Scotland’s response to George Floyd and Black Lives Matter: One Year On
Updated: May 26
CRER's Deputy Director, Carol Young, reflects on the commitments made by Scotland's institutions in the wake of Black Lives Matter and the part everyone can play in keeping up the momentum for anti-racism in Scotland.
George Floyd’s murder at the hands of police in Minneapolis one year ago sent a shockwave of grief and outrage across the world. As we wrote at the time, in the 20 year history of our organisation, we have never seen anything approaching the level of interest in anti-racism that was triggered by his death.
We were, like others, immensely relieved – although not reassured – by the conviction of his killer. We can’t forget that many other Police Officers, in both the USA and the UK, will never pay for their crimes. Many bereaved Black families will never get the justice they deserve.
As an organisation active in the fight for anti-racism every day for the past two decades, it was eye opening for CRER to witness ordinary people and institutions across Scotland sharing our anger and frustration this time last year. For us, this felt like history in the making, and we wanted to document it.
CRER gathered 65 examples of public statements from Scottish institutions in support of Black Lives Matter over May – June 2020. These ranged from short tweets, to detailed commitments.
Today, we commemorate the anniversary of George Floyd’s death by sharing these statements as a collection.
We have learned the hard way that public commitments rarely translate into change in the lives of Black and minority ethnic people. Our research into the performance of the Public Sector Equality Duties conclusively proves this.
However, ethically, there’s a difference between commitments made to fulfil a bureaucratic duty and commitments made in the name of a man and a movement. Scotland’s institutions owe it to the Black Lives Matter movement, both at home and globally, to keep the promises made.
The 65 statements we gathered are copied below.* If you work for one of these institutions, or use their services, please ask them what they’re doing now to tackle structural racism. Over the next year, CRER will follow up with those who made specific commitments, and we’ll continue to catalogue new examples of anti-racist commitments from the public sector.
One year on, the fundamental injustices that underlie the death of George Floyd are still playing out every day. In the UK, there have been no successful prosecutions of Police Officers involved in potentially racially motivated deaths in custody since the case of David Oluwale 1969, and even then, the core charge of manslaughter failed. Discrimination and racist violence are a daily reality in Scotland, where someone is charged with a racist hate crime on average every three hours.
The structural racism that allows this to happen is still seeping into every area of life, maintaining the deep rooted inequalities in employment, poverty and housing that have blighted the lives of BME people in Scotland for generations.
One year on, the real fight has only just begun. Everyone in Scotland has a role to play in holding decision makers to account on racism and racial inequalities.
Public Statements in Support of Black Lives Matter by Scottish Institutions, May-June 2020
COSLA’S POLITICAL LEADERSHIP SAY BLACK LIVES MATTER
In a joint statement issued today (Friday) COSLA President Councillor Alison Evison and Community Well-Being Spokesperson Kelly Parry said:
“Equality, diversity and representation are key priorities for COSLA as we strive to identify changes in culture and practices that further open up Scotland’s democracy. We must work together actively to end violence and prejudice against the black community and local leaders must lead by example by showing our solidarity and support to all those experiencing racism. There is no place for racism in Scotland or indeed elsewhere.
“Yesterday at a virtual meeting of COSLA’s Leadership, Councillors emphasised that Black Lives Matter.”
Statement - Full Council
Read by Provost of Aberdeenshire Cllr Bill Howatson
10 June 2020
Before we move onto the substantive business of today’s meeting, I’d like to reflect on recent events and how they are shaping our communities across Aberdeenshire.
The pandemic has brought out the best in our communities and it is important to acknowledge and celebrate this. Aberdeenshire is a welcoming place, and our communities share a sense of real cohesion, trust, respect, friendship and camaraderie. That strong sense of community, of supporting each other and standing together in difficult times, is not something any of us should take for granted.
We have all watched in horror the events unfolding in the US, and the protests spreading across the UK against racism.
We are committed to promoting equality in our communities, and condemning racism in all its forms. We all have a responsibility to make a stand against injustice and to defend the human rights of all.
Edinburgh City Council
Progress being made on plans for new plaque
The statue of Henry Dundas sits at the top of the Melville Monument in St Andrew Square
The Council Leader provides an update on his discussions with campaigners and others involved in drawing up new wording to tell the story of the Melville Monument in St Andrew Square.
Council Leader Adam McVey said: “Edinburgh is a progressive, diverse and welcoming City and we must continue to fight against racism in all spheres of Government and across society. I share the anger of people that we are still, in 2020, debating the issue of racial prejudice – something that should be consigned to the history books. The Black Lives Matter demonstration at the weekend, where no arrests were made, proves the overwhelming power of peaceful action.
“What is essential is that we tell our City’s story more accurately - for better or worse. We have a lot to celebrate about the contribution black and ethnic minority Edinburghers have made and are making to our City’s progress and success and that should be clear. Yet, we also need to address and talk openly about those moments in Scottish history where people have been killed, enslaved or discriminated against, simply because of their race.
“As part of this, we’ll be reviewing our own museum and gallery collections through the lens of BAME history to make sure that Edinburgh’s stories are accurately told. Building on the progress we’d already made with Prof Geoff Palmer and others, I’m pleased to say that we’ve come to a form of words on a plaque at the statue of Henry Dundas – and this will be published tomorrow. It will be finalised and installed at the foot of the Melville Monument as soon as possible. This is just one part of Edinburgh’s history and one small change we can make. We should make many more.”
June 9th 2020
The City of Edinburgh Council Equalities Steering Group (Education)
City of Edinburgh Council Black Lives Matter Statement
June 12, 2020
Recent events in the US, in particular the shocking death of George Floyd, and the global response are shining a light again on the harmful and persistent issue of institutionalised racism. We fully recognise that it is no less an issue in the UK and Scotland. We have a list of similar deaths of black citizens, and we have witnessed the disproportionate effect of COVID-19 on people from Black, Asian and minority ethnic backgrounds.
We are heartened by the concern and support expressed by pupils, parents and staff from across our learning communities in recent days. We are all rightly asking what more we can and should do to support our Black, Asian and minority ethnic pupils and colleagues.
We re-affirm and strengthen our commitment to confronting and addressing racism and discrimination in all its forms through strong anti-racist leadership, teaching and youth work. Our recent engagement with BAME young people and partner organisations has shown that there is much more that we can do and we will continue to listen and learn. We have started by implementing a revised anti-bullying procedure supported by training for senior leaders and pupil Equalities groups and we are working to ensure that Black history and its role in our city is a core part of a decolonised and inclusive curriculum. We will increase training for all school staff and have set up a working group as part of a national commitment to increasing diversity in the teaching workforce.
We believe that our schools have a vital role to play in tackling racism and creating a city where all are treated with dignity and respect. We want all our children and young people to thrive and lead in a diverse and complex world. We do not underestimate the challenge of this deep-rooted problem. We are fully committed to making a difference, harnessing the compassion, energy and creativity of our children, young people, families and staff to make Edinburgh a city where there is no place for discrimination or injustice.
On behalf of,
The City of Edinburgh Council Equalities Steering Group (Education)
(Chair) Equalities Steering Group (Education)
C&F Equalities Lead
Dundee City Council
Anti racist statement
A trio of leading city councillors have condemned recent vandalism to a local mural highlighting the death of George Floyd and backed Black Lives Matter.
John Alexander leader of Dundee City Council said: “Let us be absolutely clear that Dundee City Council stands against racism in the city, in Scotland and across the world.
“We do not pretend that there is not a problem here and an act of aggression and ignorance towards an artistic response to a global crisis unfortunately illustrates that point perfectly.
“Like everyone else I have seen these things on social media, on the TV and in the news, but acts like this one in the Hilltown bring it right to our doorsteps with an impact on us.”
Cllr Kevin Cordell convener of Dundee City Council’s community safety and public protection committee added: “The direct action taken by the people of Dundee to redress the damage to the mural and make their voices heard is commendable but the bigger question for all of us now becomes what are we going to do about it?
“We need to be clear and concise about the specifics of what is wrong, what needs to change and in what ways we will do something.”
Cllr Lynne Short the council’s equalities spokesperson said: “We stand with black and minority ethnic communities and we want to listen to what should be done to root out the evil of racism once and for all.
“It has no place in Dundee, no place in Scotland and no place in a world where hundreds of thousands of people are putting themselves on the line during a pandemic to say ‘enough is enough’ and it is time for fundamental change. We are listening and asking what is needed of us to make the most impact.
“Black Lives Matter in Dundee, the same as they do in Minneapolis, London and everywhere else where the blight of racism must be defeated.”
Councillors in Inverclyde have agreed to examine the area’s links with slavery.
At the council’s emergency executive sub-committee meeting, a motion from local authority leader, Councillor Stephen McCabe, was heard calling for a review of the historic links with the transatlantic slave trade.
Now the council will come back with proposals on how the area can properly recognise the links with the slave trade.
The port towns of Greenock and Port Glasgow in particular have strong links with the sugar and tobacco trades and many wealthy families of the time are believed to have had links with slavery.
Mr McCabe said: “We all watched with horror the murder of George Floyd and in the weeks since then have seen protests across the world showing the strength of feeling and the clear view that, as a country, we have not done enough to recognise the history of our nation and its impact right up to today.
“Inverclyde’s history includes people who have changed the world, but that history and heritage includes parts that are too often hidden from public view.
“It is time to shine a light on our history as part of our reparation and to recognise that our history and heritage is important and must be recognised.”
A report will also come back to the council on support for Fairtrade and council officers will examine links to modern slavery.
17 June 2020
North Ayrshire Council
(Final paragraph of news update from Council Leader, 03/06/20)
I couldn’t end without mentioning the horrendous scenes we are seeing in America following the death of George Floyd. To watch endless videos of police brutality is absolutely appalling. I send my solidarity to all those standing up against these injustices to say Black Lives Matter.
