December 7th, 2023
The university is pleased to announce the launch of our new Race Equality Charter steering group, chaired by Dr Kelly Vere (Director of Technical Strategy) and Professor Jasmeet Kaler (Race Equality Theme Lead).
In June 2021, the university made a successful submission for a Bronze Award for the Race Equality Charter (REC).
This submission was an important and difficult step in our understanding of the systemic racism experienced by our racially minoritised staff and student community. This process helped us to identify actions to address inequality within the university and we are committed to making long-term, meaningful change.
Jasmeet was involved in the original REC submission and has been involved in numerous race equality initiatives. Kelly is experienced in creating meaningful university and sector-wide change through initiatives like the Technicians’ commitment.
Kelly said: “Something that’s very important to me is the need to ensure that all colleagues have an equitable, fair and fulfilling work experience here at the university. I firmly believe that race equality work is something we should all be doing, and I want to see us be ambitious and make a real difference in this space.”
Jasmeet said: “I am very excited and grateful to lead this group alongside Kelly. It’s important to me that this group is authentic, we build up our evidence base and understand what creates change. On a personal level, my daughter is going to university very soon and I want to live in a society where I can tell her that she will have an equitable experience.”
We are committed to making meaningful, structural, and long-lasting change at the University with the ambition of becoming an anti-racist institution. We know this will take time, hard work, and dedication from everyone – from our senior leaders to our students, and every single colleague on every single campus.
We’d like to take a moment to thank the people who were involved in previous iterations of the group for their hard work and commitment. We especially want to thank those who have been, and continue to be, our critical friends. We need our community to hold us to account – to tell us when we get things wrong, but also to help steer us and tell us where our priorities should lie.
We know there is still a lot of work that needs to be done in what is a fast-moving area for work and dialogue, where we often don’t have the ‘correct’ answer. We are committed to being brave, trialling new things, learning from when we get things wrong and sharing the lessons learnt. We know that some of our action plan is already obsolete, so we’d love to hear from colleagues who are doing work to embed anti-racism in their departments or in their teaching.
The group met for the first time in October and will be meeting termly with focus on improving the existing action plan and creating meaningful change. The group has representatives from the Black, Asian, and Minority Ethnic Staff Network, teaching and research leadership, HR, the Students’ Union, and different Professional Services departments.
If you want to get involved, please get in touch with Kelly, Jasmeet, or Eli Todorova (EDI Manager and co-theme lead for race equality).
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