRI's Annual Conference 2024

Professor David Ruebain is the Pro-Vice-Chancellor and Professor of Culture, Diversity, and Inclusion within the School of Law, Politics, and Sociology at Sussex University. Additionally, he serves as a consultant to the Premier League on equality issues.

On the 6th of March 2024 at Lewes Town Hall, Professor David will be the keynote speaker at our Annual Conference titled 'EDI – A Tick-box Exercise? The Impact of Equality, Diversity and Inclusion in Transforming Organisational Culture’.

He will discuss the topic ‘Can the Law Deliver Inclusion?’, covering the evolution of Equality, Diversity, and Inclusion in the UK, the role of advocates for EDI in legal and social frameworks, the opportunities and shortcomings in current law, and proposed strategies for improvement.

In this article, we will explore some of the highlights of his extensive career, providing insights into the topics that he aims to cover in our upcoming event.

Background and Development of Interest in EDI

Professor David was born with arthrogryposis, a condition characterised by limitations in the range of motion of joints, affecting various parts of the body. 

As a teenager in the 70s, he did not contemplate the idea of attending university. His parents, immigrants who had fled Syria and Iraq, had not pursued higher education themselves. Combined with his disability, these factors led those around him to believe that reaching university was beyond his capabilities.

Against all expectations, he secured admission to the University of Oxford, where he completed a Bachelor’s degree in Politics, Philosophy, and Economics.

Since then, Professor David has made significant contributions through widespread publications and national and international teaching on education, disability, and equality law and practice. He is a co-editor of all four editions of Blackstone’s Guide to the Equality Act.

Awards and Recognitions

Professor David stands as a distinguished recipient of numerous recognitions. In 2002, he won the esteemed RADAR’s People of the Year Award for his outstanding achievements in furthering the human rights of disabled people in the UK. 

His role in the drafting of civil rights legislation that spawned the most important anti-discrimination initiative for a generation - the 1995 Disability Discrimination Act (DDA), earned him a well-deserved spot on the shortlist for the Law Society’s Gazette Centenary Award for Lifetime Achievement in Human Rights in 2003.

In 2006, Disability Now Magazine recognised him as one of the 25 Most Influential Disabled People in the UK, and as a testament to his lasting impact, Professor David secured placements in the Disability Power Lists in 2014, 2015, and 2017. 

In October 2022 he was awarded an Honorary Doctorate by the University of Law in recognition of outstanding contributions to Equality, Diversity, and Inclusion, and his dedicated efforts in advancing human rights for disabled individuals.

Contributions to Sussex University

Professor David bears strategic responsibility for all facets of Culture, Equality, and Inclusion at Sussex University. Collaborating seamlessly with broader leadership and colleagues, he actively contributes to advancing the institution's commitment to creating genuinely inclusive environments.

In addition to his leadership role, he serves as the Professor of Culture, Diversity, and Inclusion within the School of Law, Politics, and Sociology. He is also the university’s Free Speech Officer.

Presentation at Vandu Languages and DRI’s Annual Conference

Professor David has garnered praise for his impactful contributions to the EDI movement. As the keynote speaker at the upcoming Vandu Languages and DRI’s Annual Conference, he brings a wealth of experience and insight.

With his presentation titled ‘Can the Law Deliver Inclusion?’, his participation promises to be a highlight of the conference, contributing to the event's mission of promoting actionable EDI strategies to transform organisational culture.

Confirm your Attendance Today!

While open to all, we kindly request confirming attendance through Eventbrite, your confirmation will contribute to a well-prepared event.

We aspire to bring together leaders from the public and voluntary sectors around Sussex, representatives from local councils and the NHS, HR professionals from local private sector businesses, academic institutions, EDI leaders spanning all these sectors, and, of course, our valued linguists, customers, volunteers, and community members.

Sabah Kaiser, Consultant and Language Ambassador for Vandu Languages, articulated, “We anticipate that the discussions among our distinguished speakers and the collaborative engagement of attendees will not only raise awareness about equality, diversity, and inclusion (EDI) but will also serve as a catalyst for actionable strategies”.


Event Details

Date: March 6th, 2024
Time: 4:00 pm to 7:00 pm
Venue: Lewes Town Hall, High Street, Lewes, BN7 2QS
Entry: Free. 

If you have any questions, please contact us at

Extend this invitation within your network, and share your thoughts and insights in the comments section below. Don't miss out—see you there


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