Category Archives: Ethnicity

Inspirational Diversity Champion of the Month – November 2020

October is Black History Month and also on 16 October it is World Food Day.  With that in mind we have chosen Marcus Rashford as our Inspirational Diversity Champion of the month.

Marcus is a professional footballer who plays for Manchester United.  He was bought by his mum who often struggled to afford food to provide meals for Marcus and his siblings.

The issue of food poverty for families and children had always therefore been something that Marcus was very keen to help with and he has been working with the charity FareShareUK to raise money to supply meals for 3 million vulnerable people.  During the coronavirus lockdown the government insisted that food vouchers for families on free school meals would not be extended outside of term time so he decided to act.

He wrote an open letter to all MPs calling for the decision to be reversed.  The letter drew on his own experiences growing up relying of free school meals and food banks.  He asked that the government make the U turn to protect the lives of the most vulnerable which was not about politics but about humanity.  In June 2020 it was confirmed that he had been successful in his quest and the government changed their mind and extended the scheme through the school holidays.

He has now formed a taskforce with some of the UK’s biggest food brands to continue the work to reduced child food poverty and backed proposals from the National Food Strategy, for an independent review of UK food policy.  Marcus is confident that the group could help change lives for the better and is hoping that with a bigger team of experts he will be able to help more children.

To find out more about Marcus see here https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Marcus_Rashford

To find out more about Black History Month see here https://www.blackhistorymonth.org.uk/

To find out more about World Food Day see here http://www.national-awareness-days.com/world-food-day/

Queenie author Candice Carty-Williams wins British Book Award

Candice Carty-Williams has said she feels “proud” but “sad” to become the first black author to win book of the year at the British Book Awards.

Her critically acclaimed debut novel, Queenie, fended off titles from authors including Lisa Taddeo, Oyinkan Braithwaite and Margaret Atwood.

She’s joined on the winner’s podium by Bernardine Evaristo, who was named author of the year.

Her Booker-winning novel, Girl, Woman, Other, won fiction book of the year. More

Black Lives Matter: a statement from the Vice-Chancellor, GSU officers, Chairs of EDI Committee & Chair of BAME staff network

We stand together in solidarity with our black students and staff.

As a university community and as individuals we are appalled by the senseless racist killing of George Floyd in the USA. We are equally saddened that the UK is not innocent. We know Sheku Bayoh, Kingsley Burrell, Sarah Reed, and many others have died in police custody in this country. We also all know about the racially motivated murder of Stephen Lawrence.

We need to see the situation for what it is and we need to be honest: these experiences exist and structural racism is present in our communities and in our universities. As employers, educators, researchers and community leaders we have a duty to act and an important part to play, and we should start with apologising for not doing enough and for not confronting racism with the urgency it deserves.

We also know saying this isn’t sufficient. We have a duty to do better. Equality, diversity and inclusion are founding principles of our institution and core beliefs of our students and staff. We know that world events and media coverage shouldn’t be the only driver for change but recent events and feedback from staff and students tells us that we need to do more.

With this in mind, we are committing to a review of all of our equality and diversity work and by the end of September 2020 we will be sharing our detailed plan of action setting out how we will do more to achieve systemic and long-lasting change for our students and staff. As part of this, we will be reflecting on the work done by the Equality, Diversity and Inclusion Committee, the BAME attainment gap project and the BAME Staff Network.

The Vice-Chancellor will also be appointing a member of staff to work directly with her 1-2 days per week, on a secondment basis, to champion and deliver this important work.

We recognise that we also have a responsibility to educate ourselves and we will shortly be sharing resources for students and staff across the university.

In the meantime, we recognise how tough, hurtful, and traumatising the last few weeks have been to our black students and staff.

If you need support now, or at any time in the future, you can contact the Wellbeing Service or GSU Advice Service (for students) or the Employee Assistance Programme, a wellbeing champion or a member of Human Resources (for staff).

You can also join our BAME Staff Network (by emailing Natasha Abreo) or GSU’s BAME Student Society by emailing Mayo Femi-Obalemo, or email any suggestions you may have about how the university should take further action to Naseer Ahmad or Simone Murch from our EDI team.

Black lives matter.

