The tragic murder of George Floyd in Minneapolis has brought into sharp and stark focus the shocking racism that continues to exist in society. Rightly, there has been a significant public outcry across the world including on university campuses across the UK.
How can universities harness the momentum behind the Black Lives Matter movement as a moment for tangible, permanent action to address racial inequality affecting students and staff? And what are the immediate and longer-term steps universities should be taking to address structural racism?
This webinar will look at how institutions can effectively respond and take action to identify and implement change, and embed this across their university. We will hear lived experiences, as well as from university leadership and practitioners working to affect change in their institutions. The session will also help to inform ongoing work and new sector guidance being coordinated by Universities UK into tackling racial harassment at universities and addressing the BAME student degree awarding gap.
The webinar will be chaired by Baroness Valerie Amos, Director of SOAS. Our other speakers are will each be coming with a different voice and perspective:
Dr Jason Arday FRSA, Assistant Professor in Sociology, Durham University
Through his research and his experience as a University staff member, Dr Jason Arday will be reflecting on the importance of practical action to achieve meaningful and long-term change.
Hillary Gyebi-Ababio, Vice-President Higher Education, NUS UK
Hillary Gyebi-Ababio will be discussing why the student voice must be central to informing universities’ commitments to eliminating racial inequality and racism.
Professor David Richardson, Vice-Chancellor, University of East Anglia
Professor David Richardson will speak from a University leadership point of view on what must be done to achieve institutional culture change across the sector.
This session is open to all, but we are particularly keen to see attendance from those in management and leadership roles at UK universities.
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Valerie joined as Director of SOAS University of London in September 2015. From 2010, she served as Undersecretary General for Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency Relief Coordinator at the UN. She served in a number of roles in the public sector including in local government and as Chief Executive of the Equal Opportunities Commission.
Valerie was an adviser to the Mandela Government on leadership, change, management and strategy issues between 1994 and 1998. She was a Foreign Office Minister, Secretary of State for International Development, Leader of the House of Lords and Lord President of the Council. She also served as UK High Commissioner to Australia before joining the UN.
Valerie has been appointed Master of University College, Oxford University, and will take on her new role in August.
Dr Jason Arday FRSA is an Assistant Professor in Sociology at Durham University in the Department of Sociology. He is a Visiting Research Fellow at The Ohio State University in the Office of Diversity and Inclusion, a Research Associate at Nelson Mandela University in the Centre for Critical Studies in Higher Education Transformation and a Trustee of the Runnymede Trust, the UK’s leading Race Equality Thinktank. Jason is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts (RSA) and a Trustee of the British Sociological Association (BSA). He sits on the Centre for Labour and Social Studies (CLASS) National Advisory Panel and is a School Governor at Shaftesbury Park Primary School in London.
Hillary Gyebi-Ababio has been elected NUS UK’s Vice-President Higher Education at NUS National Conference 2020. Hillary was elected NUS UK Vice-President Higher Education, for a two-year term, by an overwhelming 85% of voters. Hillary, who was formerly the Undergraduate Education Officer at University of Bristol Students' Union, believes that education should be free, accessible and open to all, with students from all backgrounds and identities being able to engage with and shape the education they deserve. She wants students to be at the centre of their education, not viewed as metrics in a market. She will be fighting for an education system that puts students first.
David Richardson is the Vice-Chancellor and Professor of Bacterial Biochemistry at the University of East Anglia (UEA) on the Norwich Research Park. He joined UEA in 1991, and held positions of Pro-Vice-Chancellor (Research) and Deputy Vice-Chancellor before being appointed as Vice-Chancellor in 2014. He is President of the Aurora Network of Universities and a Non-Executive Director of the Norfolk & Norwich University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust Board. David is currently chair of the Universities UK Advisory Group to tackle racial harassment in higher education and was he was a member of the UUK Taskforce that authored the ‘Changing the Culture’ report that provided recommendations for a whole institution approach to tackling violence against women, harassment and hate crime affecting university students.