Last week we published a joint statement between our Students’ Union, Trade Unions UCU and Unison, colleague networks and our University that stated our clear support for Black Lives Matter and our stance against racism in all its forms.
We also stated our intent to publish a list of commitments that we will be making as an organisation to ensure an actively anti-racist, inclusive and safe environment for all of us to study and work in.
As a collective we are committed to:
1. Decolonising and diversifying our curriculum and teaching practices
2. Addressing awarding gaps and eliminating all gaps associated with success measures for all BME students
3. Further developing safe ways for colleagues and students to disclose and/or report harassment and unwanted behaviour supported by fair and transparent processes that enable required intervention
4. Assessing and developing cultural sensitivity and competence across a range of student facing activities and services
5. Conducting equal pay audits across all levels of our organisation, evaluating and acting on any BME-related salary disparities
6. Creating protocols for racial accountability at each level of the recruitment and promotion process and providing BME colleagues with access to professional development and advancement opportunities
7. Conducting regular monitoring to ensure EDI principles and actions are embedded in our structures and externally validated
8. Continuing to support the work of the Equality, Diversity and Inclusion Committee
9. Championing the work of the Diversity and Inclusion Research Community
10. Ensuring that every colleague undertakes equality and diversity training and can demonstrate cultural competence and sensitivity, together with high-quality development in cultural competence and sensitivity for all in leadership positions.
11. Financial support for the BME, LGBTIQ and Women of Westminster Networks alongside committed development hours for colleagues to join these and work within them
12. Working with the Students’ Union, Trade Unions, UCU and Unison, and the BME, LGBTIQ and Women of Westminster Networks to hear and take action, where appropriate, on direct feedback from colleagues and students facing discrimination
13. Expanding our reporting by ethnicity and use data to inform key strategic actions to continue to improve the workplace.
14. A University-wide celebration of Black History Month
15. Ensuring that EDI forms part of the Terms of Reference of all University, College and School committees.
The above list represents commitment to action informed by the demands of the BME Network, the Students’ Union and our Trade Unions, UCU and Unison, but it is not exhaustive. The work required to achieve this is detailed, multi-faceted and nuanced and we are looking forward to working in partnership to achieve long lasting change. The BME Network have published their demands:
and the Students’ Union have shared their statement. We are committed to working with them to create a safe and inclusive environment that recognises and celebrates difference and provides all people with the support and development they need to succeed.
Our next steps to delivering this will be to translate our commitments into tangible prioritised action points in dialogue with our Networks and Unions that will identify where we may need to add or move resource. Work on some of this has already begun but this is a collective call to action; we must work together to achieve these goals and we will be held accountable to these commitments.
We will be highlighting and celebrating black history, achievements and amplifying black voices through our events, public engagement and public affairs. We will report back on these commitments at a corporate level through our annual Equality, Diversity and Inclusion Report and this work will form a key part of our reporting against our United Nations Sustainable Development Goals which look directly at reducing inequality.
If you would like to share feedback or be involved in creating the change, please email [email protected].