Black Lives Matter.
Black students are 3x more likely to drop out of their studies than their white counterparts
Black people are 40x more likely to be stopped and searched by the Police than white people
There are only 25 Black women professors in the entire UK education system
Things have to change.
The murder of George Floyd in the USA has unleashed an outpouring of grief, pain and anger at the long standing treatment of Black people at the hands of law enforcement – not just in the USA but across the world, and here in the UK too.
As a Guild of Students, we stand 100% in solidarity with the Black Lives Matter movement. We know many of our students will be involved in Black Lives Matter organising in Birmingham and beyond. We thank you for your work and we stand right beside you in fighting for a world with no racism, no hatred and no bigotry.
Things have to change if we are to end racism. They have to change in our University, in our communities, in our governments and in our Guild of Students.
What are we going to do?
As a Guild of Students, we’re going to actively make space to build and fight for racial justice. The Guild of Students exists to support students to build a better UCB, build a better Birmingham, and build a better world. We have a 5 point plan of action:
- We are committing to ensuring all of our staff team, officer team and volunteers, whether that’s society leaders or course reps, undertake training in understanding racism and unconscious bias. Alongside this, we will make sure we equip all of our course reps and academic representatives to understand racial inequality in education, and how we can tackle this at UCB. Sign up for this training today.
- Today, we are launching a Black Lives Matter society, with £2000 of funding, to support your work in anti-racist campaigning whether that’s in your classroom, in your communities or across the world. We know your lives don’t begin and end at UCB, and that the things you do at college or university exist at home and in your local communities too. We firmly believe in, “nothing about us, without us”. This society will be led by and directed by Black students – so if you’re interested in getting involved, sign up here. We know many of you are tired and exhausted, and the last thing you want to do is take on another responsibility. However we also wanted to make sure we made the resources available as soon as possible to support you.
- We will start working on our Race Equity Strategy. Not only will we look at what we can do to build towards a truly anti-racist Guild of Students, both in words and in action, but we’ll be looking at the change we want to influence in UCB, Birmingham and wider society too. We will do this in conjunction with our Black Lives Matter society, other student and liberation societies and all interested students.
- We have been heartened by the amount of students getting in touch of all races saying that they support Black Lives Matter and want to learn more to educate themselves about how to be anti-racist. We have set up a resource section of the website where you can access free information, guidance, documentaries, radio shows and other sources to learn more about racism and anti-racism, and how you can be an ally. Access these resources here.
- Finally, one of our most important responsibilities is to the Black members of our student family. We will be providing signposting, resourcing and guidance to support services, community groups and resources at UCB. Access them here.
This is just the beginning of our work. We are committed to building an anti-racist world, and to do that we know it will take a huge amount of work. We want to build the trust of all of our students in their Guild of Students, and we hope we can begin to do that with this important work.