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Race Equality Network to launch for staff and students

A Race Equality Network for staff and students will be launched later this year to support the University’s work on tackling racial inequality.

Detailed work on setting up the Network is underway with a formal launch planned during Black History Month in October.

The Network and its members will make an important contribution to our work towards our Race Equality Charter submission in February 2021.

What will we ask Network members to do?

By joining the Network and the online Google Community Group, staff and students will commit to:

  • Support the principles of the Race Equality Charter and the University’s work to tackle race inequalities affecting our staff and students
  • Share information about the Race Equality Charter and the issues within the University both informally and formally e.g. at team meetings
  • Think about actions to support race equality that they could take within their workplace or learning environment.

Members could also:

  • Make sure they have completed our Equality and Diversity training including Unconscious Bias
  • Consider learning more about key issues around race, including reading materials which will be recommended on the Google Community Group
  • Share their own experiences, direct and indirect, of racial inequality
  • Share any best practice or research they are aware of.

What can we offer to Network members?

  • An opportunity to show their commitment and share their experiences, concerns and resources to tackle racial inequality
  • Access to information and resources through the Google Community Group
  • Opportunities to feed into and comment on the developing University Race Equality Charter submission
  • An annual Network event as recognition of their commitment, with a mix of guest speakers and workshops.   

What else are we doing to tackle race inequality?

  • We signed an online pledge in May 2019 to work with students and follow the recommendations of the Closing the Gap report by Universities UK and the National Students Union to eliminate the black, Asian and minority ethnic (BAME) student attainment gap.
  • The Students Union hosted its third Race in Your Face event for staff and students in May 2019 which involved three panel discussions on decolonising the curriculum, identity and belonging, and the BAME attainment gap.
  • Changing Mindsets – an ongoing Office for Students (OfS) funded project focused on closing attainment gaps in higher education.
  • Raising Awareness, Raising Aspiration – an ongoing OfS funded project to enhance personal tutoring to ensure all students achieve their potential. This project was highlighted in the Closing the Gap report.
  • Changing University Cultures – an ongoing project in 3 faculties (Business and Law, Humanities and Social Sciences, Science) designed to help universities evolve their cultures to promote equality and diversity
  • Review of Dignity and Respect Policy (part of HR policy review)

If you have any questions about the proposed Network or want to register your interest, please contact Lesley Lee, Equality and Diversity Advisor, lesley.lee@port.ac.uk

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