We, your Guild Officer Team, are in full support of the movement of protests that were sparked by the tragic murder of George Floyd on 25th May. This was not a unique event. For generations Black communities across the world have been subjected to systemic discrimination and violence at the hands of their Police and Government.
It is important to recognise that this is not just a problem in the USA. In the UK, Black people are more likely to be stopped by police and confronted with violent tactics. Black people are less likely to get the support they need in our healthcare system and Black Women are more likely to die in childbirth. A Government report released this week highlighted that Covid-19 is infecting and killing far more Black and Asian people in the UK than it is White. That’s not because the disease is racist - it’s because of the systemic discrimination that permeates all aspects of our society.
While Birmingham strives to be a campus for everyone, we know that there is more work to be done. The Black Attainment Gap is too large and too many Black Students tell us they feel a lack of belonging, like UoB isn’t for people like them.
The Guild is committed to elevating the voices of Black students and campaigning for the change you deserve. Our promise to you is that in the coming years this work will continue to be at the forefront of everything we do. We will not forget what has happened and we’ll continue to strive for change.
We are aware of protests happening throughout the country and the world. We would like to encourage anyone who is planning to attend such a protest to take steps to stay safe and protect themselves; including wearing a mask.
We will also be writing to the Birmingham MPs in support of this movement of protests. We will ask that they show their support both in words and in action, by passing legislation to reform our Police and win back the trust of our diverse communities.
If you don’t feel comfortable joining a protest at these current times there are other ways you can show your solidarity, which you can view below.
But the most important thing is... Take action. Speak up. Stand united.
Read NUS's statement on George Floyd
Take action by signing these petitions
Official George Floyd Memorial Fund
I Run With Maud
Battle racism by updating GCSE reading lists
NUS Black Students’ Campaign
Black Lives Matter UK
Black Lives Matter
Movement for Black Lives
How to be an ally
Stephen Lawrence Trust
Black History Month
“When They See Us” by Ava Duvernay
“13th” Documentary by Ava Duvernay
Extended reading list: https://bit.ly/2BoO9I5
Resources put together by your Student Groups
Black and Ethnic Minorities’ Association
Birmingham Students for Choice
Birmingham University Labour Society
We understand that the past few days have been traumatic for many students and that many may be requiring additional wellbeing support. You can access support here:
Black, African and Asian Therapy Network
Kent Union’s Self Care Tips for Black Students
If you have been a victim of hate crime, you can report this via Guild Advice, the Police’s True Vision Reporting Tool or Stop Hate UK