South Ayrshire Council
We know that some residents have concerns about the appropriateness of some monuments and street names in South Ayrshire. While we understand the historical context around some statues and street names, we also know why many people have reservations about which historical figures we celebrate. What may have been accepted in the past, is no longer acceptable today.
We will now take time to reflect on historical figures who are memorialised in South Ayrshire in local monuments and street names. We will consult with residents across our communities to decide on the most appropriate way to recognise our history, and time will be taken for reflection and re-appraisal.
Councillor Douglas Campbell, Leader of South Ayrshire Council said: "Concerns have been raised about a number of local statues and street names, and I'd like to reassure residents that we are taking this very seriously.
"Racism and discrimination will not be tolerated in any form, and we will carefully consider the appropriateness of these monuments, and consult with communities with regard to their future."
Full details of the public consultation will follow.
In what is already a time of great change, this feels like a critical moment for us all. A moment that perhaps future generations will look back on and judge whether we responded to make the fundamental changes needed to eradicate racism and inequality.
Twenty-seven years after the racist murder of Stephen Lawrence and twenty-one years after the Macpherson Report, the Black Lives Matter movement has exposed once more the systemic racism that persists around the world and within our own country. In listening to 'Black and Creative in Scotland' over this last weekend, I was further reminded that significant challenges and inequalities endure.
Combined with a Covid-19 pandemic which poses the very real threat of deepening social, economic and health inequalities yet further, it is clear that positive words must be backed by real action.
I am very conscious that as a white man in a senior role, I am writing from a privileged position. I understand the responsibility of those who can help make change happen, to listen, learn and act. This includes me and Creative Scotland.
As the national body for creative development, we have a responsibility to ensure our work and our support reflects the diversity of Scotland’s population; and that opportunities to create, participate or work in the arts, screen and creative industries are accessible, inclusive and open to everyone, irrespective of their background.
And while we have made progress in embedding principles of equality and diversity in our strategies and practices, now is the time for us to renew our commitment to helping tackle racism and all forms of prejudice and inequality.
This includes the establishment of an Equality and Diversity Advisory Group which will have a role as our critical friend, help us with gaining insights and become better informed about key issues to ensure we deliver change. We will begin recruitment soon with the aim of having the group in place by the end of August at the latest.
We are also reinvigorating our commitment to diversifying who receives and benefits from our support. It is clear too much creative potential remains unrecognised and invisible across Scotland.
We will continue our Create:Inclusion fund, established in 2019 to help increase the diversity of people in the arts, screen and creative industries. The fund helps recipients to develop their creative and professional practice, including research and development of new work, developing collaborations, and exploring different ways to develop organisations. There will be another round later this year.
Whilst Create:Inclusion is a specific, equality and diversity focused programme, we equally recognise the need to actively prioritise equalities, diversity and inclusion across all our programmes of support. All Regularly Funded Organisations are required to have an Equalities, Diversity and Inclusion (EDI) Action Plan and we have taken further steps through recent revisions to our Open Fund. However, there is more to do in order to ensure all opportunities are accessible and that the beneficiaries are truly representative of the diversity of Scotland.
We are committed to taking this further as we progress with a new strategy and funding framework throughout 2020/21. We will create clearer and more visible indicators against refreshed Equalities Outcomes and look further at how best to ensure a diverse range of voices and perspectives inform our decision making.
Partnership initiatives will also continue. In Screen, this includes working with the British Film Institute on Diversity Standards as a way to help address under-representation in film and screen.
We will also open up the opportunity for two further Diversity Agents for Change posts in Scotland. These will build on our existing partnerships with the City of Edinburgh Council and Glasgow Life to establish dedicated roles which help improve representation and employment in the arts, the diversity of arts programming, and the engagement with participants and audiences from diverse ethnic backgrounds.
We are also committed to diversifying our workforce to ensure that Creative Scotland itself is fully inclusive and that all staff work to mainstream equalities, diversity and inclusion in all that we do. This includes our recruitment processes, an expanded and mandatory programme of training for all staff and Board, and deepening the work of our internal Equalities Working Group.
Although these examples are all positive and important steps, we know we can, and must, go further and will say more about all of our work in relation to EDI when we publish our annual business plan in a few weeks’ time.
Those who know me well, know I have deeply held values of respect, integrity and inclusion. My usual approach is one of quiet conviction, but this is a time to be unequivocal. Black lives matter and EDI is an absolute priority for Creative Scotland this year and beyond. We will listen, and we will act, in order to play our role in creating a Scotland where the fundamental importance of equality, diversity and inclusion is understood, and creative activity is valued as vital to the lives of everyone.
Iain Munro Chief Executive Creative Scotland
Historic Environment Scotland
Historic Environment Scotland response to Black Lives Matter
A message from our Chief Executive, Alex Paterson.
Recent events have once again confronted us with the reality of racism and sparked renewed urgency to the Black Lives Matter movement for racial justice across the world. At Historic Environment Scotland (HES) we have been using this time to listen to our Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic (BAME) communities and reflect on our responsibilities as Scotland’s lead heritage body.
When we launched our new Corporate Plan last year, it wasn’t by chance that we titled it Heritage for All. It expressed a guiding principle for our organisation to follow – that Scotland’s heritage should be shared by all without any form of discrimination or inequality and with fairness at the heart of everything we do. We want to widen access to the historic environment, and ensure that those voices that are all too often missing in conversations about history and heritage are heard.
We’re committed to continuing our outreach and engagement work with a range of different groups from Scotland’s BAME community, including BEMIS, CEMVO Scotland and the Coalition for Racial Equality and Rights (CRER), and are pleased to be partnering with The University of Edinburgh and CRER on a 2-year project to explore the legacies of Empire and the Transatlantic Slave Trade on Scotland’s historic built environment.
As an organisation, we want to make sure Scotland’s heritage is cherished, understood, shared and enjoyed with pride by everyone. We’re looking at what more we can do and how we can adapt our work to make this a reality. We welcome views on this.
The global Black Lives Matter movement has given all of us cause to reflect and consider the role we have to play in tackling racism. We will soon begin consulting on the outcomes for our next Equalities plan, giving us the opportunity to listen, learn and engage with Scotland’s communities at this pivotal time.
Our historic environment is the story of Scotland. It tells us about our past, but it also points the way to our future. We are committed to ensuring that how we tell this story represents all of Scotland’s people.
Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh
At Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh we give our support to all those facing inequality and racial injustice, and acknowledge our responsibility to strive for a more just and equal future.
There is much more we can and will do towards achieving racial equality, and we need to look at ourselves, critically, in the mirror. We are initiating discussions within the Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh and the wider community to gain a full picture of views, issues and, most importantly, solutions. This is essential to increase our understanding of inequalities and injustice. We must then consolidate this information and work quickly to achieve the desired changes.
Emerging themes to accomplish a step change in equality for Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic people include:
Improving representation in science and horticulture, and enhancing employment and career development opportunities within RBGE
Providing more training and learning opportunities and addressing barriers to participation such as funding
Enhancing the cultural accessibility and enjoyment of visits to the gardens
We also need to address our history relating to the National Botanical Collections, including in our education and public engagement programmes, and increase the accessibility and use of the Collections for the many countries from which they originate.
These are just some of the issues to address; more will emerge as we listen to our staff, volunteers, students and the wider community.
An essential component of achieving effective change is a commitment and willingness to do better and to embrace change. This will include difficult conversations and introspection, and ensuring that our institution does all it can to improve representation and address racial inequality in all our work, and to engage with every voice.
Scottish Social Services Council
Treating everyone fairly – a statement from the SSSC
The Scottish Social Services Council (SSSC) is against racism in any form. We want to add our voice to the anti-racism movement and recognise the important role social services play in tackling discrimination.
At the SSSC we aim to treat everyone fairly and with respect, irrespective of age, gender, disability, gender reassignment, marriage and civil partnership, race, religion, pregnancy and maternity or sexual orientation. We are refreshing our Equality and Diversity Policy to reinforce this commitment in our varied roles as a public body, regulator and employer.
Our Codes of Practice for Social Service Workers and Employers state that any form of discrimination is unacceptable and that workers and employers should not condone any discrimination. The Codes state workers and employers need to support people using services to be respected, uphold their rights and work in a way that promotes diversity and respects different cultures and values.
Social work has a key role to play in anti-oppressive practice, promoting social justice and fairness for all. Upholding public trust and confidence in social services relies on these values and behaviours.
All social care and social work training and education embeds the fundamental requirement that practitioners work in a way that supports and protects people and challenges discrimination in all forms.
Equality and diversity feature prominently throughout Scottish Vocational Qualifications and the National Occupational Standards. The recently revised Standards in Social Work Education (SiSWE) strengthen the focus on the social context of practice and are underpinned by clear ethical principles.
What we’re doing:
Later this year we will consult stakeholders on our next equality outcomes. A key priority is how we contribute to the Race Equality Framework for Scotland 2016-2030. We are monitoring research into the disproportionate effects of COVID-19 on the BAME community and will consider the implications for the workforce.
Our management teams recently took part in development sessions on equality and diversity and we are developing a programme for all staff to do refresher training. We use Equality Impact Assessments (EIAs) to demonstrate that our policies and functions do what they are intended to do and for everybody they may affect.
We are committed to promoting equality and diversity in our work and being part of the societal change needed to tackle racism.
NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde
Message from Jane Grant, Chief Executive (12 June 2020)
The Black Lives Matter campaign has highlighted the need for all of us to stand together against racism and hate crime. As an organisation, we value diversity and will not tolerate racism against our patients, our staff or our volunteers. Our Black and Minority Ethnic (BME) Staff Network is supporting the organisation to make positive change.
