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Kulbir Shergill talks Black History Month

Black History Month has always been an important part of the diversity calendar because it is a time to celebrate and recognise the achievements of Black people throughout history. This is the history and knowledge that has been missing from our classrooms and for many of us has played an important part in filling in the knowledge gaps. Not surprisingly, this year has also seen unprecedented marking of Black History Month by organisations around the world. My concern is that Black achievements and racial equality get shoe horned into this one month and then forgotten for the rest of the year. It is important that that we do not become tokenistic in our approach to racial equality. This is one of the reasons that I am pleased that Warwick is putting effort and resource into preparing a submission for the Race Equality Charter.

The Race Equality Charter Mark is an opportunity for Warwick to improve its understanding of the experience of Black and minority ethnic students and staff by taking a deep dive into the data we hold and engage with the Warwick community through surveys and focus groups. The submission will also include a comprehensive action plan that will guide our development as we strive towards truly becoming an anti-racist organisation. A self-assessment team comprising of students and staff is being chaired by Professor Mike Shipman, Pro-Vice Chancellor and Executive lead for race equality. The Charter Mark is not an award but an opportunity to take stock of where we are and plot the journey that we need to take to be even better.

We will also be hosting a series of events focussing on the work of Black and minority ethnic people in academia and other sectors as well as issues of race equality across the year. Role models are an important part of changing culture, providing inspiration and challenging perceptions. The year will also see the rolling out of an anti-racism programme and expanding the work piloted by the students union on decolonising the curriculum.

We may or may not be directly involved in any of this work but we can all be allies by being aware of our own implicit biases, educating ourselves about racial inequality, understanding our privilege and using it to support and give voice to those who do not share that privilege.

If you would like to find out more then please take a look at some of the anti-racism awareness resources available, including:

Kulbir Shergill

Director of Social Inclusion

"The submission will also include a comprehensive action plan that will guide our development as we strive towards truly becoming an anti-racist organisation."

Kulbir Shergill, Director of Social Inclusion

To make progress on race equality we need inclusive conversations

Read more in an article on Wonkhe, written by Kulbir.