Equality, Diversity & Inclusion at King's College London

Tag: race equality (Page 1 of 3)

Race Equality Wrap-Up – Term 1, 2022/23

It’s important to communicate progress, especially when we can become preoccupied with daily challenges or jaded by barriers and push back. King’s is on a journey to become anti-racist and, whilst we’re certainly not where we want to be, we can (and should) celebrate our successes so far.  

Our Race Equality Action Plan guides our work, however we recognise the need to be flexible and react to the changing needs of our community. The below is not an exhaustive list; we know there’s lots of great work happening across King’s and so please do tell us what you’re doing in your area by filling out this short form


EDI Projects 

There have been a number of race equality projects undertaken by EDI this year. We have developed our first race equality allyship toolkit, which is a learning resource available to all King’s staff and students. It draws on various sources and is suitable for everyone, regardless of your prior knowledge. 

We have put together a race equality communications plan to ensure we’re talking to you about our plans, educating on racism and showcasing the achievements of Black, Asian & Minority Ethnic members of our community.  

We are developing a Maturity Model, which can be used to identify priority areas of work and encourage innovative practice within faculties and directorates. This has been out for consultation, and we are now incorporating the feedback we received.  

We have worked with the Alumni Team to add additional profiles to our Notable Alumni page on order to better represent the achievements of our Black communities. The intention is for staff to use this as a resource when considering external speakers, room names, etc.  

The Edi CAP (Combined Action Plans) has had its first meeting. This group is responsible for progressing the Race Equality Action Plan and the Athena Swan Action Plan. Combining the delivery of these plans enables us to streamline resources (as there’s significant overlap) and supports us to take an intersectional approach. 

Thanks to KURF (King’s Undergraduate Research Fellowships) funding, we were able to recruit a student to investigate King’s approach to Professors of Practice and whether this understanding could help diversify King’s academics. 

Training and Development 

Over the past year we have developed and delivered microaggression training to over 300 staff and students, received 216 applications for the More than Mentoring scheme and received 75 applications for the Aurora leadership programme.  

The B-MEntor scheme is currently open and spans a number of institutions so is a great way to build your network across the sector. You can find out how to get involved on our blog post. 

A snapshot across King’s 

We’re so pleased that Professor Camara Jones has joined King’s as a visiting Professor for the year. Camara has delivered a brilliant talk on race and health inequity, as well as a workshop for EDI Practitioners. 

FoLSM have organised this year’s Harold Moody lecture, which features Professor Stephani Hatch as the keynote speaker.  

King’s celebrated this year’s Black History Month with a calendar of events, including a talk by Professor Kalwant Bhopal on Black & Minority Ethnic experiences in higher education. 

Dr Ashwin J. Matthew, Dr. Peter Chonka and Dr. Rhianna Walcott published a report on the experiences of Black students in Digital Humanities. 

The department of Biomedical Engineering successfully applied for funding for the “Success for Black Engineers” programme. This aims to increase the number of Black Engineering students at King’s, as well as improve their attainment and wellbeing. 


Want to Learn more about Equality, Diversity & Inclusion at King’s College London?

StellarHE Leadership Programme 2023 – Recruiting Now!

StellarHE is a targeted leadership development programme to support Black and Minority Ethnic academics, researchers and Professional Services staff. The programme has been designed specifically to develop and implement leadership strategies that reflect the unique challenges and experiences of Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic academic and professional staff across Higher Education.

King’s is dedicated to developing and supporting diverse talent and inclusive leadership and the university is committed to supporting members of the King’s community to take part in the StellarHE programme. The programme is for staff who aspire to operate at a senior, strategic level here at King’s and contribute to our institutional commitment to advance race equality.

The application process for the 2023 is now open!

Updated Deadline: 17:00 on Wednesday 18th January 2023


What is included? 