The Network was formed as a result of discussions held with BME staff about their experience of working in NHSGGC. Issues raised by staff included stereotyping, discrimination and organisational culture, as well as the impact of negative media reporting. The Network has been supporting the development of our Workforce Equality Plan, which aims to ensure that our staff are treated fairly and consistently, with dignity and respect, in an environment where diversity is valued. There is evidence from a range of sources that people from BME backgrounds are being disproportionately affected by COVID-19 making this a particularly anxious time for BME staff, volunteers and patients. Staff wishing to discuss how best to protect themselves and their families at this difficult time can access a range of support. As we move forward, it will be more important than ever to address the inequalities in society which lead to unequal health outcomes and be part of the movement to end racism.
Our equality outcomes for the next four years were developed through engagement with a wide range of community groups including BME and will address a range of areas where we want to make significant improvements A Fairer NHSGGC 2020-24. We will be holding a ‘Teams’ event for staff on the Thursday 2 July between 12.30pm-1.30pm where staff can bring any BME issues for discussion.
We joined with other governing bodies to support the issues raised by Black Lives Matter and commit to tackling racism from the grassroots to the boardroom in sport.
British Triathlon, Triathlon England, Triathlon Scotland and Welsh Triathlon believe that significant organisational change is required and that we must now step up and do more. We recognise that the steps we have taken previously are not enough to make lasting change and we must publicly hold ourselves to account on this.
We have therefore reprioritised the work that we had started and have expedited it. We will revise our action plan and will publish a more comprehensive version by the end of July, highlighting timescales for delivery. In order for us to really make a difference, we need to educate ourselves, so we will listen to our members, participants and those who feel that swim, bike, run is not for them, to understand how we can make our sport more inclusive. Our action plan will become a live document that we report on and update on a bi-annual basis.
We are committed to improving representation and accessibility for swim, bike, run and to ensuring that there is no place for racism or discrimination. We do not yet have all the answers, but we will be transparent about our successes and failures and establish meaningful and sustainable changes for our organisation and the sport which we represent.
Mountaineering Scotland: our approach to equality and diversity
Thursday 11th June 2020
The Black Lives Matter campaign has received public endorsement in the climbing and outdoor community, driven by a strength of feeling that there is no place for racial prejudice in modern society. We wholeheartedly agree.
In response to the recent events and public demonstrations which have been widely reported in the media, we’ve been reflecting on the issues which have been raised and what this means for Mountaineering Scotland and Scotland’s climbing, hillwalking and ski touring community more generally.
There is no question there is much to be done to promote diversity and equality and a key part of that is to tackle prejudice in all its forms. Whilst we continue to act first and foremost as an organisation representing hillwalkers, climbers and ski tourers in Scotland, we also act as a socially responsible membership organisation which has a continued long-term commitment to helping tackle inequality and promote diversity in our membership and the outdoor sector more generally.
This is no straightforward task – we recognise that inequalities do exist in our sport across a range of protected characteristics including race, gender, religious beliefs, disability and sexual orientation, and our aim is to identify where we can have the most impact, take positive action to remove barriers and support opportunities for participation for people who wish to get involved.
At time of writing, we hold diversity data for 20% of our members. Of those that responded, 6.5% identify as being from minority ethnic groups, with 1.5% identifying as Black or Asian and 5% as being from white non-UK ethnic groups. The proportion for the entire population of Scotland at the last census in 2011 was 8%. There is clearly work to do here, and whether our figure is a true reflection of our entire membership is difficult to say at this point. We continue to gather more data, so that we can monitor this and work to address the imbalance.
Mountaineering Scotland developed our approach to helping to tackle inequality and promote diversity by working to achieve the Preliminary Level of the Equality Standard for Sport in 2017, the second level of four. At this level an equalities action plan was developed alongside an equality policy and review of our recruitment procedures to ensure they are fair and open to all.
This led on to work with groups including Boots and Beards/Bonnie Boots who have been doing a fantastic job promoting climbing and hillwalking for the BAME community in Glasgow. We have also been working to establish more access to para climbing through clubs and competition, increasing female participation in climbing and mountaineering and are committed to increasing diversity within the sector and our membership.
We also know that there is need to improve diversity in our leaders in the outdoors. This is an issue which Mountain Training Scotland is trying to address though its bursary scheme set up to target financial support to those from more diverse backgrounds.
The Mountaineering Scotland board has agreed to make a further commitment to achieving the standards required for meeting the Intermediate (third) Level of the Equality Standard for Sport, which requires a more detailed action plan to identify which groups we will be targeting in our work and use of membership data to track how effective we are against national statistics. We are confident about making a submission for this level and our next target will be level four (Advanced), which we understand has only been achieved by one other Sport Governing Body in Scotland so far.
Like many aspects of our work we have had to adapt in the face of the current health crisis, however the commitment to obtaining the intermediate standard will continue as we exit lockdown and normal business starts to resume. Although progress has been made we recognise there is more work to do and we encourage members who may be interested in helping us progress this important agenda to get in touch at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Black Lives Matter – a message from the Chair and CEO
18 June 2020
The worldwide protests that have followed the killing of George Floyd have prompted many of us to reflect on what we as individuals and organisations are doing to end racism and discrimination in our society. The Ramblers is built on the belief that everyone deserves the right to experience the joy of walking outdoors. And it is also our duty as a membership organisation and an employer, to do all we can to ensure we are a truly diverse and inclusive place to work, volunteer and join.
So, we wanted to take this opportunity to say to all our supporters, but particularly those of you who have been personally affected by racism or discrimination in any form, that we stand in solidarity and support with you. We know actions speak louder than words and that we have some way to go to be a truly diverse organisation and to achieve our ambitions around fairer access to the outdoors for everyone - but we are listening and learning and want to improve. As a start, we will be organising a series of listening groups involving staff and volunteers from across the organisation. If you have any questions, please email us at email@example.com Tanya Curry, CEO Kate Ashbrook, Chair
Commonwealth Games Federation (published on the Team Scotland website)
An Open Letter to Sport - Black Lives Matter
Following events in the United States, the Commonwealth Games Federation has released an open letter to sport to reinforce their commitment to their values, and stand in solidarity with all citizens, athletes and CGAs working actively to reduce inequality and build peaceful communities.
Citizens across the world have mobilised to stand up for equal rights, for freedom, fairness, equality and justice.
This must be our wake-up call too. Surely it is time for the world of sport to grant itself a social and moral licence. A licence to use all its platforms to encourage athletes, coaches, officials, sponsors, administrators and fans to inspire, to educate, to stand for what they believe in. A licence to provide the scope and freedom for all our participants to be agents of change, advocates of integrity and ambassadors for respect, impartiality and non-discrimination.
Everyone working in sport is in the business of creating, protecting and promoting some of people’s proudest moments. People have often argued that sport is like life and that life manifests itself through sport. When glorious – sport inspires, excites, captivates, entertains and creates hope and pride; and when compromised – it angers, disappoints, disillusions, creates doubt and shame.
Let us not be on the wrong side of history. Let us ensure we are on the side of humanity and equality, the side of people and passion, not profit or politics. Let us continue to forge a future for Commonwealth Sport built on empathy, inclusion, trust and unity.
Right now, we are faced with managing the impact of a global pandemic and the pain, anger and sadness resulting from the tragic and brutal killing of George Floyd. Both raise the familiar spectres of inequality, racism and injustice into our hearts and homes and our wider communities.The world of sport cannot be an observer.
A Games, a match, a season does not happen in a vacuum.Silence or the status quo cannot be an option.It is our passionate belief that athlete advocacy and activism humanises, rather than politicises, sport.We must use our voices and continually seek to reduce inequalities and build peaceful communities.
Dame Louise Martin DBE, President
David Grevemberg CBE, Chief Executive
Duke of Edinburgh
Why we believe Black Lives Matter
We, at the DofE, support the Black Lives Matter movement and stand with people of colour against racism and discrimination of all kinds.
Inclusivity is at the heart of DofE. Any young person can do their DofE, irrespective of race, ethnicity, gender, disability, sexual orientation or background. Each young person is as unique as the DofE journey they take and every day we celebrate the diversity of our participants’ interests, passions and achievements.
DofE encourages young people to speak up, help others and lead positive change, and we will continue to support and encourage young people to work together to create a better, kinder and more just world for everyone. Prejudice and discrimination have no place in our society now or in the future.
However, the awful reality is that racism impacts our BAME colleagues, young participants, volunteers, supporters and their families and friends every day. We recognise that we all have a responsibility to listen to BAME young people and our BAME colleagues, to reflect on and learn from their lived experience, to educate ourselves and to take action at a personal, organisational and societal level to address these injustices.
I look forward to working with our staff and the wider DofE family to listen, learn and take the necessary action to improve the experiences and participation of people of colour in the days, months and years ahead and to being the change we want to see in the world.
Scottish Trades Union Congress (STUC)
George Floyd is America’s Sheku Bayoh – Scotland’s Black Workers Demand End to Racist Police Violence. June 2nd 2020
The Scottish Trades Union Congress’s (STUC) Black Workers’ Committee condemn and mourn the innocent killing of George Floyd. Furthermore, the Committee condemns and calls for an immediate stop to the ever-increasing state violence perpetuated against Black people in America.
We know all too well that racism exists everywhere, at home and abroad. We too know that it exists within formalised state and institutional structures as well as within community settings. We have seen cases like what happened George Floyd happen in Scotland. The case of Sheku Bayoh is a prime example of this.
As the representatives of Scotland’s Black Workers, our committee has long supported the Justice for Sheku Bayoh campaign.
It is important that the legacy of colonialism and imperialism at the hands of the British and Scottish state should be acknowledged and condemned. This is why the STUC Black Workers’ Committee wrote to the Scottish Government in January 2020 for this to be fully incorporated into the learning experienced in the Scottish education system. We still await a response from the Scottish Government on that topic.
