Silence is an unacceptable response to racism. As your Students’ Union we accept that we have not done enough historically and presently to address issues regarding race. It is our deepest shame and we offer our Black and Ethnic Minority identifying students our sincerest apologies.
There has undoubtedly been a disproportionate amount of burden placed on Black and Ethnic Minority identifying students to represent their pain and explain their experiences, many times trying to convince us of what is actually well known to occur. Racism and discrimination is real and racism in modern society is regrettably rife.
We recognise that racial injustice is unspeakably grievous. We have experienced the untimely killings of Black people in recent times, most recently the tragic murder of George Floyd in Minnesota. We all have been called on to say their names: George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor, Belly Mujinga, Regis Korchinski-Paquet and many more.
Racism and discrimination has shown itself in all educational levels, in the healthcare system, policing and society at large. Now more than ever, we need to commit to tackling racism and discrimination.
We will increase focus on exploring and identifying more effective ways of bettering your experiences whilst continuing to work with the University to put action into these words, such as by decolonising the curriculum, closing the Black Attainment Gap, resourcing BAME-specific councillors, and supporting other initiatives currently being put forward.
We are committed to better amplifying the visibility of, the empathy towards, and the dialogue with Black and Ethnic Minority students.
We stand in solidarity with our Black students. Black Lives Matter.
Here are some useful links for donations, petitions and information regarding current events:
Co-authored by Cindy Ikie, Black & Ethnic Minorities Officer, and Shekina Ortom, Vice President Heath Park. Supported by the 19-20 Elected Officer team; Jackie Yip - Students' Union President, Nick Fox - Vice President Postgraduate Students, Tomos Evans - Vice President Education, Jude Pickett - Vice President Sports & AU President, Orla Tarn - Vice President Societies and Volunteering, and James Wareham - Vice President Welfare and Campaigns.
Read the statement on the Black & Ethnic Minorities Officer and future representation.