Decolonising DMU project wins prestigious Green Gown Award

The team behind De Montfort University Leicester's (DMU) anti-racist programme has been recognised with another prestigious national award.

This time Decolonising DMU - working with the university's sustainability team - has won a Green Gown Award in the Diversity, Equity and Inclusion in Sustainability category.

RICHARD HALL green gown

Professor Richard Hall receives the Green Gown Award


The Decolonising and Decarbonising DMU entry impressed judges due to its aims to challenge racism and build an anti-racist university that creates fairness for all staff and students. 

The university’s mission through the project is to dismantle racist barriers and structures so that staff and students can succeed, by challenging racism, changing cultures and behaviours and improving representation, progression and talent.

Decolonising DMU is applied in every element of university life including within the Education for Sustainable Development team which was a prime focus for the Green Gown Awards category.

Decolonising DMU member Richard Hall, Professor of Education and Technology, said: "Working with our students to ensure that we are connecting decolonising and decarbonising lies at the heart of our Green Gown award.

"The Decolonising DMU team are delighted that these awards, sponsored by UKRI, recognise the centrality of our work across the university on diversity, equity and inclusion. Moreover, we are thrilled that this demonstrates our ongoing commitment to social justice."

Judges said in a statement that Decolonising DMU was “an important and impressive initiative that has been implemented in a creative and inclusive manner that has led to significant outcomes and broad engagement of staff, students, external bodies, and the wider sector.”


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They continued: “The Decolonising and Decarbonising DMU project has achieved various amounts of engagement, research, and development.

“It is rewarding to see how students and staff have been involved in some of the outcomes that have resulted from the project.”

Professor Katie Normington, Vice-Chancellor of DMU, said: "Our aim is to empower our students and staff and remove the barriers to achievement.

“Decolonising DMU is a fantastic example of this and I am delighted that the project has been acknowledged in this way."

The national Green Gown Awards, established in 2004, recognise the exceptional sustainability initiatives being undertaken by universities and colleges.

GREEN GOWN winner banner

The awards not only honour projects, initiatives and individuals for their positive contributions to their institution and communities, but also celebrate a commitment to aligning efforts with the United Nations’ (UN) Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

DMU’s Sustainability Team had been shortlisted in four categories this year. As well as winning the Diversity, Equity and Inclusion in Sustainability category the team was a finalist for Nature Positive in recognition of work to create a campus of greenery and biodiversity, Student Engagement: The Daria Project which offers students and staff the chance to learn to ride a bike and the individual Sustainability Champion of the Year in recognition of DMU’s Daria Brazhnyk, who is the Sustainable Supply Chains Coordinator.

Karl Letten, Sustainability Manager at DMU, said: “We are absolutely thrilled to be finalists in four different Green Gown Award categories this year.

“To be finalists in such diverse categories really demonstrates how the whole university community is embracing sustainability.”


Earlier this year the Decolonising DMU team was recognised nationally, by winning the Collaborative Award for Teaching Excellence (CATE) from higher education charity Advance HE.

In April, DMU became the first institution in the UK to receive a silver award in the Race Equality Charter (REC), a programme run by Advance HE, which aims to improve the representation, progression and success of minority ethnic staff and students within higher education.

Find out more about the Green Gown Awards

Posted on Friday 1 December 2023

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