At this uncertain times, Scotland’s Black and Minority Ethnic workers and communities are having to deal with the realities of the economic, social and health inequalities they face on a daily basis.
We have asked the Scottish First Minister and her Government to show leadership and take action, but continue to await a response.
We have asked the Scottish Government to release disaggregated data relating to Coronavirus deaths as we fear that, as has been shown in England and Wales, that Black and Minority Ethnic people are dying at a higher rate from Coronavirus.
We have asked them to publish an action plan which outlines what will be done to address issues such as low pay, poor working conditions, and little opportunities to progress and succeed in work. All of which are proven to disadvantage Black and Minority Ethnic workers and communities more than their white counterparts.
We have asked the First Minister to address the rise in racist rhetoric in her daily press briefings. 10 days on, Nicola Sturgeon today expressed her solidarity with the Black Lives Matter movement. While we support her acknowledgement, we would like the First Minister to go further, releasing the disaggregated CoVid19 data that we have asked for and do more to address the socio economic health inequalities that exist here in Scotland and impact Black and Minority Ethnic people worse than their white counterparts.
As a Committee, we encourage all comrades and allies to make placards for their windows, demonstrate their support online and offer support to grassroots organisations supporting Black people in Scotland. Racism is one of the many symptoms of an economic system that is not based on human need, and we collectively need to tackle it.
Scottish Artists Union
Scottish Artists Union Supports Black Lives Matter
We stand in solidarity with the family of George Floyd and all who demand justice for his murder, with the victims of racism and all who challenge racism and police brutality.
The Staff and Executive at Scottish Artists Union stand in solidarity with the family of George Floyd and all who demand justice for his murder, with the victims of racism and all who challenge racism and police brutality.
If you want to contribute to the campaign you can donate to the National Bailout Campaign at: National Bailout Donate
We also support this statement from the STUC Black Workers Committee, including links to the Justice for Sheku Bayoh campaign, which is particularly relevant to us here in Scotland.
The Society of Antiquaries of Scotland
The Society of Antiquaries of Scotland response to Black Lives Matter
The Society of Antiquaries of Scotland stands in solidarity with the Black Lives Matter movement and is committed to securing racial justice in the Scottish heritage sector and beyond. But we have work to do.
For almost 240 years, our mission has been “to actively support the study and enjoyment of Scotland’s past”. We believe that no one holds a monopoly on Scotland’s history and that it should be shared by everyone. To that end, in recent years we have strengthened our commitment to diversity by making an increasing number of our resources free and accessible to all, offering a range of Fellowship rates, and ensuring gender diversity among our Board of Trustees. But this is not enough. We must do more to be an actively anti-racist, pro-equality and pro-diversity heritage charity in Scotland.
Going forward, our aims are to:
· Understand and acknowledge the Society’s place within the history of racism in Scotland
· Encourage more BAME (Black, Asian, and Minority Ethnic) representation among our staff and voluntary Board of Trustees
· Platform BAME voices at our public events
· Support research projects into BAME Scottish history
· Encourage papers on BAME subjects and submissions from BAME authors for our journal (PSAS) and other publications
· Take steps to encourage Fellowship applications from applicants from BAME backgrounds
· Build relationships with BAME projects and charities across Scotland to share their work and help us achieve our aims
We are now developing plans to address these aims as soon as possible and we will report on our progress at our AGM in November 2020. In the meantime, we are listening to Scotland’s BAME communities and we welcome comments and ideas on our plans to move forward – please email your responses to firstname.lastname@example.org
Royal College of Physicians of Edinburgh
College statement on Black Lives Matter
Black Lives Matter. For too long, inaction has characterised the response to the concerns raised by civil rights campaigners and protestors. Too often, peaceful protests have been met with ignorance and intolerance by some. We condemn the use of force against peaceful protests in no uncertain terms. It is vital that our political leaders are receptive to those standing against racism and racial injustice. They, and political leaders everywhere must commit to ending racism and racial injustice.
There are issues which must be addressed in the UK, too. A recent Public Health England report into the disproportionate impact of COVID-19 on BAME communities failed to investigate the reasons for the inequalities or make recommendations on how to address them. We welcome news that the Equality and Human Rights Commission will carry out an in-depth inquiry in to the disparities within ethnic minorities of Covid-19.
We are proud to represent a truly diverse community of 13,000 members across 100 nations. We are committed to promoting equality, diversity and inclusivity in the College, the health sector and beyond. We recognise we must do more to build an inclusive community, and effect change with dignity and respect for our BAME communities. We understand we must listen and learn.
Screen Education Edinburgh
Statement on Black Lives Matter
Screen Education Edinburgh fully supports the Black Lives Matter movement and we will strengthen our commitment to being an inclusive, accessible and anti-racist organisation, recognising that it is insufficient for us to be simply ‘not racist’.
Our mission is to give underrepresented communities the skills to tell their own stories and we will listen and continue to develop this work. This includes exploring how we can increase our efforts to support people who have lived experience of racial bias and discrimination.
We hope the energy and awareness generated by the Black Lives Matter movement is a catalyst for the necessary and meaningful change that will help put an end to racism.
The Shetland Museum and Archives
The death of George Floyd has prompted a global outpouring of grief and anger that we, as an integral part of society, cannot ignore. Peaceful protest should be a catalyst for both self-awareness and action by organisations.
The Shetland Museum and Archives service is delivered by the Shetland Amenity Trust on behalf of the Shetland Islands Council and Shetland Community.
Many charities, if they interrogate themselves, will find they have sometimes failed in the past to promote diversity and inclusivity in all its aspects. This includes Shetland Amenity Trust. This cannot be an excuse for inaction, and it must spur us to change.
It is right to challenge old assumptions and old ways of doing things. Values must be refreshed and re-interpreted in light of new knowledge and understanding. No charity can claim to act with integrity if they discriminate against anyone based on who they are. As a heritage charity, we have a very specific role in ensuring that all aspects of Shetland’s heritage are represented in all that we do.
The leading membership bodies representing the UK museums, galleries, heritage and archives have released a joint statement of intent from the heritage sector in response to recent events in America and the Black Lives Matter movement. You can read the joint statement on the Museums Association website.
The Shetland Amenity Trust fully supports this statement and we are committed to safeguarding and promoting all of Shetland’s heritage ensuring it is accessible and enjoyed by all. As an organisation we already have in place Equality, Inclusion and Diversity Policy and an Access Policy and Action Plan which we are proactively monitoring, reviewing and delivering.
Through our work we commit to pro-actively:
· support the Shetland heritage sector, acknowledging that our island’s history and heritage is an invaluable tool in fighting discrimination in all its forms;
· facilitate anti-discrimination debate and discussion in the care of and access to our heritage collection;
· seek and take care of the needs of an inclusive heritage workforce and audience;
· continue to develop diverse and representative collections; and,
· ask questions and challenge practices that support inclusion in all of its forms.
YouthLink Scotland statement on Black Lives Matter movement
At YouthLink Scotland, we are saddened to see that events in America took an even more disturbing turn overnight, with peaceful protestors forcefully removed during a presidential address and threats of deploying the military against US citizens.
Unfortunately, recent developments only serve to fuel further division and that is why we, as an organisation which promotes equality, diversity, inclusivity and compassion, are taking a stand today by showing our support for the right to peaceful protest and solidarity with the Black Lives Matter movement.
We are aware that Black Out Tuesday has proved problematic due to its conflation with the Black Lives Matter hashtag, drowning out the voices of those who need to be heard the most at this historic juncture. Instead, we will refrain from our day-to-day activities on social media today and will be promoting black voices, content and accounts, with messaging around anti-racism, anti-violence and Black Lives Matter.
Youth social action is one of our core values and we will forever support and encourage young people in Scotland to stand up for their beliefs by amplifying their voice and protecting their right to peaceful protest.
It is vital to stress, however, that the safeguarding of young people remains at the forefront of our priorities, and we therefore urge young people and youth workers to thoroughly examine the safety implications before participating in any planned social action.
Education is one of the strongest apparatuses we have as a society and as a sector against hate, we therefore hope you will stand by us today in helping young people engage with issues around equality, diversity, mutual respect, humanity and love today.
See Me Scotland
Our Statement on Black Lives Matter
As a programme set up to tackle stigma and discrimination, we fully support the movement to end racism and tackle the unfair, and unjust discrimination that black people, and the wider BAME community still face.
We still have a lot to do in mental health, this is an area where people face inequality because of their race. We need to ensure that people from BAME communities have fair access to support, and feel able to ask for help when they need it without the fear of experiencing discrimination. No one should experience discrimination because of their race, or mental health, unfortunately too many people experience it for both, making the chances of recovery even harder for BAME people in Scotland.
To make a difference, we need to all be educated, we’ve got some links to information on mental health in BAME communities in the UK below.
Our Commitment to Tackling Racism
A Work in Progress:
Racism has no place in Scotland. The global Black Lives Matter movement that has taken place over the last few weeks has given us cause to reflect and have some honest conversations on how Social Bite can best help to address systemic racism in Scotland. We understand that we have much work to do in this area. We are not the finished article – we will continue to learn, discuss and evolve. This is a work in progress. Below you can read about our specific commitments on how we can do more to tackle racism in our society:
Anyone in a situation of homelessness or food poverty are always able to come into our cafes to get some food and a hot drink for free. This includes refugees and asylum seekers who are always welcome.
Refugees, asylum seekers and people from outside the EU often have “no recourse to public funds” and have restrictions on gaining employment. This will often prevent these individuals from being able to access our employment programs, or accommodation projects as they cannot access housing benefits. We will use our voice to lobby the Government, both UK and Scottish, for solutions to these issues.
We will reach out to Black and Minority Ethnic (BAME) organisations to explore ways we can collaborate to support the people who need our help from all backgrounds
Last year we launched The World’s Big Sleepout campaign to raise funds for homelessness and child refugee charities all over the world. We will continue to expand our horizon in tackling homelessness in all its forms.
