King’s interfaith week has been an opportunity for us to work in partnership with the Office for Students to promote dialogue between different parts of our community. We see conflict around the world based on religious or racial inequality such as the recent increased violence in the Middle East or sectarian tensions in Northern Ireland, which are further reminders of religious intolerance and inequality that still prevails in society.
At King’s, we’re dedicated to ensuring that our community is actively anti-racist. In many ways, this journey is a difficult and uncomfortable one, as it forces us to confront harmful behaviors that are implicit and unconscious. Next week also sees the anniversary of the murder of George Floyd in the United States, which together with murders of Breonna Taylor and Armaud Arbery, led to Black Lives Matter, one of the biggest anti-racist movements in the US and the world in modern times.
Over the past year, people across our community have stepped forward and made active changes to contribute to King’s anti-racism efforts. Some of the steps include:
- Engaged in a series of Conversations About Race and Race Town Halls across our communities and with Senior Leadership
- Explored our own history of racism by recruiting a Lecturer in Colonial/Post-Colonial British History
- Recruited a Senior Project Officer as part of our efforts to tackle structural inequality and embed anti-racism at King’s
- Launching our Race Equality homepage to serve as a central hub for our anti-racism activity.
- Successfully renewed our Bronze race equality chartermark accreditation, alongside a 4-year race equality action plan.
- Celebrated Black History Month 2020 with a larger and further reaching range of interactive events.
However, there is still more to do to ensure our communities at King’s and beyond are free from racism and discrimination. It is more important than ever that we’re accounting for the wellbeing of our Black community. Next week we have a special series of events organised by the Students and Education Directorate , which will serve as spaces of reflection for everyone across King’s. Here are a few other ways in which we can contribute, as Black people or non-Black allies:
- Read: Here you can read Vogue’s 7 Tips for Black Self-Care, to help you feel more at ease during challenging times.
- Read: If you’re a non-Black person, take a look at this Twitter thread on how to check in with your black friends the right way.
- Watch: Take a look at Netflix’s Strong Black Lead content, to watch and celebrate black excellence and black joy.
- Do: Find time for healing. Take a look here at the Black, African and Asian therapy network if you feel you would benefit from speaking to someone.
- Do: As a non-Black person, think about how you perform Allyship. Read this Twitter thread on 10 Steps to Non-Optical Allyship.
All members of our community can get involved in the efforts we are sharing here to ensure that King’s is a safe and welcoming place for everyone.