De Montfort University Leicester (DMU) has today fully endorsed a Universities UK (UUK) campaign to decisively tackle racial harassment and address racial inequality in higher education.
UUK has published a new set of recommendations which are the product of an advisory group convened after the Equality and Human Rights Commission last year uncovered widespread evidence of racial harassment on university campuses.
The UUK advisory group was informed by experts in the field and carried out in-depth consultation with panels of exclusively Black, Asian and minority ethnic students and staff with lived experience of racial harassment.
DMU is backing the recommendations and the university’s own Decolonising DMU programme is featured in a set of case studies UUK has used to illustrate how to begin to bring about necessary change.
DMU has also pledged to ensure Black, Asian and minority ethnic students and staff have the opportunity to have their voices heard. The university will hold open forums before Christmas and again in the new year so students and staff will influence and guide the work to eliminate racial inequality across campus.
Interim Pro Vice Chancellor for Equality, Diversity and Inclusion Kaushika Patel said: “We are committed to continually review how we stop racial harassment and inequality on our campus and we have pledged to take on the recommendations published by UUK today
“At DMU, we recognise that the scale of the challenge stretches far beyond the curriculum. The Equality and Diversity work of the University, the Race Equality Charter action plan, Decolonising DMU and the Black, Asian and minority ethnic staff network aims to identify, examine, discuss and improve understanding to create an anti-racist university that allows everybody to succeed.
“Everyone must engage in challenging conversations in order for meaningful change to be possible.”
The UUK recommendations can be found here and DMU will continuously review, challenge and address racial inequalities. Work already ongoing includes:
- Using the outcomes of a two year-funded project - Freedom to Achieve - to adapt teaching and learning to be more inclusive and supporting staff to decolonise their curriculum (eg https://library.dmu.ac.uk/decolonisingDMU/home).
- DMU have successfully signed off a university wide policy and a portal for reporting incidents anonymously, the 'No Space for Hate' Project will launch in early 2021 to support students who are victims or witness of hate and harassment
- Developing a central pool of recruiters to enable greater diversity on job selection panels.
- Appointing three new research fellows in The Stephen Lawrence Research Centre to take a national lead in helping to better understand the complexities of race and racism in contemporary Britain while addressing the lack of Black, Asian and minority ethnic representation in higher education.
- Involving students in Decolonising DMU with them organising events focussing on hearing their voice and producing a number of videos by Black, Asian and minority ethnic students which are used during new student inductions.
Find out more about equality, diversity and inclusion at DMU via our dedicated webpages. You can also find out more about the Decolonising DMU project by visiting the microsite.
Posted on Tuesday 24th November 2020