We are Black history

Posted by cc576 at Oct 23, 2020 08:45 AM |
Blog by President of our Students’ Union Mia Nembhard and our President and Vice-Chancellor Nishan Canagarajah

President of our Students’ Union Mia Nembhard

Black History Month is an unfortunate compromise to learning and action that should take place as part of standard conversations and practice.

We need to harness that activism and awareness around Black History Month so it’s not just performative - it has to be meaningful and address harmful, systemic issues that are experienced by Black people.

Not just during October, but all year round - the Black experience and Black existence should be recognised and not othered or homogenised and so we will continue to encompass We Are Black History, started by the Students’ Union, and aimed to redress the idea of just a month a year of celebration and appreciation.

Our University community needs to have the courage to reflect on how we are complicit in the marginalisation and silencing of others, whether this is with our Black counterparts or anyone else at the intersections of liberation groups such as disabled, LGBT+, trans and women alike. Inclusion means nothing if you invite everyone to the table, but continue the very practices and behaviour that excludes them.

At the University of Leicester we need to see restorative justice in actions and structural challenges addressed across campus.

Our President and Vice-Chancellor Nishan Canagarajah

The University of Leicester has a proud history as one of the most diverse universities in the UK, so it is only right that we continue our efforts for racial equality in higher education and beyond.

Recognising the differing experiences of our Black students and staff, celebrating what they bring to the University and how they contribute to our success as a place to study and work is crucial.​ We need to ensure we provide the best opportunities for them to fulfil their ambitions and dreams.

Black History matters, which is why I am proud to support the Student’s Union’s We Are Black History campaign and we will be resolute in our pact to strive for social justice.

On my first day at the University of Leicester, I pledged to set the standard for diversity and inclusion in higher education and eliminate the awarding gap for Black students, to address the shortage of Black staff and decolonise the curriculum - and I intend to do everything I can to make that possible.

We are Citizens of Change, together we will make a difference.

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