The scheme includes:

  • Ten one-day virtual workshops
  • Leadership diagnostics
  • Two individual Borderless Coaching sessions
  • One virtual Action Learning Set
  • Completion of a Leadership Challenge project
  • The programme also includes the opportunity to join the Beyond StellarHE Alumni network.

Key Programme Dates

  • 6 March 2023 Readiness Session
  • 17 March 2023 Managers Race to Action Session
  • 20 March 2023 M1 – Orientation & My Leadership Journey
  • 3 April 2023 M2 – Race Strategic Context in HE
  • 18 April 2023 M3 – Authentic Leadership, Identity and Race
  • 4 May 2023 M4 – Leadership Purpose & Vision
  • 24 May 2023                   M5 – Status Now – Leadership MoT
  • April/May 2023 Action Learning and Assessments – Factor8 & Borderless Coaching
  • 8 June 2023 M6 – iLead 360 – Cracking the corporate Code
  • Jun/Jul 2023 Action Learning
  • 12 July 2023 M7– Presence – iBrand & Communicating with Impact*
  • 13 July 2023 M8 – Career Strategy and Leaderships Signature*
  • September 2023 Coaching

*All the workshops are virtual apart from those annotated. Find out more on the StellarHE website.

Participants would be expected to participate in all of the sessions. 


Programme cost

The Equality, Diversity & Inclusion team intend to fully fund up to 1 place open to staff from across the university and part-fund 2 places on the scheme in collaboration with faculties & directorates. In addition, many faculties & directorates from across KCL have also committed to funding additional places should their staff be successfully selected. A list of faculties & directorates who have agreed to fund places will be added to this page in due course.

  • The programme fee is £4,495 + VAT per participant.
  • Successful applicants who are parents and carers are eligible for further financial support to enable them to participate from the Carers’ Career Development Fund.

Eligibility criteria

  • StellarHE is targeted at Black and Minority Ethnic (BME) individuals who aspire to senior leadership positions in Higher Education.
  • StellarHE is targeted at middle and senior managers – we advise that applicants are currently in roles grade 6 and above (see FAQs below).
  • Professional services, research and academic staff are all eligible to apply.
  • Staff members on fixed term contracts can apply for StellarHE as long as their contract continues at least 6 months after the programme has finished or you can provide evidence it will be extended.
  • You must be available for all the programme dates (see above)

How to apply

  1. Speak to your manager about StellarHE and confirm they are happy to support your application. If you apply the EDI team will contact them to ask for a supporting statement.

 

  1. Check that you are available for all the dates listed above and meet the eligibility criteria.

 

  1. Complete the expression of interest form by Midday Monday 16th January 2023.
You can apply for a place here.

How will my application be selected & assessed?

The answers in your application form, the personal statement and your manager’s statement will all be used to assess your suitability for the programme.

The application questions in the form will each be scored from 1 (does not meet the criteria) to 5 (significantly exceeds the criteria).

Your application will also then be scored against the King’s criteria.

The King’s criteria asses the strength of the application with regards to how the applicant demonstrates the positive impacts the programme could have on their career, their team and on race equality at King’s.

  • The impact of the programme on the individual and their career, i.e.:
    • Show they have proactively thought about career progression/development and how StellarHE will feed into this.
    • Demonstrate their capability and potential as a manager/leader.
  • The impact of the programme on the applicant’s team, department and King’s more widely, i.e.:
    • Show how they will apply learning to others, both locally and more widely.
    • What benefit this will have.
  • The impact of the programme on race equality at King’s, i.e.:
    • Demonstrate a commitment to Race Equality at King’s or externally (e.g., active membership of the Race Equality Staff network, personal activism in team/dept etc).

As you write your application you should think about how you are demonstrating these King’s criteria.

B-MEntor Scheme 2023 – recruitment now open!

B-MEntor is a cross-institutional London-wide mentoring scheme for academic, research and professional services staff from Black, Asian, Mixed and minority ethnic backgrounds. 

