This information is the first of many steps to start deeper and more honest conversations about race to encourage our students and staff to listen to the BAME members of our community, hear their experiences, and recognise how we all can do better, as individuals and as an organisation. More
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
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
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
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
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
Alice Dearing, 22, could make history in 2020 by becoming the first black woman to represent Great Britain in swimming at the Olympics.
She speaks to BBC Sport about breaking down stereotypes in the sport – as well as everyday issues, such as how she manages her hair in the pool. More
Our Equality, Diversity and Inclusion Strategy and Action Plan set out how we will provide an environment where you can flourish and achieve your full potential.
We want to see the university reflect the diversity of the community we serve. To help us achieve this we are launching the Equality, Diversity and Inclusion (EDI) Strategy 2019-22, along with our Action Plan.
The key aims of the EDI strategy are:
- Continue to focus on improving the numbers of under-represented groups across all levels of the university.
- Aim to improve the educational achievement for all protected groups.
- Ensure a more inclusive curriculum and culture.
We see diversity as a strength which should be encouraged, celebrated and promoted across our staff and student communities.
To find out more about the actions we will take view the full strategy and action plan.
Author Sharna Jackson is something of a rarity.
As a black children’s writer, she’s already in a minority. But her debut book High-Rise Mystery, a detective story starring young black sisters and featuring a diverse cast, puts Jackson in an extra select league.
“When I was young, I kept on reading and watching but the representation wasn’t there,” Jackson tells BBC News. “It was hard to find role models outside popular culture.
“When I read, the default in my head was ‘white’. Unless the character was black, it wouldn’t be stated.”
Two Black Panther crew members made Oscar history by becoming the first black winners in their categories.
Ruth Carter scooped the costume design trophy, and Hannah Beachler shared the production design prize with Jay Hart.
“This has been a long time coming,” Carter said in her speech. “Marvel may have created the first black superhero but through costume design we turned him into an African king.”
Fellow Oscar winner Halle Berry was one of the first to congratulate her. More
Viewers and people with sickle cell disease have praised TV show Call The Midwife for its storyline portraying the condition.
In Sunday’s episode, which is set in 1964, characters Dr Turner and Nurse Trixie Franklin discover that a mysterious disease affecting a young Ghanaian family was a genetic blood disorder.
But it didn’t take long for viewers on social media to spot the symptoms and diagnose the condition as sickle cell.
Many took to social media to praise the period drama for its portrayal of the disease. More