Rizzoli Education, the Mondadori Group educational publishing house, long engaged in providing educational content and innovative products for learning, is adopting an awareness programme that aims to give schools increasingly inclusive models.
Conscious of the responsibility involved in the production of teaching materials, Rizzoli Education is also promoting a series of concrete actions that place increasing attention on issues such as gender equality, which is also at the heart of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.
Starting from these inspiring principles, the project aims to bring the educational community, both female and male students, their families and teachers closer to the values of gender equality, multiculturalism and inclusion, precisely because plurality of thought is able to offer new opportunities.
Based on these keywords, Rizzoli Education has developed a manifesto, a declaration of values and intentions that was outlined today by Alessandra Porcelli, the editorial director of Rizzoli Education.
“We present a manifesto that is an expression of the values we believe in and the inspiring principles that guide our entire business and that we have matured thanks to our many years of collaboration with Irene Biemmi, a specialist in gender pedagogy at the University of Florence.
As publishers, we constantly deal with such issues, which are of increasing interest, not only in the media and in everyday life, but, in particular, in the world of education and textbooks. Issues on which there is still a long way to go and to which we want to contribute. We do it and we will continue to do so, thanks to the opportunities that we have every day to work alongside with teachers in the development path of new generations. Citizens that we hope will learn to be aware, free from prejudices, and stereotypes of any kind and able to respect and enhance difference,” said Alessandra Porcelli, editorial director of Rizzoli Education.
The manifesto will be presented during a live streaming event organised by Rizzoli Education featuring the participation and testimonies of a range of voices from the worlds of journalism, research, publishing, business, the arts and sport.
They include, the sociolinguist Vera Gheno, the journalist Francesca Mannocchi, the swimmer Federico Morlacchi, the professor of pedagogy Dario Ianes and Francesca Rigolio, Chief Diversity Officer and Head of Human Resources for the Book Division of the Mondadori Group, who underlined:
“Education has always been a fundamental lever for the redistribution of skills and for the best allocation of talent in the labour market and the Rizzoli Education project fully perceive this spirit and interprets its role in a proactive and innovative way,” said Francesca Rigolio, Chief Diversity Officer and Head of Human Resources for the Book Division of the Mondadori Group. “The organisation that a community, and so a company, gives itself has significant consequences on the structure of the opportunities, not only material, that are available to the people who are part of it. By creating a specific Diversity&Inclusion function, the Mondadori Group aims to improve the balance of opportunities offered to its staff, while promoting an inclusive culture against discrimination”, concluded Rigolio.
The event organized by Rizzoli Education will be an opportunity for a reflection and an exchange of the inspiring principles of the publishing house’s project:
Saying no to stereotypes and prejudices.
Valuing people and not their gender. There are no predetermined roles, only female or only male. Women and men are equals in society and in any other context in which they can express their skills and personality.
Looking at plurality and inclusiveness.
Conscious of the changes taking place in society, Rizzoli Education aims to stimulate an inclusive and respectful vision of differences, in line with the principles of fairness and equality, equal opportunities and non-discrimination, adopting an attitude that values differences and reflects a plural and multifaced world.
Language affects reality.
Language and the way we express ourselves are the tools that affect the perception of oneself and others. This is why Rizzoli Education has undertaken to use both verbal and visual language in textbooks that contributes to deconstructing the stereotypes conveyed by language through the research of inclusive and neutral solutions and that do not express prejudice.
Helping to reconfigure the imagination of younger generations.
This commitment is aimed at proposing non-sexist female and male representations and avoiding other forms of prejudice, stereotypes and discrimination, providing more open, aware and free models for both female and male students. The hope of Rizzoli Education is that younger generations, to whose education the company’s books contribute, will be able to expand the possibilities of building their own identity and planning their future, in both educational and professional contexts, as well as in their life choices.
These are the inspiring principles that Rizzoli Education carries out in its daily activity as a publisher of books for schools, making use of the scientific advice of experts on issues of gender and plurality.
Through its collaboration with Erickson, Rizzoli Education has also implemented a series of guidelines focused in particular on issues of gender equality developed by Irene Biemmi.
These indications have resulted in a handbook that has been shared with all the people involved in the creation of textbooks: authors, illustrators, picture researchers, and editors. The overall focus is on a balanced representation of genders, i.e. the protagonists and authors, with a specific focus on textual and visual language through inclusive solutions which leave no space for stereotyped or conventional visions in textbooks.
This project is the result of Rizzoli Education’s many years of experience, both in the development of guidelines on gender equality issues and on content supervision aimed at ensuring compliance with the publishing house’s inspiring principles.
In fact, in 2018 Rizzoli Education, again in collaboration with Erickson and Irene Biemmi, launched the Obiettivo Parità (Objective: parity) project for primary schools: a programme specifically monitored and overseen by Irene Biemmi for the selection of anthological content, language, illustrations and of gender balance in entire works in general.
Five years after the launch of Obiettivo Parità, Rizzoli Education has decided to extend its attention to the principles of gender equality to all of its production, broadening the spectrum of values with a more general reference also to plurality, as featured in the manifesto.
The full presentation of the Rizzoli Education manifesto will be available in live streaming today on the Rizzoli Education YouTube channel https://rizzoli.page.link/41021 today from 4:30 pm.
The Rizzoli Education illustrated manifesto for gender equality and plurality has been realized by Nicolò Canova.