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Spotlight on Black, Asian & Minority Ethnic (BAME) Staff Network Group

23 Jun 2020

A forum to exchange views and help provide an authoritative voice for BAME staff within the University

Spotlight on Black, Asian & Minority Ethnic (BAME) Staff Network Group

The Black, Asian & Minority Ethnic (BAME) Staff Network Group is a vibrant forum to exchange views and help provide an authoritative voice for BAME staff within the University and its associated group of companies.

We have been instrumental in helping the Institution shape the direction of Equality Diversity and Inclusion (EDI) policy within the University for a number of years.  This has also included contributing to the University’s successful Race Equality Chartermark Application.

The group meets formally three times a year to plan how we can promote BAME recognition, increase engagement with the group, raise awareness of issues impacting the BAME community and how best to influence positive change at the University and beyond.  As well as hosting social gatherings, we have organised many successful university-wide events and are always looking to expand our message, membership and lobbying capability to make our campus fully equitable.

We share the revulsion at the manner of death of George Floyd & provide our solidarity to George’s family & support to all those fighting injustices in the world. There is strength in diversity and we condemn racism & discrimination. We stand together.

#Blacklivesmatter https://twitter.com/UoM_BAME_SNG

The need to be anti-racists and active bystanders

(Following are extracts from Supporting Race Equality Work)

  • An inquiry ‘Tackling Racial Harassment: Universities Challenged’ by the Equality and Human Rights Commission found:
  • 24% of minority ethnic students, and 9% of white students, had experienced racial harassment since starting their course
  • 3 in 20 university staff and 1 in 20 students left because of racial harassment
  • Over half of staff reported being ignored or excluded because of their race

There is a wealth of work needed to correct hundreds of years of racial inequality. It is important that this work to dismantle racism and racist practice should not continually fall on minority groups to carry out.

What Can I Do?

Acknowledge your privilege 

Privilege is defined as a special right, advantage, or immunity granted or available only to a particular person or group. This is not just afforded to persons based on race, but can be related to an individual's wealth, gender, sexual orientation etc.

If the difficulties you have faced have not been because of the colour of your skin, then it's likely that White privilege has played a part. Try some self-reflection, think about key turning points in your life - where may White privilege have played a part?

Be an ally

An ally is someone who is not a member of an underrepresented group but who takes action to support that group. Being a race ally means more than not being racist, it means actively being anti-racist.

Being an ally is not about speaking for BAME people, being their ‘saviour’ or waiting to be asked to help. As a starting point, the webpage ‘Be an Ally’ offers a list of Do’s and Don’ts of being an ally to any minority group.

Educate

One of the first steps is to reflect on our unconscious bias. Unconscious bias training is available to help with this. Talk to your White peers about race. These are conversations which have the power of spreading informed knowledge past the fog of social media. The article How White People Can Hold Each Other Accountable to Stop Institutional Racism offers advice on how to challenge racist attitudes and behaviours.

Resources

The members of the BAME staff network group have contributed to creating a (by no means exhaustive) list of resources to help and support you. Please do refer to them as necessary and share them as appropriate. 

Contact us

For further information on what we have done, what we do now, where we are going in the future and where we meet for our regular meetings, please email BAME.CHAIRS@manchester.ac.uk or follow us on Twitter (@UoM_BAME_SNG).