The School of Health Sciences and the University of Nottingham condemns the racist violence that has been brought into global focus through the murder of George Floyd. In our school community we know these events have caused distress, anxiety, fear and hurt for many people, particularly our black students and staff. We recognise that people of colour are exposed to institutionalised racism in the UK, often on a daily basis, and that this occurs within universities, the NHS and wider healthcare sector. As a School we are also only too aware that we are in the middle of a pandemic that disproportionately impacts people of colour and from minority ethnic populations.
Many of our students and colleagues have been proactive in highlighting the impact that structural racism has on the right to equality and inclusivity. Whilst we have tried to listen and effect change, not being racist alone is not enough, we need to be proactively anti-racist in the spaces we inhabit, taking into account not just the academic environment but in placements, healthcare and societies. It is the responsibility of all of us to educate ourselves and actively work to dismantle individual and institutional racism and racial harassment of any kind within our school. We have a duty to hold conversations and to put into action what the killing of George Floyd has brought into our consciousness in recent weeks.
As a School community we know that we have to ensure that our students, staff and curricula reflect our values, celebrating and promoting diversity and inclusion for all. We will strive to create an environment where students and staff feel safe to speak out against injustice, an environment that is progressive and where we hold ourselves and others to account.
Encouraged by our students, we are in the process of setting up a school-wide group of students and staff who will help us co-create an environment and curricula that are reflective of, and responsive to all. We also make a commitment to work alongside our NHS partners and other stakeholders to listen, and respond, to concerns of racism or micro-aggressions that are raised by our students of colour and minority ethnic populations.
This statement is a beginning, a line in the sand that condemns all forms of discrimination, and commits to listen and do better. Together we unite with those fighting for justice, we are taking action on anti-racism, and working to dismantle structural racism. Too many lives have been lost already and it is time to effect real change. As a School we pledge to support the Black Lives Matter Movement.
Joanne S Lymn
Dean and Head of School of Health Sciences
On behalf of the School of Health Sciences, University of Nottingham
Posted on Monday 22nd June 2020