QMUCU members are invited to join an Anti-Racism Training and Workshop organised by QMUCU Friday 13 November at 1.30pm London time.
In 2019, QMUL’s own Diversity and Inclusion Manager resigned from her post in frustration at the university’s ‘tick box mentality’, its watered-down commitments to equality, and the utter failure to tackle harassent and bullying on campus. QMUL, in her words, was ‘institutionally racist’.
Our Principal and other members of the senior management team continue to make loud gestures to equality and inclusion. They hide behind glossy promotional materials, PR slogans and accolades won through imperfect, surface-level readings of diversity on campus. Concerns raised repeatedly by staff and students about experiences of racism, discrimination, and abuse are absorbed into opaque bureaucratic procedures or ignored entirely. Reports are partly censored, and ‘bad news’ is suppressed.
We in QMUCU demand more from our place of work and study. We want to see the vast archive of criticisms and complaints transformed into meaningful structural change. Because we can’t rely on senior management for this to happen, QMUCU is planning a series of workshops on anti-racism in the university for the 2020-21 academic year. Together with activists and organisers, we will be offering practical advice and training for members and asking them to take these lessons into their Schools and Departments as well as into our unions, challenging institutional racism and building networks of care and solidarity.
The first of these workshops will take place Friday 13 November 1.30-3pm. This first training session aims at discussing ways of developing our union as an inclusive place and as a community which effectively enables members’ anti-racist work. We want to discuss and reflect on racism in the university, but also on who we, QMUCU members, are, and what we want to become.
The training will be led by Professor Gargi Bhattacharyya, Dr Akanksha Mehta, and Christopher Nicholas (UCU Equality support official for race, religion or belief). They will share their experiences of antiracist work, of engaging with students and local communities, and of working toward making the UCU an enabler of antiracist work in UK universities. A collective discussion will follow their presentations, and allow everyone to share their concerns, experience, knowledge and ideas about how to equip ourselves and how to best use the structure and resources of the branch to work toward an anti-racist university.
We will also be using this space to be in solidarity with Prof. Bhattacharyya as she is one of 11 colleagues at UEL facing forced redundancy, and hear more about what’s happening around the sector and how to mobilise with our colleagues.
The training will be held online and is open to all QMUCU members. Please register here.
Registration is open until Friday 13 November 12pm.
If you would like to join QMUCU’s anti-racism working group, or would be interested in collaborating on anti-racism work please contact firstname.lastname@example.org and we will get in touch.
The QMUCU Anti-Racism Working group and the QMUCU Branch Committee