Today marks the end of October and Black History Month. We saw interesting engagement from academic staff and students with society events, ACS holding their debate night, and the Annual Race Lecture hosted by the Race Forum and delivered by Amatey Doku (Former NUS VP Higher Education). It has been an eventful month!
Leeds Beckett Students’ Union Education Officer, Sherry Iqbal; Amatey Doku; DVC Corporate Communications, Tracey Lancaster; Activities & Events Officer, Barbara Pereira; and Equality & Diversity Officer, Ahmed Ali.
This month our new BAME (Black, Asian, Minority Ethnic) Ambassadors met for the first time. We are proud to say that the response we have had from you has been amazing; you’ve told us you want more events, workshops, and socials and we’re excited to plan these with you! We have also revived our campaign to decolonise the curriculum and invite students to audit their reading lists. Check out ‘Revolutionise my Reading List’ here. The link for becoming a BAME Ambassador can be found here. If you want to contribute, come and speak to your Education Officer, Sherry Iqbal or Equality and Diversity Officer, Ahmed Ali.
The first BAME Ambassadors meet up!
The Officers worked with the University to light up the Leslie Silver and Portland buildings in red, yellow, black and green to commemorate Black History Month. Although they often change the colours, this is the first time in Black History Month!
Leslie Silver and Portland Building lit up in red, green, black and yellow.
The Leeds Beckett Students’ Union also worked closely with the University’s Alumni Team to get notable Black alumni to submit quotes and profiles of themselves. This was to increase the visibility of some of the amazing alumni we have at Leeds Beckett.
Leeds Beckett alumni being celebrated for Black History Month. Photo credit: Leeds Beckett University
Ahmed has also been working with the University’s new Equality and Inclusion Manager, Craig Downing, to push for more academic staff taking unconscious bias training. Talks are ongoing regarding how future training will be closely linked with University experiences. The Schools are keen to ensure Equality, Diversity, and Inclusion issues are at the heart of everything they do.
It has been an exciting and eventful month. However, we can longer contain the celebration of Black history to just one month. Black history IS world history and should be recognised throughout the year. We are focused on celebrating and supporting BAME students all year round. Your SU officers are committed to collaborating with the University Management to tackle issues regarding the attainment gap and decolonising the curriculum. This will ensure that the minoritized communities are not left behind when shaping our curriculum and our future. It plays a major role in ensuring our education is more inclusive, accessible and less biased. But also, that Leeds Beckett University is a place where all students feel like they belong.
Ahmed Ali, Equality & Diversity Officer and Sherry Iqbal, Education Officer