GOLD Officers conceive the ADLN Photo-Campaign on Black Student Experience

by Khaliq Martin, Tanya Sengupta & Isis Harvey

  • GOLD Officers in collaboration with the Afro-Diasporic Legal Network deliver a Photo-Campaign highlighting the successes and challenges in Black student experience.
  • Students were resourced for their engagement through, their experiences were archived, and a facilitative healing session was organized to prioritize students to expand their self and communal care toolkits


The challenge of authentic communal engagement

COVID19 presented challenges for GOLD Officers and student leaders in their communal engagement with other students. We did not want this to deter involvement, as it is important to continue connection with each other during these unprecedented times.

It is also important for the GOLD programme to amplify BAME student voices.  Many of the workshops conducted by the programme were revolved around intercultural capacity and decolonizing the curriculum. Many student leaders exist in community that are black and doing amazing things, yet rarely do these accounts emerge at the forefront. There are many commonalities, both positive and negative, in our shared student experience that we wanted to address, all which community can learn from.

Thus, we conceived a Photo-Campaign that would provide a platform for BAME students to highlight their successes, as well as the adversity they face on campus.


What was the project and what was done?

The ADLN Photo-Campaign is intended to highlight student experiences of success and any issues from our University experience in hopes these areas can be improved.

The GOLD Officers created a subcommittee comprised of Black and East Asian students that partnered with the Afro-Diasporic Legal Network (ADLN) who offered the use of their digital platform. ADLN evidenced its suitability as a vehicle to deliver these experiences due to their pre-existing history of successfully archiving student experiences re: protests and BME student demands.

The GOLD Officers then applied for the World Bitesize Fund, collected student experiences, and promoted the project by contacting several African/Caribbean societies to elicit their participation. We also collaborated with @HumansofUKC who then shared these experiences on their Instagram account as well.


What was the outcome?

Through the Photo-Campaign, we created an avenue for students to be rewarded for sharing their experiences with community which we believe should be a consistent practice. This was achieved through the raffling of three Amazon vouchers valued at £100, £75, £50.

Furthermore, we created a space that invited Aina-Nia Ayo’dele Sacred Women International to deliver a healing session to students who identified their need to access well-being resources. We later adjusted this to offer a space that prioritized women that were both student and staff in light of the death of Sarah Everard and state violence at the Clapham Common vigil earlier in the month.

Additionally, we compiled these narratives and published them in an online zine with the help of ADLN. The Photo-Campaign can be found on ADLN’s Instagram here and the online zine is now live and can be found on ADLN’s Issuu here.


Call to action

We thank the GOLD programme for what we’ve learned, as well as the Dean of Internationalization and all affiliates for awarding the World Bitesize Fund to the project.

The GOLD Officers would like to thank our entire sub-committee for this student-led initiative; Brittany Smart, Khaliq Martin, Tanya Sengupta, Isis Harvey, Amira Yunni, J’aine Adu – Agyeman and all of our participants in the campaign.

We would also like to say a special thank you to Ainy Shiyam for her amazing work in designing the template which served to capture these student experiences in our publications.

We hope to see more projects of this nature, for students, by students. We also encourage future officers to continue to amplify the voices of marginalized students through similar projects – highlighting success, which often goes unnoticed, as well as changes that need to be made.

Authors: Khaliq Martin, Tanya Sengupta, Isis Harvey – Global Officers in Leadership Development for the Dean of Internationalization