Demand Kingston University properly addresses Black Lives Matter

Demand Kingston University properly addresses Black Lives Matter

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Hannah Dear started this petition to Vice-Chancelor Proffessor Steven Spier

Dear Professor Spier, 

We are members of the student body and are writing to express our disappointment that on the 2 June 2020 the university chose to engage vaguely with the subject of racism, police brutality and black justice. It is problematic because we believe that universities across the UK should be committed to the current Black Lives movement. Kingston university is one of the most diverse universities in the UK and it is a mistake to think police brutality is an American issue only. The UK is not innocent in regards to police brutality or institutionalised racism.

We demand a formal statement detailing what the senior leadership team will be doing to dismantle whiteness at Kingston university because a vague response is not enough. We demand to see concrete timetables, transparent planning, and a sense of immediacy regarding the enforcement of a fully funded comprehensive racial awareness curriculum that is mandatory for all students, faculty, and staff. This is owing to the fact that we as students believe eduction is one medium through which we can work together to dismantle injustices toward black and non-white students. Therefore, this curriculum should welcome input from students, staff and community members of diverse backgrounds and to be put in place by the start of the 2021-­2022 academic year.

We demand that a black author on the subject of racism be selected for the Big Read this summer.

We demand that there exists a department devoted to diversity initiatives and programming that promote cultural awareness, sensitivity, and competence by the start of the 2021-­2022 academic year.

We demand you support black students by sharing resources on mental health specifically for dealing with the anxieties that surround this crisis. 

To end with a quote from Khadijah White, author of ‘Black lives on campuses matter: the rise of the new black student movement’: “Those of us who are working at universities in the midst of the movement for Black Lives must understand that we are inherently implicated in issues of racial inequality on and off campus, and must address these disparities through creative pedagogy, support of student endeavours and intentional civic engagement. For me this includes writing about and analysing the movement”. 

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