WE WANT AN END TO RACISM AT UAL

WE WANT AN END TO RACISM AT UAL

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We are calling for an end to the systemic racism and discrimination at UAL. Black and minority ethnic students are around 21.5% less likely to achieve a 1st or a  2:1 in comparison to their white counterparts. While 47% of students come from "BAME" Backgrounds, 81% of the staff are white. Black students have reported being discriminated against and underepresented, many have been marked down for undertaking projects based on their cultural heritage.

The institution has continuously ignored reports of racism and bullying from black staff and students. UAL has subjected its black and brown cleaners to unfair pay and precarious working environments, some of these low paid black staff have been forced to quit. UAL is the "second best Design School in the world," and handles million pound budgets, there is no excuse for the undermining and underpaying black staff.

We are demanding UAL listen to its BAME students and staff and take necessary steps to meet this set of demands in order to close the racial gap and indeed prove that UAL is a  “proudly anti-racist” institution.

 

  1. Decolonise the curriculum by further incorporating black scholars and practitioners into study material and ask that all teaching staff are actively involved in the research of existing and emerging black academics, creatives and practitioners.
  2. Increase online and library resources regarding black history, cultural studies and modern day black figures across UAL campuses, as the resources are so few, the demands for them are so high. Increasing the supply will enable more in-depth and higher level black culture focused academic work.
  3. Further decolonise the curriculum by including mandatory black guest lecturers from different cultural and socio-economic backgrounds from different industries sectors.
  4. UAL should incorporate into each course specific lectures on the influence of black culture and black people on specific course subject areas, whilst teaching the importance of respecting other cultures by not appropriating.
  5. Increase the number of black staff to 30% and ensure they are qualified and not just hired because they are black (in order to meet the statistical requirement.)
  6. Review recruitment, and ensure there is an equal amount of black (not BAME) students on each course. Invest in more research as to why black students are not applying or not getting accepted into UAL and provide a more active outreach to black backgrounds and at secondary school and college levels when looking to recruit students.
  7. In the Diversity Report, disclose the statistical information of the specific numbers of black students and staff. Do not continue to publish statistics of BAME races grouped together as it encourages erasure of identity.
  8. Disclose statistical information on the BAME pay gap and take necessary steps to close this gap, with a full timeline of how you plan to do so  and transparency at all stages.
  9. Implement mandatory face-to-face anti-racism, racial diversity and cultural & racial sensitivity training for staff at the beginning of each academic year and for students upon enrolment to the university and at different times during the academic year.
  10. Fast track the process for complaints regarding racism, race discrimination and cultural insensitivity.
  11. Create new and open up existing case files to monitor offences and further prevent recurrence by enacting disciplinary measures. At the point of repeated complaints about specific individuals implementing mandatory training.
  12. Put in a no tolerance action plan that is made available to students so that they are aware of the procedure of disciplinary action. Provide details to all students on how to make a complaint and provide follow up support.
  13. Employ five new councillors of colour trained in mental health and ensure that all councillors have anti-racism training.
  14. Bring all UAL cleaners in-house (most of our cleaners are from BAME and migrant backgrounds, they are poorly paid and subjected to precarious working conditions).
  15. Provide the African Caribbean Society with a block grant at the beginning of the academic year so that they will be able to run events without relying on membership funds only. More support and promotion is needed from UAL and Arts Students’ Union for African Caribbean Society committee members and black students who organise events for black students.
  16. Show solidarity with black students and staff by making a public donation to the to Black Lives Matter funds and funds that allow black people from disadvantaged backgrounds to have access to the arts. 
  17. Use the enrolment week and Freshers Fair to push the visibility of communities put in place for black students like the African Caribbean Society, ConnectTo, Shades of Noir, Arts Students’ Union.
  18. Black History Month events and the black experience of students in UAL cannot be fully left on the shoulders of black societies and representatives, UAL needs to outsource and produce their own events that are actually in line with student desires.
  19. Remind us of your solidarity by following up on the progress of what you're actively doing to provide a better environment for black students by sending monthly updates via email to the student body.
  20. Black History Month events and the black experience of students in UAL cannot be fully left on the shoulders of black societies and representatives, UAL needs to outsource and produce their own events that are actually in line with student desires.