B-MEntor is run in partnership with Queen Mary University London, King’s College London, St George’s University of London, University of the Arts London, and the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine. The programme supports King’s Race Equality Action Plan, specifically our commitment to attract, appoint and invest in talent. 

There are two schemes-one for academic and research staff, and one for professional services staff. Please see below for information about each scheme and how to register your interest.

The deadline to register your interest is Thursday 5th January 2023


Information for Professional Services staff 

The requirements for participation in the programme are as follows: 

  • Mentors must be professional services staff from any ethnic background, from first-line managers (managing one person) to senior management- this tends to be grades 6-8 
  • Mentees should be professional services staff up to the level of first-line managers (managing one person)- this tends to be grades 1-6- and self-identify as being from a Black, Asian, Mixed or minority ethnic background, i.e. not white European. 

The mentoring period will be approximately one year, and a training and support package is offered for all parties. The selection and matching of mentors and mentees will take place from mid-January.  

You must be available for the training on the following dates (all taking place online):  

  •  Mentees Thursday 12th January at 10:00-11:30am or Thursday 19th January at 10:00-11:30am    
  • Mentors Thursday 26th January at 2pm -3:30pm or Thursday 2nd February at 10:00-11:30am  

                  
Please register your expression of interest by Thursday 5th January 2023. 

Mentee Registration 

Mentor Registration 


Information for Academic and Research staff 

The requirements for participation in the programme are as follows: 

  • Mentors: must be at Senior Lecturer, Associate Professor/Reader or Professorial level. Mentors can be from any ethnic background. 
  • Mentees: should be at Post-Doctoral to Lecturer level and self-identify as being from a Black, Asian, Mixed or minority ethnic background, i.e. not white European. 

The mentoring period will be approximately one year, and a training and support package is offered for all parties. The selection and matching of mentors and mentees will take place from mid-January.  

You must be available for the training on the following dates (all taking place online): 

  • Mentors Wednesday 25th January at 10:00-11:30am or Wednesday 1st February at 2pm -3:30pm 
  • Mentees Wednesday 11th January at 2pm -3:30pm or Wednesday 18th January at 2pm -3:30pm 

                 
Please register your expression of interest by Thursday 5th January 2023. 

Mentee Registration 

Mentor Registration 


More more information please contact Jennifer Hastings, Equality, Diversity & Inclusion Manager or email diversity@kcl.ac.uk, if you have any queries about this scheme. A complete list of FAQs can be found on UCL’s B-MEntor webpage.

Black History Month 2022: What’s on at KCL

Black History Month 2022

Every October Black History Month is marked across the UK.

This year’s theme for Black History Month is “Time for Change: Action not Words” and we’re committed to ensuring our celebrations at King’s College London inspire and support tangible action.

Throughout the month we will be sharing Black History research and achievements of our Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic alumni, as well as hosting various events (details below) across the university. At King’s we are committed to creating an anti-racist university and working on initiatives that go beyond the month of October. Later this month we’ll be sharing more on our new race allyship toolkit and race equality maturity model which is currently in development.

To help you get involved with Black History Month at King’s we have pulled together some interesting reads, useful resources and a spotlight on some of our upcoming events in this blog.


Must Reads


Useful Resources

  • You can keep track of what is happening at King’s throughout the month by visiting our staff intranet page here.

 

 

 

  • Follow out team on twitter (@KCLdiversity), we’ll be sharing content throughout the month.

Event Spotlight

Click image to expand the calendar of events

Events taking place across the university this month include:

Afro-Asian solidarities: Lotus and its afterlives exhibition
Thursday 6 October 2022 to Friday 14 October

The exhibition aims at fostering inclusive pedagogy through a focus on the anti-colonial writers and artists of the Afro-Asian Writers Association and their journal Lotus published in Arabic, English and French from Cairo and Beirut (1960s-1980s).

Building on our interdisciplinary expertise we foreground the importance of this neglected body of cultural production from the Global South, stressing its centrality in the making of contemporary global politics and world literature.

