From the Co-chairs of the BAME Staff Network:
Dear BAME Staff Network members and all University staff and students,
The BAME Staff Network wishes to express solidarity with all members of the Black staff and student university community, our local Black community in Canterbury and Medway, and our Black brothers and sisters across the nation in what has been a very upsetting and disturbing run of events following England’s defeat in the Euro 2020 final on Sunday. The racism to which the three marvellous England football team players, Bukayo Saka, Jadon Sancho and Marcus Rashford, have been subjected to, is despicable – yet many people in the Black community have said, not surprising. Indeed, many of them sadly predicted what unfolded, evidencing that we are still very much living in a society where racism is prevalent and where many Black members of our community continue to feel unfairly treated.
Yet again, we are reminded of how quickly the tide can turn when it comes to matters of race and how progress can be so seriously threatened – from Black Lives Matters, to unhindered and overt racism. There is so much more we as co-chairs can say, but for now we wish to acknowledge the deep hurt such abusive comments have caused to the players, their families and friends, and to all of our fellow Black citizens.
We wish to remind everyone of the policies against racism and harassment and the support services based at the university, should you feel the need to access these:
The events reaffirm the absolute need for us all to continue our discussions on race but more importantly, to take action at an individual and organisational level and have the courage to challenge any form of discrimination, overt or covert. Only through this collective action can we dismantle the structures which allow such behaviour to continue.
As the BAME Staff Network, we will certainly continue to engage in relevant discourses and action in coming months, and keep working towards dismantling systemic racism through our committed efforts as educators. If anyone wishes to contact the network co-chairs, even if it is simply to talk through how they feel about these events, please email email@example.com and we will arrange a suitable time to talk with you.
Take care all,
Vanisha, Bridget, Barbara and Dave
Co-chairs of the BAME Staff Network