We will use our platform to stand alongside and amplify positive social movements, including The Black Lives Matter movement.
We will list our values on all job advertisements, with racial equality as an important one. It is important that our people embody Social Bite’s values and our belief in inclusivity.
As a minimum precaution to our own unconscious biases, we would like to introduce blind recruitment whereby there are no names or ages of candidates given prior to the interview process, to remove the potential for unconscious bias.
On the basis candidates apply, we will guarantee an interview for ethnic minorities, as a way to encourage ethnic minorities to apply so that we can create a more diverse team reflective of Scotland’s makeup.
We will work alongside BAME organisations who can help us to find great people to be part of Social Bite and enhance our organisation.
We will build into our new employee inductions a diversity and equality training session and ensure the whole team re-takes this on an annual basis
We will build a platform to help employees do their own learning with resources such as videos, social media pages to follow for information, articles, podcasts etc. This platform can then be shared with our own team but also publicly for our followers.
We would like to bring in a facilitator with the expertise we do not have, to run a session on how we as individuals, and then as an organisation can unpick our unconscious bias in a real way. Robin Diangelo shows how this can be done in the US (which you can see in this video). This should be offered to every Social Bite location to join at a time they can viably attend.
We will invite Black and Ethnic Minority groups, including refugees and asylum seekers, to come and tell us about their experiences of racism or homelessness so that we can learn how to best address these issues.
We have come to understand that it is not enough to simply be “not racist”. We must be proactive in calling out and tackling racism in all its forms.
We have much work to do and we hope you will join us on this journey of creating an inclusive Scotland that we can all be proud of.
Now and forever, Oxfam has a profound responsibility not only to stand against institutionalised and systemic racism in society, but to work harder to become a better ally of the Black Lives Matter movement and global network.
The words 'we stand in full solidarity with the Black community because enough is enough' on a black background.
WITHOUT TACKLING SYSTEMIC RACISM AROUND THE WORLD, WE CANNOT END GLOBAL POVERTY.
There is still much we have to do.
We understand that racism is structural, created and sustained by white power and privilege to oppress, dehumanise and exploit Black and non-Black people of colour. It is for this reason that we acknowledge that reverse racism cannot exist. This oppression remains prevalent in Britain, in the USA and around the world.
As an international charity focusing on the alleviation of global poverty, spanning almost 80 years, we recognise and confront that our work has its legacy in the UK’s colonial and racist past. We also recognise the bravery that Oxfam has shown in the past on these issues - including our 1980s apartheid stance, which led to Oxfam being censured by the UK charity commission for being too political.
We are committed not only to fight against racism, but to being an actively anti-racist organisation
Starting with our internal culture. This requires dismantling structures that institutionalise white power and privilege. And calling out racist culture and practices. We are working to be an ally of the anti-racism movements, so we are encouraging our staff and supporters to take this journey - of unlearning what we know and re-educating ourselves on what it means to be anti-racist, because we know that it is not sufficient to be non-racist.
As we recognise the urgency and importance of amplifying voices of Black Activists and Organisations, below are a few recommendations of important books, films, documentaries and podcasts that are a start to the process of becoming anti-racist.
Oxfam is built on the power of people. Including the power of people to make systemic change.
We stand in full solidarity with the Black community - because enough is enough. We demand justice, accountability and action to end the institutionalised racism that persists against Black people in the UK, the USA and around the world.
We loudly affirm that, Black Lives Matter.
Glasgow Women’s Library
As an intersectional feminist museum, Glasgow Women’s Library works to highlight and redress structural inequalities, ensure that real lived experiences are reflected in our collections, and enact change.
We unequivocally stand in solidarity against racism, oppression and inequality.
Over the coming days we will be reflecting, interrogating and further educating ourselves whilst sharing content which amplifies Black women’s voices.
Black Lives Matter
Museums are not neutral
Aberlour - Scotland's Children's Charity
We are committed to promoting equality and challenging discrimination in all its forms.
We stand with all those who stand up to discrimination, prejudice and injustice.
Stand up to racism.
Black Lives Matter
Christian Aid Scotland
Silence is not an option. We stand together with our sisters and brothers who experience the violence of racism. We stand together to speak out against this injustice wherever it is found. Black Lives Matter
Rape Crisis Scotland
We stand in solidarity in the fight against racism, injustice and brutality in America, the UK and across the world.
We remember George Floyd, Breona Taylor + all whose lives have been deliberately + ruthlessly taken.
Racism is not a problem of the past or a problem ‘over there’, it’s here in Scotland and it is now. Just last year experts warned that attitudes to race + racism in Scotland are rolling backwards; their voices must be heard and action must be taken.
Today we have paused our usual content and take part in Black Out Tuesday, using the platform we have to amplify the critical voices of anti-racist activists + campaigns in Scotland and beyond. A day is not enough though, and work to end the inequalities, racism and discrimination that exists in Scotland must be uncompromising and ongoing.
The Scotland Malawi Partnership
MaSP and the SMP are anti-racist and anti-prejudice: we stand in solidarity with those who fight racism, in all its forms, in both Scotland and Malawi. We recognise that, in the fight against racism, silence is not acceptable and we are proud to make this joint statement to call-out and oppose racism. We are confident there is more our two national networks can, must and will do to challenge racism and decolonise development. We continue to listen and learn, to help us in this mission.
We acknowledge and greatly regret that racism has been perpetrated in Scotland’s 161 year relationship with Malawi, while also appreciating that there are a great many examples of Scots and Malawians working together to fight prejudice. Scottish missionaries, particularly in the early twentieth century, were by no means free from the prevailing racist assumptions of their day. Many Scots became deeply identified with the black community in Malawi but Malawians were, quite rightly, alert to elements of paternalism and racism that they experienced even in the best of them.
The January 1915 Chilembwe uprising, for example, began in the Livingstone Bruce plantation, in part in response to the poor treatment of the workers and the alleged brutality of the managers in this Scottish business. MaSP and the SMP, like all in Malawi, celebrate the role of John Chilembwe in fighting the racism and prejudice of that time, including racism and prejudice from Scotland. Malawian and Scottish historians have worked together in partnership, over many years, to highlight the injustice of this period and Malawi’s fight against it.
We also recognise, however, that Scottish Missions, Blantyre in particular, had a robustly critical relationship with the British colonial administration as it came into effect during the 1890s. On the crucial inter-linked issues of land, labour and taxation, the Blantyre missionaries consistently and appropriately took the side of African communities as they faced the pressure of the colonial regime on these fronts. As a settler dominated economy, and an accompanying racist ideology, came to hold sway, the Missions stood for African advancement and for appreciation of the positive qualities of African life and culture. The primary instrument through which they worked was the vast network of schools that they developed with Malawian partners. Through these schools, values were cultivated together which implicitly challenged racism and colonialism. Many of these Malawian students went on in due course to form the inspiring nationalist movement that led the country to independence.
Most Scottish missionaries entered into a respectful understanding of African life and community. Many being fluent in indigenous languages, they formed friendships that proved to be deep and enduring. From an early stage they also invited inspiring African leaders to spend time in Scotland, further cementing the distinctive connection between the two nations.
A growing number of families and communities, in both Nyasaland (as Malawi was known from 1907 to 1964) and Scotland, became aware of one another and of the particular history that united them. This came into focus when Nyasaland faced its political nemesis in 1953 when it was incorporated, against the clearly expressed wishes of its entire African population, into the racist Federation of Rhodesia and Nyasaland. The British Government took the view that this new arrangement would be economically beneficial and that the African population would eventually come to recognise its advantages. Outside Nyasaland, it was only in Scotland that there was significant resistance, as the many personal connections brought it home to people how strong was the African resistance to the Federation. When the nationalist movement revived over the next few years to defeat the Federation and pave the way for independence, Scots were prominent among its members and supporters, with one – SMP member Colin Cameron – becoming the only European to be appointed to the Cabinet when self-government was achieved.
We recognise there have been a great many such instances: Malawians and Scots historically working together to actively fight racism, going right back to Dr Livingstone’s lifelong commitment to combatting the East African slave trade. However, for all this, we must also recognise that Scotland was indisputably an integral part of colonial rule across the globe, with all its appalling injustices. Glasgow was the second city of the British Empire and much of the historic built environment of Scotland’s major cities has associations with the slave trade. It is important we understand the historic harm done by the British Empire, its institutions and systems, the language and culture it imposed, and the legacy this damage continues to have today. It is essential that we look to understand this history, to highlight the wrongs that have been done and learn from them, and use the contemporary Scotland-Malawi relationship as a powerful force for good, driven by both nations.
Since our two national networks were formed in 2004 we have worked together to champion an approach to international development which rejects the predominant one-way, donor-recipient paradigm which, too often, has cast Malawi as a passive recipient of aid. Rather, we have looked to develop and celebrate an approach defined by partnership, rather than pity. Scots and Malawians stand in friendship and mutual solidarity, as partners and equals.
With joint Malawian and Scottish leadership, we look collectively to harness the awesome power of communities across both our nations: real people, working together in active, dignified, two-way partnership for mutual benefit. We hold ourselves and our members accountable to the 11 Partnership Principles which came, first and foremost, from listening to 200 Malawian organisations, then 200 Scottish organisations, about what respectful partnership-working really means. We recognise that racism and prejudice continue to exist in contemporary Scotland and Malawi. Sadly, for too many Malawians resident in Scotland, this remains a fact of life. This is simply unacceptable.
We are deeply concerned at the recent Intercultural Youth Scotland ‘In sight’ report, which highlights racism experienced by Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic students in Scottish schools, and we support the call from The Black Curriculum, a youth-led social enterprise, calling for more Black history in the curriculum. We will, ourselves, look to increase the prominence of Malawian history in our own youth and schools work. We value the essential role that diaspora communities have in the bilateral relationship: the SMP greatly benefits from diaspora leadership on its Board and across its Forums.