Find out more


Shakespeare and Race Festival 2022

The theme of the Shakespeare and Race Festival 2022 is ‘Spoken Word(s)’, withevents and resources available through out the month.

The festival will also showcase new and exciting creative work from the Folger Institute, as well as ground-breaking research from Shakespeare and Race scholars from around the world. This year, the Festival is co-produced and co-sponsored by King’s.

Find out more


Black Heroes of Mathematics Conference Watch Party!

We are warmly inviting you to “Black Heroes of Mathematics Conference Watch Party!” We have dedicated rooms to watch this year’s conference, organised by LMS. Details on the event can be found here: https://www.lms.ac.uk/events/black-heroes-mathematics Please check below when and where you can watch the talks at KCL: Schedule:
– 4/10/22 13:00-16:30 Talks broadcast at Room: FWB 1.20 (Waterloo Campus).
– 5/10/22 10:00-12:00 Talks broadcast at Room: S-1.08 (Strand Building).
– 5/10/22 12:00-13:00 Lunch will be offered at Room: K2.29 (King’s building).
– 5/10/22 13:00-15:30 Talks broadcast at Room: K0.19 (King’s building).
The rooms have specific capacity so the attendance will be monitored at first come first serve base.

Find out more


Events calendar:

The Windrush Compensation Scheme – is justice finally being served?
Wednesday 5 October, 18.30 – 20.00

Set up to right the wrongs committed against the victims of the Windrush Scandal, the Windrush Compensation Scheme ( WCS ) has been in operation for over 3 years. The WCS has been subject to significant criticism which has led to some reform. The panel will provide a current assessment of the WCS and whether it is finally delivering justice.

Register here


Launch event: Afro-Asian solidarities: Lotus and its afterlives exhibition
Thursday 6 October, 18.30 – 20.00

The exhibition aims at fostering inclusive pedagogy through a focus on the anti-colonial writers and artists of the Afro-Asian Writers Association and their journal Lotus published in Arabic, English and French from Cairo and Beirut (1960s-1980s). Building on our interdisciplinary expertise we foreground the importance of this neglected body of cultural production from the Global South, stressing its centrality in the making of contemporary global politics and world literature.

Register here


Black Students Talk: Self-Expression
Thursday 6 October, 18.30 – 20.30

Black Students Talk (BST) is a peer support group that provides safe, supportive and therapeutic spaces for students at King’s who identify as Black (African, Caribbean, Mixed with Black heritage) to meet, share, learn and manage their mental health and wellbeing. These sessions are run by students, for students!

On Thursday 6 October, BST will be kicking off for the new academic year with a Black History Month session on Self-expression. Come along to Guy’s Hodgkin Building Classroom 11 for a thoughtful discussion in a warm and welcoming environment.

Find out more about BST on the KCLSU website


Black Student Leaders Meet and Greet
Monday 10 October, 18.00 – 20.00

Join us in the Vault to meet others in the King’s Black students community and say hello to some of our Black Student Leaders heading up our societies, networks and rep roles. Discover their plans and campaigns for the year to come as well as finding out more about plans for Black History Month!

Sign up here


Roundtable discussion on Black Political Thought

Tuesday 11 October, 17:00 – 20:00

What is the history of Black political thought – as a subject, as a disciplinary field? What should​ it be ? How should historians and other scholars think of it now? Join the KCL History Department and the Medicine and the Making of Race Project for an evening discussing these and other questions with an all star panel of experts in the field, including:
– Dr Tonya Haynes, University of the West Indies.
– Professor Tommy Curry, Edinburgh
– Dr Kesewa John, UCL
– Dr Dalitso Ruwe, Queen’s University, Kingston, ON
– Dr Meleisa Ono-George, Oxford
– Chair: Professor Richard Drayton, KCL

Sign up here


Race and Healthcare in Brixton

Wednesday 12 October, 12:30 – 14:00

Joining us for a discussion about healthcare, race and activism in Brixton, Paul Addae, from the Brixton community organisation Centric, and colleagues open the floor up to history students and interested others to learn about both the long history of activism in Brixton and the legacy that that history has had for the current, dynamic activist agenda around healthcare.
In a conversation that takes us from the limitations of healthcare now to the history of an activist community to the history and contemporary of race and racism in our country now, this discussion with the ‘off stage historians’ of Brixton offers the opportunity to delve into critical contemporary issues as these are refracted through the lens of healthcare.

