The SU reflects on celebrating the history of the Black community.
As we approach the end of October, we wanted to reflect on Black History Month this year – a month to celebrate and reflect upon the history of the Black community. We recognise that all of us should be educating ourselves and having conversations around Black history and surrounding topics all year round, but Black History Month is an opportunity to actively make sure we’re doing just that.
The Black community have contributed and achieved in so many industries over the years, overcoming the barriers our society has presented based on skin colour. These barriers persist – which is why we should all be working towards addressing our own racial biases, whether these are conscious or unconscious.
As an SU we aim to be actively anti-racist; we unreservedly condemn any discriminatory or hateful behaviour or language directed towards any Black students. We are extremely conscious that both the University of Bath and The SU is predominantly white. This makes it even more important that we continually work to liberate and amplify the voices of Black students.
Last year we asked Black students what they wanted to see from The SU during Black History Month. The feedback indicated that our Black student community would like to see The SU utilising Black History Month to engage with students to develop anti-racism work and work towards implementing long-term changes. Therefore, we want to talk about what we’ve done so far this academic year to ensure that Black student voice is represented, and anti-racism and Black student inclusion is a priority for The SU and the University:
We’ve finished drafting the SU’s new Equality, Diversity and Inclusivity strategy. One of the main three themes in this strategy is “Equity in Race & Ethnicity”. Some of the sub-themes we’ll be focussing on under this theme include supporting student leaders of colours, inclusive language, and improving diversity of events. We’re in the process of consulting students on this strategy and we’re really excited for this strategy to shape our anti-racist work.
We have recently elected 3 anti-racist representatives – these reps will be joining various workstreams of the University’s Race Equality Taskforce.
Our anti-racist reps will also sit on our new SU Liberation Network (LibNet) – a network of students designed to be the hub of student voice on equality, diversity, and inclusion issues.
We’ve been liaising with University staff to coordinate the Student Anti-Racist Action Group through Race Equality Taskforce, to ensure work in this area is centralised.
We launched our new Inclusivity Award this month! This gives student leaders an opportunity to actively ensure their work is inclusive to all groups of students, including ethnic minorities.
We are still looking to fill several positions – these positions are so important to ensure Black student voice is embedded into all our anti-racism work and initiatives:
Please email firstname.lastname@example.org if you’re interested in taking on any of these roles!
We are looking forward to continuing to celebrate the Black community throughout the year, to ensure that our work is not limited to Black History Month. Look out for our Citizen’s Assembly planned for Semester 2 which will be focussed on racial inequality at Bath.
We know we have more to do and want to make sure what we’re doing is in line with what our student community wants, so feel free to get in touch with any feedback on our approach to Black History Month.