Together, MaSP and the SMP have looked and listened for examples of contemporary injustice in the bilateral relationship, and opportunities to redress these. This is why we continue to fight what we see as the unfair and inhumane way those from Malawi are treated as they apply for UK visas, why we continue to call for the unjust colonial-era UK-Malawi double taxation treaty to be updated, why we lobby CDC (formerly the Commonwealth Development Corporation) to further increase its ethical and sustainable investments in Malawi, and why we argue for increased bilateral and multilateral financial support for Malawi, not least during the COVID-19 crisis. However, perhaps the greatest injustice we see, and together we fight, is the continuing extreme poverty which blights the lives of so many in Malawi: this remains an inexcusable moral outrage.
Black lives matter, in Scotland, Malawi and everywhere. It is important to keep saying this, but even more important to act. If Black lives matter, we cannot accept a world in which each Malawian earns, on average, 100 times less than each Scot ($389 GDP per capita, compared to $38,606). As two networks, organisations and friends, there is much more we can do, and we hope to - led by this spirit of dignified, two-way, people-to-people partnerships.
Who Cares? Scotland
Who Cares? Scotland stands for equality, respect and love. We therefore stand shoulder to shoulder with Black people across Scotland and beyond, who face discrimination and injustice.
We stand against racism and in solidarity with those who suffer injustice and oppression. We work and pray for the day we live in peace as one human family. Together We Stand
Scottish Civic Trust
Heritage is never neutral. The Scottish Civic Trust has a national remit to support people of colour become more involved and represented in our heritage. We see encouraging diversity and inclusivity as a key part of our role. It is a strategic priority for the organisation and we employ a Diverse Heritage Officer to make sure we do as much as we can to help our culture be more representative of all of Scotland’s history.
We are currently working with marginalised people and European heritage partners to create resources with specific, practical recommendations for how to make the heritage sector inclusive and accessible. We are also undergoing internal training to educate ourselves about anti-racism and how we as an organisation can work to address racial inequity in the Scottish heritage sector.
We know we can do better – through the heritage we promote, the organisations that we work with and support and by ensuring that the Trust is a space for critical conversations about race, discrimination and their connections to heritage. We are preparing strategies to be in greater service of our Black partners and audiences. We will be sharing those initiatives in the coming months through our social media channels.
First Post: Black Lives Matter – if you’re asking yourself ‘why?’ it’s a sure sign you need to learn more about it.
We have a duty to amplify Black voices and share stories by people and organisations which work tirelessly to change attitudes and challenge racism.
A starting point for those in the arts is Ballet Black and their recent documentary on BBC4 where, CEO/Artistic Director, Cassa Pancho speaks about why, for 20 years, she’s been resiliently safeguarding a place and pathway for Black and Asian dancers, choreographers, and teachers in an artform which has a significant amount of reflection and action to take before fully understanding the need for diversity to be represented on and off the stage.
You can do more by supporting the work of organisations including Intercultural Youth Scotland, ROTA (Race on the Agenda), Hidayah – an organisation for LGBTQI+ Muslims, Access UK, and the Black Cultural Archives UK. This list is far from exhaustive, and we encourage you to do research of your own.
Listen to people of colour. Read works such as ‘Why I’m No Longer Talking to White People’ by Reni Eddo-Lodge, ‘Girl, Woman, Other’ by Bernardine Evaristo, and ‘White Fragility’ by Robin Diangelo.
And, crucially, be an active ally.
Second Post: We must amplify Black voices.
For the next several days, Scottish Ballet will be sharing content exclusively by people of colour and organisations which work tirelessly to change attitudes and challenge racism.
Our YouTube broadcast of The Fairy’s Kiss has been postponed to Wednesday 10 June at 7pm.
Our daily live SB Health classes will continue as scheduled.
Today, please enjoy Ballet Black short film ‘Mute’. Written and directed by Mark Donne and beautifully danced by Cira Robinson.
The Show Must Be Paused National Theatre of Scotland
The National Theatre of Scotland stands in solidarity with the Black community against racism and discrimination.
Today we are pausing our digital programme to listen.
Black Lives Matter.
Show Must Pause Blackout Tuesday
Muslim Council of Scotland
Our solidarity with the senseless murder of George Floyd and the continued injustice against the black community
We stand in solidarity against all injustice
Black Lives Matter
Quarriers believes that Black Lives Matter and we show our solidarity with BAME people across Scotland and the world.
University of Glasgow
The University of Glasgow is appalled at the brutal killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis. We stand together with the Glasgow University Students' Representative Council (GUSRC) and the entire UofG community in condemning all forms of racism and discrimination. We are committed to promoting equality across our community.
Black Lives Matter
George Floyd Case: University Statement
As a University community we are outraged by the brutal killing of George Floyd. Our thoughts are with Mr Floyd and his family. Mr Floyd’s death is one more example of the senseless loss of yet another Black life as a result of societal and systemic racism. Those responsible must be held accountable. While we recognise this to have happened in the US, the responsibility to address racism and to treat each other with dignity, respect and compassion is as applicable here in the UK.
As a higher education institution, we want to be part of the solution. While much work has taken place in recent years to address these issues, we acknowledge our own historic and current failings in this area.
We are completely committed to addressing and confronting racism and discrimination, in all its forms, whenever and wherever it occurs. We will do so by listening and learning from Black, Asian and minority ethnic staff and students in the University community.
Our recent internal review into the experiences of our Black, Asian and minority ethnic communities showed us that there is much more we could and should be doing to tackle structural forms of racism and discrimination. We are beginning to implement the findings from these reports, and will continue to listen to, engage with and act on feedback from our BAME students, colleagues and wider communities.
We will soon launch a community-led process of restorative and reparative justice, through which we will interrogate the role of the University in slavery and colonialism. We will develop a fuller, more critical global history of our institution.
We will also address the issue of racism within educational programmes. We will seek to pluralise teaching and learning and to embed culturally relevant pedagogy by critically examining our work from a decolonial perspective. We want our graduates to be able to live, work and lead in a complex and diverse world.
Elsewhere, we are next week launching a cross-disciplinary hub, RACE.ED for research and teaching on race and ethnicity, which is the product of more than two years of academic work and engagement across our community. This hub brings together academics and students to explore issues of racism and be part of a University network taking forward anti-racist initiatives within our University.
However, these are just the initial steps in what needs to be a fundamental change in the way institutions such as ours think about and confront such major societal problems.
The Institute of Genetics and Molecular Medicine - Edinburgh University
IGMM statement in support of Black Lives Matter
The Institute of Genetics and Molecular Medicine (IGMM) wholeheartedly supports the Black Lives Matter movement, standing in solidarity with our Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic staff and students following the recent tragic and deplorable death of George Floyd in the US. We also remember the many other men and women who have lost their lives as a result of societal and systemic racism in recent times and throughout history.
In its many forms, we agree that racism is a long-term and embedded problem in the higher education and research sectors, in the UK and across the wider world. Championing equality, diversity and inclusion is a core value of the IGMM and we fully concur with the statements from our major funders, UKRI and Cancer Research UK. We also support the statement and commitments made by the University of Edinburgh.
We pledge to engage in anti-racist activities, seeking out new opportunities to do so.
We recognise that additional work is needed to ensure a diverse and inclusive working environment at IGMM.
We will continue to work with our Equality, Diversity and Inclusion-Athena SWAN Committee to listen to and support our Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic communities.
We are fully committed to assessing and reporting on the changes we can make to our continued fight against racism.
We stand with Black Lives Matter.
Black Lives Matter Statements of intent are not enough if not matched by action.
Our students and staff are our priority and this week we engaged directly with them via our internal channels about the horrific events in Minneapolis and our institutional commitment to do more to eradicate racism.
It’s important we share this commitment with our wider community.
The recent events in the USA have been shocking, all the more so, because at the epicentre is the issue of racism which is abhorrent and does not have a place in society. Anywhere.
We are conscious that these events, and the issues of systemic racism which underpin them, are having a profound impact on members of our University community. We understand that we have an important role to play as an agent of societal change and that we need to do more to take action against racism and inequality. We recognise that statements of intent are not enough if not matched by action.
We also understand that eradicating racism and other forms of systemic inequality cannot be the responsibility of one or two individuals; rather, real change will take a whole institutional effort.
To help us further develop our institutional approach, we want to listen and to understand more about the actions we can take to make a difference. We recognise that there is considerable research and information available, which we will continue to draw upon. We also want to offer our students and staff the opportunity to contribute to our learning.
We would like to remind all students that there is a wide range of support services that are readily accessible here at Stirling. These can be accessed by contacting the Student Services Hub on email@example.com or 01786 466022. The team are vastly experienced and offer a range of tailored support, including individual appointments and group sessions for students facing similar issues, who are comfortable taking part in discussion with peers. Staff can seek support from their HR partner or from the University's EAP service, which offers free, confidential advice on all work/life issues at www.well-online.co.uk or 0800 0085 1376.
If you are anxious, worried, or upset by recent events, please make use of the support services. We are here for you.
Professor Gerry McCormac Principal and Vice-Chancellor
University of Aberdeen
We’d like to thank everyone who has written to us or made comment on our social media posts about our approach towards the Black Lives Matter movement. We want you to know that we are listening and that we know we have work to do. Racism has no place in our University, or anywhere else, and we understand that we have a responsibility to speak out and to educate, both ourselves and others. This is a time for listening and for learning so we will start by amplifying the voices of those affected by the ongoing injustices in the world, particularly the black community at this point in time. We’re asking you to share resources via social media that can help with our education, which we in turn can share with our community, and we will be inviting people to a listening session so that our actions are informed by your experiences. We also commit to tell our story openly and honestly on our channels as we support your call for change.
