The School of Medicine and the University of Nottingham condemns the violence and horror of racism, brought sharply into global consciousness by the murder of George Floyd by those whose role it is to protect people from harm. In our school community we recognise that the events of the past week have caused much distress and anxiety for many people, particularly our black students and staff. We know that people of colour are exposed to institutionalised racism in the UK, often on a daily basis, and that this occurs within universities and the NHS.
We are in the middle of a pandemic that disproportionately affects and kills people of colour. They suffer the stress of racism, are more likely to be in low paid jobs, and shamefully, are subject to systemic racism by the medical profession.
Many of our students and colleagues have tried to educate us on the effect racism has on peoples’ right to equality and inclusivity, which many of us take for granted. While we have listened and made early attempts to effect change, racism remains systemic and destroys lives. We cannot be bystanders who listen but do not act. It is the responsibility of every one of us to educate ourselves and actively work to dismantle racism and racial harassment of any kind within our school. We have a duty to hold onto the conversations and actions that this week’s media coverage of the violence against black people has started.
We know that we have work to do to ensure that our students, staff and curriculum reflect our values, celebrating and promoting the diversity and inclusion of everyone. We must create an environment based on merit, where all belong and are valued, and where students and staff feel safe to speak out against injustice.
Our students and staff are crucial for helping us to recognise where we fall short of expectations and how to co-create a better future together. We are not starting from scratch. Many students and staff are already working tirelessly on anti-racist projects, and we will build on this, engage in conversations, and make a lasting difference.
We know that now is a particularly traumatic time for many people. There is support available through the Univertiy's counselling service.
Together we can unite with those fighting for justice, and say no to racism in medicine. Black lives matter.
Dean and Head of School of Medicine
On behalf of the School of Medicine, University of Nottingham
Posted on Monday 8th June 2020