Sign up here


Black & Minority Ethnic Experiences in Higher Education
Monday 17 October, 17:00 – 18:15

King’s Equality, Diversity and Inclusion team invite you to join Professor Kalwant Bhopal and Professor ‘Funmi Olonisakin talk about the experiences of Black and Minority Ethnic people in higher education.

This event has been designed to reflect this year’s Black History Month theme (Time for Change: Action not Words) and audience participation is encouraged. It is free to attend but space is limited so please book your place. If you have any access requirements then please contact diversity@kcl.ac.uk

Register here


Engaging with Blackness – a showcase of some current CMCI research

Monday October 17, 16:30pm – 18:00

Kings Building, K-1.56

This event is intended to introduce you all to some of the current research happening in the CMCI department, that in some way engages with Blackness. In addition to finding out more about the department’s research activity, this event encourages us all to think more reflectively about ourselves as academic researchers. Each of the speakers will provide a short presentation, followed by a conversation (including audience questions) that will be moderated by Dr Jonathan Ward. There is no need to register for this event.


Liberation Ball: Panel and Performance
*UPDATE – Postponed to February 2023*

Join us for our very own Liberation Ball, a homage to London’s queer ballroom scene. This event will be a celebration of achieving liberation through art. We will begin with an informative and exciting panel of London ballroom icons, exploring the history of ballroom culture and its significance to the black, queer, and trans communities. Followed by a ball itself where students will have the opportunity to walk in three categories (Runway, Best Dressed and Vogue) and showcase their talent.

Find out more and register here

 


Meet Juliana Oladuti, the Author of ‘Queen’ for a reading + Q&A, followed by a social

Tuesday 18 October, 13:30-15:30

Activity Room D (Bush House South East Wing, 300 StrandvWC2R 1AE

Join us in celebrating Black History Month with the launch of a fantastic new book “Queen” presented by the author, Juliana Oladuti, on the day. We’ll have a reading & Q&A followed by a social.

Book Synposis: From a tradition of oral storytelling, Juliana, a Nigerian in her seventh decade, decided to challenge herself by putting pen to paper and writing the story of Queen. A bright village child who, despite being born into a culture and at a time when girls were not valued, Queen is forced to undertake an odyssey. The journey takes her through West and North Africa and eventually to Europe.

Sign up here.


Daniell Lecture

Wednesday 19 October, 15:15 – 18:00

PhD student Desmond Koomson will talk about his journey into chemistry research and his current and previous research ahead of the Daniell Speaker guest speaker (Professor Sir David Klenerman FMedSci FRS, Department of Chemistry at the University of Cambridge).

Sign up here


Estates & Facilities Black History Month Celebration
Thursday 20 October, 11.00 – 13.30

The E&F EDI Race Equality Workstream are holding an event to celebrate Black History Month. This would be an opportunity to celebrate our colleagues success across E&F and discuss remaining challenges.

Register here


Choreographing Freedom: Sound Images of a Black Revolution
Tuesday 25 October, 17.15 – 18.45

In late twentieth-century Britain, Black women, queer folks and transfeminine people were crafting new ways of living. Situated in the heart of Empire, outlaw women, erotic dreamers and gender rebels refused to adhere to the prevailing norms and codes that organised their lives. These adventures with beauty, sex, pleasure and performance offered blueprints for imagining a radically different world.

In a series of extracts from Bentil’s forthcoming book, Rebel Citizen, she explores the lives of those whose stories resist the dominant narrative of History and the insurgent desires that shaped the everyday revolution of Black life in 1970s and 1980s London.

