Anti-Racism webinar series to commence on Thursday

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By Tia Bahia, BAME Affairs Correspondent

A four-part webinar series will be taking place throughout February to discuss topics surrounding racial equality at the University of Bristol.

The events are to be hosted by The Be More Empowered for Success Programme in collaboration with Bristol BME Network and Epigram and will be hosted over Zoom. They will feature different guest speakers for each online discussion.

Each session is set to begin at 5:30pm. Those who plan to attend have the opportunity to submit questions associated with the given topic beforehand in order to contribute to the conversation and maintain goal-orientating discussions throughout.

The organisers will aim to provide an accessible space for vital open conversations that will contribute to change.

Speaking about the events, Student Inclusion Officer (BAME) and webinar co-organiser, Robiu Salisu said ‘A lot has been happening since the summer and height of the BLM campaign and it is important that the University provide a space for our students to be updated on the developments and listen to the student voice and any feedback to help improve our work.’

The first part of the series on 4 February will focus on the Black Lives Matter movement and will feature Deputy Vice Chancellor, Professor Judith Squires. In light of the protests that have taken place over the past months there will be discussion about the lessons that have been learnt from the injustices highlighted and what action the university has since taken.

On 11 February the session will discuss the BAME Attainment Gap and Racial Diversity in the student body. The guest speakers include Zoe Pither, Head of Student Inclusion and Doug Jennings, Deputy Director of Home Recruitment and Conversions.

The next topic discussed will look closely at Decolonising the Curriculum, taking place on 18 February. Associate Pro-Vice Chancellor, Alvin Birdi and Professor Madhu Krishnan will be guest speakers, giving their take on how far the university has come in this area as well as the further actions needed going forwards.

The final webinar is titled ‘Racial Abuse and Microaggressions on Campus’ and will bring the series to a close on 25 February. This discussion will be attended by guest speakers Julio Mkok, Bristol SU Union Affairs Officer as well as the Pro-Vice Chancellor for Student Experience.

In her capactiy as co-organiser of the Anti-Racism Webinar series, Khadija Meghrawi, Chair of the BME Network said: ‘The Black Lives Matter movement shone a powerful spotlight on the inequalities that Black students and other students of colour have faced for years at this university.

‘It is crucial that the responses made by our university following July are not performative, and there is continuous commitment to long term action that tackles the issues practically.

‘These webinars provide a space for both the university to communicate their progress, and for students to ask questions about initiatives ranging from anti-racism to support for BAME students, to ensure there is constant open dialogue on issues that matter to us all.’

To register for the webinars and to submit your questions, please use the link, HERE.

Featured: Courtesy of webinar organisers


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