Professor Jane Harrington

Vice-Chancellor and on behalf of the University of Greenwich

Dr Sandhi Patchay

Chair and on behalf of the University of Greenwich BAME Staff Network

GSU Officers

On behalf of Greenwich Students’ Union

Gail Brindley, Director of HR & Professor Mark O’Thomas, PVC, Faculty of Liberal Arts and Science, Co-Chairs, and on behalf of the Equality, Diversity and Inclusion Committee at the University of Greenwich

Trailblazer playwright on the need to keep black British history alive

In 2003 Winsome Pinnock was described as the “Godmother of Black British playwrights” – and the label has stuck. She has a new play at the Royal Exchange theatre in Manchester which digs into attitudes in Britain to the historical slave trade between Africa and the Caribbean.

Pinnock has encountered several people lately who were convinced British playwrights had already written about British involvement in the African slave trade – finally outlawed in 1833.

“In fact until recently almost no one here had written about it,” she says. “I suspect people remember certain films or they think of the African American plays which have been produced over the years. But that’s not our story.”

By “our story” Pinnock means all Britons, regardless of skin colour. More

‘Birdgirl’ Mya-Rose Craig receives Bristol University honorary doctorate

A teenage birdwatcher has urged students to “tackle the environmental crisis” as she received an honorary doctorate at the age of 17.

Mya-Rose Craig, also known as Birdgirl, set up Black2Nature to help engage more children from minority ethnic backgrounds (BAME) in conservation.

She received the doctor of science degree from the University of Bristol.

The environmentalist posts on Twitter as BirdGirlUK and is thought to be the UK’s youngest recipient of the award. More

Rose Hudson-Wilkin: First black female bishop consecrated

The first black woman to become a Church of England bishop has been consecrated at St Paul’s Cathedral.

The Rev Dr Rose Hudson-Wilkin was consecrated as the Bishop of Dover during the ceremony in London.

Dr Hudson-Wilkin said: “I’m excited, I’ve got lots of new people to meet, to get to know, and that fills me with joy.”

The former chaplain to the speaker of the house succeeds the Rt Revd Trevor Willmott who retired in May.

Dr Hudson-Wilkin was 14 when she joined the ministry and said she never thought becoming a bishop would be possible. More

Booker Prize: Margaret Atwood and Bernardine Evaristo share award

Margaret Atwood and Bernardine Evaristo have been named the joint winners of the 2019 Booker Prize after the judges broke their rules by declaring a tie.

Atwood’s The Testaments, the Canadian writer’s follow-up to The Handmaid’s Tale, was recognised alongside Londoner Evaristo’s novel Girl, Woman, Other.

The pair will split the literary award’s £50,000 prize money equally.

The Booker rules say the prize must not be divided, but the judges insisted they “couldn’t separate” the two works.

Atwood, 79, is the oldest ever Booker winner, while Evaristo is the first black woman to win. More

Celebrating Black History Month

Don’t miss the Black Excellence exhibition in Dreadnought and online – it’s just one of the events organised by the GSU and the BAME Staff Network. 4 October 2019 

The Students’ Union exhibition space in Dreadnought is hosting the Black Excellence exhibition, which celebrates and highlights the success of black students, staff and alumni from our university community.  Throughout the month it will feature a series of weekly exhibitions: 

  • Black leaders featuring staff, students and alumni
  • Black cultures through art and fashion
  • Black entrepreneurs in our university community and
  • Black alumni.

Our BAME Staff Network is also launching in Black History Month, with a launch event on 8 October, which is one of many events they have organised.

For more details of the events organised throughout the month, please see the events listings below.
https://www.gre.ac.uk/events/staff-events

Team GB’s only black swimmer: ‘I understand why girls would quit over their hair’

“I vividly remember a black girl saying at training that the reason black girls don’t swim is because of their hair.

“I was about 12 or 13 at the time and had never thought of the idea of hair stopping you from swimming. Now that I am older I can fully understand why someone would quit over their hair.”

Alice Dearing, a 22-year-old student at Loughborough University, is one of Great Britain’s top female marathon swimmers.

She’s also currently the only black swimmer on Team GB and is only the second to represent them in the water. More