Register here


Film screening and conversation with filmmaker Carl Earl-Ocran

Tuesday 25 October. 18:00 – 20:00

This event will comprise of a screening of the short films ARACHNID and HACKNEY DOWNS (both written and directed by Carl Earl-Ocran.) This will be followed by a drinks reception and conversation and audience Q&A, moderated by Dr Jonathan Ward (CMCI). This event will be live-captioned throughout.

Carl is a British-Ghanaian writer and director, with a passion for storytelling. His aim is to tell long form narratives with personal yet universal themes, sharing emotive, character-driven, socially conscious stories with compelling high concepts, highlighting, in particular, underrepresented voices.

Sign up link


Dismantle King’s Colonial Legacy Campaign Launch
Wednesday 26 October. 17.00 – 21.30

This is the launch event for a student and staff led campaign to Dismantle King’s Colonial Legacy. This event is open to all interested students and staff, and will feature a variety of talks from activists and academics, group discussions and performances.

Sign up here


Anti-Racism and Health: Levels of Health Intervention – Leverhulme Lecture by Visiting Professor, Camara Jones
*UPDATED DATE*

Monday14 November, 19.00 – 20.30

In this, the first in a series of three public lectures on Anti-Racism and Health to be offered by Professor Camara Jones during the year, she will make the case that “racial” health disparities cannot be eliminated until racism is named and addressed. Engaging with audience members in a spirited conversation exploring the pertinence of these ideas in the United States and United Kingdom contexts.

Register here


Want to Learn more about Equality, Diversity & Inclusion at King’s College London?

Women of Windrush

Windrush Day is marked annually in the UK on the 22nd June. Vanessa Bovell-Clarke (she/her) who works in Student Support & Wellbeing Services at King’s College London,  reflects on the women in her own family and the sacrifices they made so that those who followed them do not have to.


Vanessa sat looking out to sea at the Family House in Barbados

Vanessa at the Family House in Barbados.

For many people, the word ‘Windrush’ often brings to mind images of sharply dressed, young black men and women setting sail for new opportunities and a new chapter of life in the United Kingdom. More recently, the word has become more synonymous with this same generation as well and even their children being forcibly sent away from the UK, labelled as illegal immigrants by the very same government who first requested their help to rebuild a post-war Britain in the 1940’s.

With both my paternal and maternal grandmothers no longer living, I often wonder what they would make of the Windrush scandal having worked so hard themselves to build lives and plant roots in what I now call home.

Clotelle Eudene Roach (or Granny Clo as she was known to me) was born in Black Rock, St Michael on the island of Barbados in 1937, one of four children. Orphaned by the age of 15, Clotelle quickly took on a maternal role and played a huge part in providing for her siblings along with her older sister, Sylvie.

Granny Clotelle passport photo.

Granny Clotelle.

To make ends meet, she worked jobs in catering and as service staff, in the homes of the wealthy (and mostly white) in Barbados. The remnants of British colonisation were clear to see across the island, with limited opportunities for many black Bajans and much of the island’s wealth circling amongst direct decedents of plantation and slave-owning families.

In 1958, Clotelle set sail for the UK in search of a new destiny once her husband, Ricardo had travelled to London ahead of her (as was often the case for couples at that time) and found and prepared a place for them to live. Once settled in East London, Clotelle came into her own and took on a plethora of roles including seamstress and school lunch lady as well as offering her skills in baking and sewing to private clients and friends in the local community.

Further across to the west side of the Caribbean, Hermine Gertrude Morrison (aka Granny Babs) was born in Cave Valley, Jamaica in 1941, the second youngest of 11 children. In a similar fashion, Babs came to England after being ‘sent for’ by her husband, Lesley after he had settled in London in 1963. Just like Clotelle, Babs also threw herself into multiple jobs including work in a shoe factory, wig making, catering and hairdressing.

