Black Lives Matter
Essex UCU Branch Committee Statement
The Essex UCU Branch Committee stands in solidarity with all those protesting against police brutality and White supremacy in the United States and around the world. As in America, Black people in the UK are victim to violence and discrimination that compromises their ability to live with dignity and safety.
We are horrified and disgusted by the racist messages posted by some members of our own student body here at Essex. We cannot pretend that Essex is immune to racist discrimination and abuse and we must redouble our efforts to fight it.
In addition to the measures already promised, we urge the university management to show its commitment to anti-racism and Black Liberation in the UK by:
- Undertaking and publishing Equality Impact Assessments of all policies and procedures to document racial bias and discrimination, both direct and indirect.
- Performing an urgent census of the race pay gap at the University, with special attention paid to the correlation between race and insecure/precarious contracts.
- Publishing these details on the University website and taking action to address them, including refusing to make financial cuts which will exacerbate these race disparities.
- Taking meaningful steps to support staff in decolonizing the curriculum, encouraging and incentivising inclusivity of thought and deed in all arenas of study, research and discourse, and addressing the BAME attainment gap.
- Reforming policies and practices which directly or indirectly discriminate against BAME recruitment and those which deny Black members of staff access to secure employment and promotions.
- Rejecting government policies and metrics that contribute to racial disparities in higher education.
- Organising access and outreach programmes that will increase access to higher education for BAME students.
- Involving BAME communities in the University, and where appropriate, in the wider community to co-design strategy, policy, structures, academic development, and other modes of action not just in relation to racism issues, but widely as part of a meaningful inclusivity agenda.
- Developing an international agenda that promotes and incorporates solidarity of action to protect all minority groups across the world against racism and encourage and incentivize students from these communities to study and research at Essex.
- Taking a zero tolerance policy towards all institutional, structural, and individual racism, especially as it is manifested in racist discrimination, harassment, and violence at the university, and accelerate the process of adoption of the Race Charter. Groups or individuals that support racism (directly or indirectly) have no home at the University of Essex.
Similarly, we call on the UK trade union movement to show active solidarity with anti-racist work being undertaken around the world and we commit, locally, to:
- Seek out the voices of BAME people within and close to our organisations and read and listen to them;
- Support BAME staff and students who have suffered direct forms of racism including racist abuse and discrimination at work, and both direct and indirect forms of institutional racism that manifest in unthinking policy and procedures;
- Engage proactively in anti-racist work through Equality & Diversity working groups, particularly with a view to tackling institutional and structural racism within institutions;
- Support and amplify the work of other groups committed to fighting racism;
- Centre the race pay gap and race-based contract precarity gap in the anti-casualisation and anti-discrimination work we do.
We call on our members to show active solidarity with anti-racism movements. Below you can find many resources for how to take concrete and immediate actions of support.
Together we can and must fight the racism that is so detrimental to the lives of so many of our friends, students, and colleagues – so many human beings – both at the University of Essex and around the world. Now is the time to act.
Essex UCU Branch Committee
How can I help Black Lives Matter in the UK?
Links to petitions and open letters to sign, templates for emails to send, etc.: https://docs.google.com/…/1x65xLdIUDWMUl4_nkuD-EeP98U…/edit…
‘Ways to Help’ – Black Lives Matter: https://blacklivesmatters.carrd.co/
Particularly their STREAM TO DONATE video. If you can’t donate money, stream the video (and watch the ads) and the ad revenue will go to BLM.
A collection of political education resources, GoFundMes, bail funds and more: https://docs.google.com/…/1CjZMORRVuv-I-qo4B0YfmOTq…/preview
UK-based groups and organisations to consider donating to:
UK Black Lives Matter: https://www.gofundme.com/f/ukblm-fund…
National Memorial Family Fund: https://uffcampaign.org/donatio…/mikey-powell-memorial-fund/
Prisoner Solidarity Network:
Community Action on Prison Expansion: https://cape-campaign.org/donate/
Green and Black Cross: https://greenandblackcross.org/get-involved/donate/
Contact British Transport Police: http://www.btp.police.uk/…/complaints_against_individuals.a…
Email Sadiq Khan: email@example.com
Email your MP: https://members.parliament.uk/
Anti-racism resources for allies: https://docs.google.com/…/1BRlF2_zhNe86SGgHa6-…/mobilebasic…
‘75 Things White People can do for Racial Justice’: https://medium.com/…/what-white-people-can-do-for-racial-ju…
Reading list on prisons, police, and abolition: https://docs.google.com/…/1a5gAhjDjAU0amXlKo-uw6FBOkD…/edit…
‘Why I’m No Longer Talking to White People About Race’ – Reni Eddo-Lodge (UK-focused): https://idiscover.lib.cam.ac.uk/primo-explore/search…