Support for Black Lives Matter
The University published a statement in response to recent events in which we confirmed that: We stand with our BAME staff and students across the globe… and we are committed to creating and maintaining an inclusive learning and working environment, where equality is promoted, diversity is valued and discriminatory behaviour is not tolerated.
We also recognise the role that the University has in taking action to promote equality and the real challenges we still face to improve the experience and outcomes for our BAME students and to diversify our staff community; unlocking opportunities in recruitment, promotion and excellence.
Recently we have submitted an application for the Race Equality Charter which includes a substantial action plan, with challenging targets: to tackle racial literacy; enhance inclusive practice in teaching and learning; improve access for students from BAME backgrounds and reduce the BAME attainment gap; actions to diversify curriculum content and library collections; actions as an employer to reduce the ethnicity pay gap; improve BAME staff representation within the organisation, and embedding equality in our structures and governance.
This is significant work, and most importantly, our actions were established through our largest ever consultative exercise with more than 5,000 staff and students having conversations about race throughout 2018 and 2019. This is ongoing work and we are engaged with students through our Guild of Students and with staff through our BAME staff network. This work is a priority and the REC action plan does not sit in isolation. Our actions are aligned with the University’s overall strategic vision and with the priorities set out in our Access and Participation Plan for students and our wider Equality & Diversity Scheme.
In endorsing the REC submission the Vice-Chancellor wrote: “If we are to be successful in delivering changes in both practice and culture, we recognise the leadership role that I and my senior team must bring to bear to ensure that the whole university community is delivering on our ambitions. Change, in all areas, will not come quickly, but we are determined to see progress over the initial timetable for our action plan, building on the work that we have already out in place and focussed, through this application, to benefitting the whole of our community by making a difference to the lives and opportunities for individuals from all ethnic backgrounds.”
We recognise our collective responsibility to take action that will result in real change and we have committed to taking real steps to see that change delivered. I hope that this provides you with some reassurance that the University is not complacent about its role and that we are already taking action. We will continue to work with our stakeholders and continue to listen to the voices of our students and staff to understand their experiences to inform our ongoing activity.
Equality & Diversity Student Ambassadors
The University's E&D Student Ambassadors have partnered with Library Services to curate a resource list to facilitate the learning on BAME inclusion and anti-racism in HE. Students and staff are encouraged to explore the suggested reading materials here.
Decolonising the Curriculum Conference
Birmingham students will be hosting the annual DTC Conference this June. This year's programme is a five-part series on Thursdays throughout June. All sessions are currently sold out (tickets may become available so please follow the event on Twitter @dtc_unibham). The event is 100% student-led and is supported by Student EDI team.
The Guild of Students Officer Team have published a statement and links to further resources here.
Students who require any support at this time can contact:
- UoB Pause who provide confidential advice and support for your mental health and wellbeing (use UoB login to access this link).
- The Multi-Faith Chaplaincy who offer a confidential listening service to students and staff of all faiths and none.
- Guild Advice who provide an impartial and confidential advice service to students - from the Guild of Students.