Racism and 'Black Lives Matter' – our commitment to all
Our statement on racism, 'Black Lives Matter' and our commitment to equality and fairness
The founding principles of our University were made with equality and fairness at their heart. These principles continue to be our guiding light in everything we do. They are a challenge to ourselves that we must individually and collectively live up to.
Events in the USA have again given all of us reason to reflect on what is happening both there and in Scotland. We acknowledge the hurt and upset within the Black community. 'Black Lives Matter' is a statement that we all must not only support in our words but our actions.
The University condemns racism and discrimination in all its forms. We are committed to an inclusive learning, research and working environment, to strong support for all of our staff and students, and to a fairer and more equitable society for all. In line with this commitment, the University will continue to identify and challenge institutional racism in all that we do.
The University recognises that we have much to do in tackling racial inequalities, and through our commitment to the externally accredited Race Equality Charter, we aim to improve the representation, progression and success of minority ethnic staff and students within higher education.
We are proud to participate in the Race Equality Charter and restate our ongoing commitment to improving race equality for our staff and students.
We stand in support of our staff and our students.
If you are a member of staff or a student who needs support for any issues, please contact DUSA (firstname.lastname@example.org), Student Services (email@example.com ) or your manager.
Interim Principal & Vice-Chancellor
University of the West of Scotland
University of the West of Scotland and UWS Students' Union stand together in solidarity against racism and violence in all its forms. We are committed to equality, diversity and inclusion and will continue to help create a society where everyone is able to succeed.
Black Lives Matter
Glasgow Caledonian University
The University community of staff and students at Glasgow Caledonian University stand firmly together against racism in all its forms. Both of us have written about our support for Black Lives Matter in recent times (below).
Speaking truth to power on racism and inequality is always a key responsibility for our University for the Common Good.
We must, however, also be held accountable for the actions we take. Our University is constantly evaluating how we live our values. Last year we established a Task Group on Racism which included diverse representation from the whole University and from our Students’ Association.
The Task Group has a vital role to play in helping us to develop our culture by identifying and making recommendations to tackle all forms of racism, whether it be unconscious, overt or systemic and promote good relations. The work of the group will also help us to continuously assess whether the actions we are taking are sufficient and if they are adequately contributing to the fight against racism as the global situation continues to develop.
Also, last year, our Students’ Association ran a successful “Show Racism the Red Card” campaign on campus and online. In addition, colleagues within the University are represented on national steering groups to tackle racism in further and higher education. We are not complacent when it comes to racism in our University and seek to be open to revealing any inherent biases with respect to racism or any institutional racism that may exist and taking the necessary steps to address these.
The University has a long history of supporting racial equality and we are privileged to have been asked to preserve the archive of the Scottish Anti-Apartheid movement in our Library. It’s an accessible, powerful reminder of the injustices of racism and open to our students to view.
We have also been blessed over the years to have had strong relationships and partnerships with extraordinary leaders who remind us of the importance of racial equality including, among others, our Emeritus Chancellor and Nobel Laureate Muhammad Yunus, and Graca Machel, former First Lady of South Africa, wife of Nelson Mandela and Chancellor of the African Leadership College, which we support. We cannot of course forget Denis Goldberg, elected Honorary President of our Students Association when he visited us in 2013, who stood shoulder to shoulder with Nelson Mandela during the Rivonia Trial in South Africa and who then spent 22 years in prison for his own anti-apartheid work. Denis sadly passed away recently, but his courage in striving for racial equality will never be forgotten, nor will his challenge to our University to be ever vigilant in our commitment to equality across all protected characteristics.
Racism is corrosive to the socially just society we at GCU seek to help grow. We are all equal.
Professor Pamela Gillies CBE, FRSE
Principal & Vice-Chancellor
Our Darkest Time: Lamentable loss of life
Wed, 03 Jun 2020
A message from Professor Pamela Gillies, Principal and Vice-Chancellor of Glasgow Caledonian University:
One of the world’s most inspiring politicians, Robert F. Kennedy, made a stunning observation in 1968...
“Too often we honour swagger and bluster and the wielders of force; too often we excuse those who are willing to build their own lives on the shattered dreams of others. Some who accuse others of inciting riots, have, by their own conduct invited them.” RFK, April 5th
This observation is as pertinent today as it was fifty-two years ago.
In the wake of the killing of George Floyd by a police officer in Minneapolis on 25th May, events of protest, hurt and dismay at this killing have increasingly gained momentum and echoed around the world.
The Black Lives Matter movement and its voice reverberates with special power at this point in history as we all continue to struggle with the frightening COVID-19 pandemic. This infectious virus is having a devastating impact upon the world’s population, wreaking particular havoc on the lives and livelihoods of the most vulnerable, the poorest, the most elderly in our societies and, in particular, those members of our black and ethnic minority communities.
At Glasgow Caledonian University, we recognised Blackout Tuesday with sadness in our hearts. But we did so with a strong sense of purpose, to work to redouble our efforts through research and education to ameliorate poverty and reduce all inequalities across our societies.
We also, however, remain vigilant within our University, holding true to our values and constantly interrogating how we live our values to expose our own blind spots and biases from issues such as gender inequalities to racism.
The work of Robert F Kennedy continues to this day in the RFK Human Rights organisations in the US and UK, led by his redoubtable daughter, Dr Kerry Kennedy. We are proud indeed to include Kerry amongst our Honorary Graduates and as a dear friend to the institution. Her organisations, like ours, are determined to condemn racism, poverty, inequality, injustice and violence and to speak truth to power.
To create a more socially and racially just world as we emerge from the COVID-19 global pandemic will require determination and behove all of society's great institutions to pay attention to its impact, to listen to the communities we serve and to act.
Glasgow Caledonian University remains resolutely committed to employing our research and education to promote social justice and reduce inequalities in society. We also aim to continue to speak truth to power from a strong, values-led evidence base. It is our responsibility as a University for the Common Good to do so.
STATEMENT FROM STUDENT PRESIDENT:
BLACK LIVES MATTER MOVEMENT
I would like to start off this statement to explicitly state that the Students’ Association wholeheartedly supports equality for all as a general principle, and specifically supports the Black Lives Matter (BLM) movement and the call for action and justice around the world. Equality and diversity is of the utmost importance to us, and we would like members of the black community - both within our academic institution and outside - to know that we support them without reservation.
We have been asked why the Students’ Association did not post about Blackout Tuesday and while we understand why we have been asked, there are several reasons for this and we felt the importance to highlight why the Students’ Association did not post or participate, and would like to take this opportunity to provide an explanation.
First, we have been made aware - by members of the black community and various non-profits focused on racial justice - that participating in the social media blackout posts is in fact more detrimental to the Black Lives Matter movement than it is helpful. Blackout Tuesday was originally an initiative to go silent on social media, to reflect on recent events, and stand in solidarity with the Black Lives Matter movement. Myself and other Vice Presidents took part in this campaign initially, however, while these posts were generally well-intended, many advocates and activists have pointed out that it has inadvertently suppressed important information regarding the ongoing protests and associated police brutality, fundraising, and the general monitoring/dissemination of critical information due to hashtags such as Black Lives Matter and Justice for George Floyd, being overtaken by black squares. It is also important to note that Blackout Tuesday came into existence on a key democratic voting day related to the upcoming US presidential election. While this is not a UK election, many black activists have pointed out that suppressing information on such a day is not only concerning, but is counterproductive to the catalyst for action, which has included widespread encouragement to turn verbal support into productive action.
As a Students’ Association with a diverse student body, we make every effort to continuously educate ourselves on the best way to address and support such causes. BLM activists have explicitly stated that social media - and the associated hashtags - is used to keep people updated as to ongoing developments. Further, we have seen statements from members of the black community themselves advising that the source of Blackout Tuesday is not entirely clear, and that it simply erases the platform that organisers have been using to share important resources. Black Lives Matter organisers have clarified that Blackout Tuesday was not an initiative organised by them.
While we understand that many people may not be aware of this point and are participating in such posts to show their solidarity and support of the movement, we believe that listening to the black community and associated social justice organisations is of far more importance. We therefore felt that participating in Blackout Tuesday, having the knowledge stated above, would effectively be "showing support" for the sake of showing support, and could harm the movement as opposed to helping. We understand that now is the time to use our privilege to amplify marginalised voices; it is not the time to participate in arguably detrimental social media campaigns simply to appear supportive and avoid scrutiny, without actually supporting in productive, more tangible ways. To put it simply: we do not want to engage in performative allyship.
Second, we did not and do not want to post "reactive" support statements. Instead, we would rather speak to minority members of our GCU community who are affected by systemic racial injustice and discrimination, as well as educating ourselves via advocacy organisations regarding the best way for us to support the movement at this time. We believe that the best way to do so is to (1) share resources aimed at educating white people on the history of racial injustice and how to be an ally (see links at bottom of post), (2) provide information on how to directly support the Black Lives Matter movement (through actions such as donating to social justice organisations, signing petitions, and supporting black-owned businesses, to name a few), and (3) ensure that the Students’ Association is providing an inclusive and supportive space for black students to have an open dialogue with us. We understand that it is not on the black community to educate us; rather, the burden is on allies to educate themselves on the prevalence of discrimination and systemic racism in society, and to listen to the needs of the black community without burdening them to educate others in the first instance. Again, we do not want to engage in performative virtue signalling - whether well-intentioned or not - which, ultimately, can distract from and change the narrative of the movement itself.
Finally, we would like to apologise to any student of colour who feels that we have not shown enough support of them or the Black Lives Matter movement. We stand with the black community and unequivocally support you, the BLM movement, and the ongoing call for action regarding the death of George Floyd. We are always open to hearing about the ways in which we can support you better and the ways in which we are falling short, and will continue to educate on the violence and injustices faced by marginalised communities.