Granny Babs pictured on her wedding day.

Granny Babs pictured on her wedding day.

Growing up, my grandmothers were the physical embodiment of home, stability, family, strength and damn hard work. I witnessed them prepare gargantuan feasts of brown stew chicken, rice and peas, fried flying fish and cou cou (a cornmeal-based dish, also Barbados’ national dish) for crowds of family, friends and even neighbours on a regular basis. Both were regular attendees and very much involved in the church; some of my core memories include Sunday services and church fetes. They did this all whilst working multiple jobs and fulfilling the role of mother in an era that viewed parenting as very much a solitary and gender-conforming role.

It was only as I grew older, that I recognised the gravity of what they had accomplished. As part of the Windrush generation, being amongst the first in their families to move their whole lives to an unfamiliar country was a massive feat in itself. Facing daily racism in said country was an additional struggle; my Granny Clotelle told us of a time she was stopped by a white woman in the middle of a market, who tugged at the back of her skirt and said, “Let’s see your tail then?!”

This generation faced an untold number of difficulties and struggles most of which were steeped in racism, despite being such an integral part of rebuilding the UK economy, filling roles in nursing, catering, manual labour, hospitality, cleaning and much more.

I wonder about the mental health of my grandmother’s, the burdens they had to bear, the pain behind smiles and the silent struggles that were shared with no one but God. Throughout all of this, they were able to bring such life, culture and happiness to their families, which I will forever cherish. Their struggles and personal sacrifices serve as a reminder to me that I do not wish to and nor do I have to, continue to be ‘strong’ at the expense of my wellbeing. I am lucky to have multiple paths that lay ahead of me that do not necessarily include children and motherhood, but where I am encouraged to speak my truth about injustice and my pain.

November 2021 Barbados Independence Ceremony. Left to right: Prime Minister Mia Mottley, Dame Sandra Mason, Rhianna, Prince Charles.

November 2021 Barbados Independence Ceremony. Left to right: Prime Minister Mia Mottley, Dame Sandra Mason, Rhianna, Prince Charles.

In 2021, Barbados became a republic, officially renouncing the UK and it’s Queen as Head of State. Jamaica, alongside many other Caribbean countries are set to soon follow. This true independence feels like a poignant reflection of the next generation, as we prepare to live life to the fullest, honouring the Windrush legacy as we do so.


References/Relevant Articles:

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Windrush Day – King’s Legal Clinic Q&A

To mark Windrush Day we met with Shaila Pal, Director of King’s Legal Clinic to find out more about their recent work to support members of the Windrush Generation. 

The King’s Legal Clinic aims to further the education of KCL law students and promote social justice. The Legal Clinic has allowed King’s students to help victims of the Windrush scandal in practical and proactive ways. You can find out more about the Windrush Justice Clinic’s award winning work in this article


 

Tell us about yourself and your role at King’s. How did you get involved with this work?

I am the Director,  Supervising Solicitor and Senior Lecturer  at King’s Legal Clinic (the Clinic) which is part of the Dickson Poon School of Law.  The  Clinic aims to promote social justice and educate our students by providing them with experiential learning opportunities.   Our students work on legal cases and research projects under the supervision of lawyers either as part of an assessed module or on an extracurricular basis.   I teach and supervise clinic students and oversee the running of the Clinic, this includes developing new partnerships and clinics.

When the opportunity arose to develop a Windrush Justice Clinic (WJC) for King’s it seemed a perfect opportunity as  it aligned with the Clinic’s aim to proactively engage students in equality and race issues through experiential learning. Following the brutal killing of George Floyd , as a Clinic we had begun to  reflect more deeply on what our social justice mission means. The Clinic has long recognised the link between the hostile immigration environment and racism and have developed a range of immigration advice services to counter this. We also have an active strategy to work with marginalised  communities both in the UK and internationally.

