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Statement Deploring Systemic Racism

Published: 11th June, 2020

We in the University of Leicester UCU are appalled and outraged by the murder of George Floyd and by the systemic structures of racism in the United States that have created, maintained, and advanced police brutality and violence against Black lives. We deplore all violence against Black lives in the United States and the UK. We send our love, solidarity, and support to George Floyd’s family and friends, and support those marching for justice across the world and our Black colleagues. We affirm that Black Lives Matter.

We call for the University to act on its pledges, and work with us in identifying and addressing the institutional racism that is around us. Examining and changing existing structures and bureaucracy, and those who control them to be more inclusive of different perspectives in relation to teaching, learning and power.  As Audre Lorde pointed out:

For the master’s tools will never dismantle the master’s house. They may allow us to temporarily beat him at his own game, but they will never enable us to bring about genuine change.

We demand, both of the union, and the University, that together, we work towards creating an anti-racist society and anti-racist institutions by taking the following steps:

  • Accept and believe reports of racial trauma and racism from staff and students.
  • Have antiracist training for all colleagues, especially those whose privilege means that they have not experienced racism.
  • Provide effective mechanisms to pursue justice against those colleagues who reinforce racist practices, processes and structures rather than protecting them from investigation. 
  • Recognise the diverse experiences and histories of minority groups in Britain and indeed within the university and reject the homogenous, imposed BAME terminology.
  • Support and retain Black, East Asian, South Asian, and other minority staff by acknowledging their experience on campus is different to that of the majority and by ensuring fair and effective representation of these groups on all committees, not just the Equality, Diversity and Inclusivity committee.

If you are a Black member of staff or student, we want to hear from you and support you. We affirm that now and forever, Black Lives Matter.