Love and respect
Susan Docherty Student President
Tabitha Nyariki, Vice President SHLS said: “I am proud to be associated with an organisation with intolerance for racism, particularly in these times where cases of racism and particularly institutionalised racism are being brought to light. During my time with the Students’ Association I was involved in campaigns to raise awareness on racism such as Show Racism the Red Card Campaign and worked in collaboration with the University as part of a working group to come up with recommendation on how to address the Black Attainment Gap on campus. This is some of the work we are doing and will continue doing to ensure that there is equality within the organisation and ensure that all students, staff and members of our wider community feel included and fairly treated.”
Eseoghene Oluwaseun Johnson, Ethnic Diversity Network (EDN) Officer said “Ethnic Diversity Network is a cross-continental society in GCU that brings together students of varying Ethnic and/or Minority groups and stands for their rights and inclusivity here on campus. As part of the Students’ Association and working with the Officers, the EDN has over the years been able to improve the experience of Black and Minority Ethnic (BAME) students while incorporating their various identities into the overall student structure. EDN also represents the interests of BAME students in the general National Union of Students (NUS) to ensure proper representation for everyone choosing to study in universities across Scotland and the United Kingdom.
Following the recent traumatic events unfolding in the United States of America and rippling across the globe, the EDN wants students of all ethnic circles to know that we are standing firm behind and with you. EDN in conjunction with the Students’ Association stands together for the rights of all ethnic students and supports justice for all people regardless of race or nationality. At the beginning of the month, EDN Officer Eseoghene participated in a Focus Group Discussion organized by NUS Scotland to discuss the issues of Race and Racism in Scotland’s Universities. The meeting incorporated sessions discussing students and staff reactions to racism, inclusivity on campus and in learning, experiences of racism in different universities, what has been the status quo and what needs to be improved upon to ensure that all BAME students studying here in Scotland and GCU specifically are not discriminated against.
It is with absolute confidence that we tell you that you are all properly represented in decision making processes that impact student life in GCU and in the UK, and the Students’ Association and entire University is working hard to make sure the rights of all BAME students are upheld and preserved. Over the next few months, EDN leadership is going to build upon its already existing platforms to increase participation of BAME students in the societies activities and improve discussions and actions around diversity and inclusivity across the Students’ Association.
On a final note, we commend the efforts of students who have stood together and strengthened one another and the larger global community during this hard and trying times. We have proven to ourselves and the rest of the world that we do not see colour but humanity, it is with PRIDE that we say we see you, we know you and we know what you stand for! We will keep striving for the world we can all be proud to call HOME. We therefore welcome you to join the society and grow with us as we build a unique student body and university; also, we are very welcoming of new ideas, suggestions, inquiries and will be eager to attend to you as you are our number one priority. Please keep yourself safe and we know we will all come out of this stronger than we went in; “Fortis Fortuna Adiuvat!.”
University of the Highlights and Islands
Today, we are taking part in Blackout Tuesday. In our protest against racism, we will be going silent across our social media channels.
Edinburgh Napier University
There is no place for racism – not just on a university campus – but anywhere in this world.
We value the diversity of our student and staff community and are committed to the creation of a truly inclusive society for all.
St Andrews University
Principal’s message to all St Andrews students and staff
...... I know this has had a profound impact on some of you, especially our students, and a number of you have written to me and senior colleagues demanding that St Andrews makes a public statement condemning racism.
We are a global community in St Andrews. When things happen in Minneapolis, or Hong Kong, or Paris, or Nova Scotia, or Bradford, or here in Fife, we feel them acutely not only because we will all know someone who is personally affected, but because they are an affront to the values of this institution. I understand the anger that comes from the injustice that we have seen reported this week, and I feel it myself.
We are also a uniquely privileged community, and that privilege cuts two ways. We must accept, as a 600-year-old institution, that while we might pride ourselves on our commitment to diversity and our intolerance of all racism, we have long been a part of the establishment and structures which perpetuate discrimination in this and other countries.
Accepting our part in this, and shining a light on the ways in which we unwittingly prolong this legacy, is a fundamental step for any institution serious about diversity and inclusion.
We can choose to prepare for that step by challenging everything we think we know about race, injustice, discrimination and the causes of division.
As I write, some of our academic and professional services colleagues with particular expertise in this area are working to prepare a reading list for publication in In the Loop this week. The texts which they recommend will be challenging and perhaps difficult for many of us. They may make us feel angry and uncomfortable, but worthwhile change rarely happens in comfort.
There is a second aspect to our privilege. You are all part of one of the world’s great universities, and are amongst the best and brightest minds of our times. You have resources and choices, intellect and opportunity, and the levers of change are closer to your hands than they are for millions of others. For the most part, you can breathe.
Tweets and statements in themselves will not change the world, but fact and argument can.
Let us condemn racism with our research, our ideas, our actions and sacrifices, and our willingness to be challenged and changed.
Covid has taught us that the world need experts after all. This is the moment for universities and their communities of scholars to step to the front of the line and accept responsibility for providing the evidence and answers to help to heal a troubled world.
St Andrews School of Earth Sciences
Black Lives Matter - SEES statement
16 June 2020
We oppose racial discrimination in any form and recognise the burden that systemic racism places on Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic students and staff. We strive to be an open, fair, and egalitarian School that acknowledges and supports diversity in all aspects of life, while realising there is a lot more work for us to do.
We also recognise that Earth Sciences as a field suffers from a lack of diversity. Therefore, we are actively reviewing our practices and established structures to ensure that we are anti-racist and able to foster a diverse and inclusive community. We are committed to improving equality and diversity within our School and will soon publish an action plan to identify and eliminate biases with the ultimate aim of liberation and parity for all.
The University of Strathclyde
The University of Strathclyde stands in solidarity against racism and violence during this particularly troubling time, and always.
We are committed to achieving equality of opportunity in our learning, teaching, research and working environments. Black Lives Matter
Queen Margaret University
To all staff and students,
We are sure that, like us, you will have been appalled at the brutal killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis in the USA, which has triggered a wave of protests against institutionalised racism. We know that this has had a significant impact on many in the QMU community, and several of you have contacted us to ask that the University makes a public statement condemning racism.
One of the core values of the University, indeed perhaps the most important of our values, is our commitment to social justice, recognising equality and diversity in all that we do. We condemn all forms of racism and discrimination, and we are committed to working towards and promoting equality across our whole community. Much of the research we undertake in our academic areas is focussed on supporting a move towards a more equal and less discriminatory society across the world, and through this work, we have an opportunity, as a community, to bring about real change and improvement. So whilst it is right that we should use our words to condemn racism and discrimination, in whatever form it might manifest itself, we must also, both individually and collectively, consider how our actions can demonstrate our commitment to achieving a more equal and just society.
Sir Paul Grice, Principal & Vice-Chancellor Chiara Menozzi, Student Union President
Royal Conservatoire of Scotland
Since the murder of George Floyd in Minneapolis on May 25th we have been horrified by the demonstration, yet again, that for too many people, Black Lives are thought to be expendable, and that the systemic oppression of people of colour is all too prevalent in the daily experiences of many in our community. Some of the discussions and communications we’ve received in recent days – particularly in response to RCS messages on social media – have made for deeply uncomfortable listening/reading. We need to face that discomfort, own it, and act.
All of us in positions of responsibility for curriculum and performance, right across the institution, have a collective responsibility to be learning about inclusivity, repertoire written and/or directed by people of colour, diversity in study resources and staff/visitors who are engaged in programme delivery. We as Senior Managers must use our platforms and our privilege to drive this change.
We have been too slow to learn what our community needed from us in this moment, especially our Black students who are hurting and angry, and we are truly sorry for that. Our intentions were well-meaning, but are not enough. We will be meeting with the Black Students’ Union early next week, and progressing plans that are in development that form part of our Learning and Teaching Strategy, including a project focused on Decolonising the Curriculum. This will be a learning curve for so many of us. We recognise that some change takes time, and that this is a long journey to which we are committing.
Nevertheless, there are positive changes that can be effected sooner: sharing the learning from visiting staff and professionals of colour across programmes, progressing an open dialogue with our communities and recognising that neither marking dreadful events like that in Minneapolis (and others), nor a celebratory Black History Month in October is answering the need of our community. Black Lives Matter every single day. The real work is what matters and measurable progress towards defined goals is what counts, not social media posts.
We don’t always get things right, and there will be times we get them wrong. What seems crucial is that we learn from mistakes and do better. This is our pledge to you: we will do the work. Thank you for the courage our community has shown in their communications to us this week.
Jeff and Lois
The College condemns all forms of racism and violence and together we stand in solidarity to achieve equality across our communities and beyond. There is no place for racism or violence in any community and we will continue to review everything that we do and to work with our local partners to change practices and influence mind-sets and attitudes. If you have ever experienced any form of racism or violence during your time with us as a student, visitor or member of staff at any of our campuses, please be in touch with the Student Association firstname.lastname@example.org or the Equality and Inclusion team email@example.com
City of Glasgow College
City of Glasgow College stands in solidarity with our black staff and students and their communities who continue to face injustice and discrimination. We support all our staff and students by ensuring that our college is a safe place to study and work in. We uphold an anti-racist approach in everything we do and we reject racism in all its forms. Black Lives Matter.
Dumfries and Galloway College
Dumfries and Galloway College and our Students Association stand united in solidarity against racism in all its forms. We are committed to celebrating diversity, and helping to create a society where everyone can reach their goals. Black Lives Matter.
Dundee and Angus College
Our D&A College community includes over 105 different nationalities.
Racism, intolerance and violence have no place here.
Please remember our Student Services Team are still available remotely to provide confidential support and guidance.
At Edinburgh College we value the diversity of our ECCommunity, stand against racism and discrimination in all forms and