I led on developing the WJC at King’s with great support from the Law faculty, the Clinic team and more widely at King’s.   There have been challenges along the way, but it has been a positive experience and really brough home how much my own values align with King’s. In the first part of my career I worked as a legal aid solicitor specialising mainly in refugee and immigration law. I had always been committed to working with marginalised  communities and   enabling   access to justice, the transition  to teaching  and clinical legal education was quite a natural one.

 

When we talk about the ‘Windrush scandal’, what do we mean?

People arriving from the commonwealth from 1948-1971 are commonly referred to as the Windrush Generation.  ‘Windrush’ derives from the ship ‘HMT Empire Windrush’ which brought one of the first groups of Caribbean people to the UK in 1948.   Many of the Windrush Generation were invited  by the British  government to the UK to take up jobs, for e.g in the newly formed NHS,  where there were shortages in the aftermath of WW2.     The people of these colonies or dominions , as there were then then known,  were given a type of citizenship   and were British subjects.  This accorded them a right of free movement within the empire and an ability to transmit their status to their children.

The essence of the scandal is that the Windrush generation , and their children,  who arrived in the UK  were residing here lawfully, they were either British or had  settled status. However the Home Office issued no formal paperwork  in many instances, as there was no legal requirement to do so.

In 2010,  the Home Office destroyed landing cards and other records  belonging to Windrush migrants, making it is difficult for Windrush arrivals and their families to prove their legal status following  changes in the Immigration system and notably the Government’s  2012 hostile environment policy.  The hostile environment policy aimed to make the UK uninhabitable for undocumented migrants by  tasking landlords, employers, the NHS, banks and many others   with the function of enforcing immigration control.  This meant that many of the Windrush Generation were  unable to prove their lawful immigration status , some were  detained and deported, lost their right to work and rent, access to bank accounts, claim benefits and access to healthcare etc.

In 2018, the UK government finally accepted that it had wrongly detained, deported and denied legal rights to the Windrush generation.  Following acknowledgement of the scandal,  to date more than 12,000 people have received documents from the Home Office confirming they are now legally living in the UK.   In April 2019, the government established The Windrush Compensation Scheme (‘WCS’) which aims to provide victims with recompense for their suffering.

The WCS scheme has been extensively criticised and whilst attempts have been  made to improve it,  many consider it not fit for purpose. In November 2021, the Home Affairs Committee on the  WCS  found: ‘Instead of providing a remedy, for many people the Windrush Compensation Scheme has actually compounded the injustices faced as a result of the Windrush Scandal’.  There are numerous issues with the schemes;

  • Low uptake, only 5.8% of the people who are believed to be eligible for compensation have received a payment.
  • Complex application process requiring detailed calculations, supporting evidence and information.
  • Hostile approach to assessment of evidence.
  • Inadequate legal advice provision. Legal aid is not available.
  • Delay in decision making, for e.g. 23 people have now died without receiving a decision.
  • Low amounts awarded.
  • Inadequate appeals system.

Initial estimates had suggested the scheme could be forced to pay out between £200 -500 million and that at least 15,000 applications would be submitted.  Thousands of people have been affected by this scandal, but many are reluctant and often frightened to ask for help.  The estimate of eligible claimants has been revised down by the Home Office and current stands at 4,000 to 6,000 claims.

 

What does the Windrush Justice Clinic aim to do?

The WJC is a collaborative partnership made up of community organisations, law centres and university legal advice clinics striving;  to help victims of the Windrush scandal receive the compensation they deserve;    research  the accessibility  and fairness of the compensations scheme; and share and  disseminate the WJC  clinical  legal education  model of  collaboration.

King’s joined the wider WJC collaborative partnership  in  October 2021.   King’s part-funds a solicitor at Southwark Law Centre and 20 King’s students have been involved in;  supporting community outreach sessions to raise awareness of the WCS and build trust in the elderly Windrush community in Southwark;  and provide casework support to the SLC solicitor in complex cases involving vulnerable clients.

The WJC has carried out  preliminary research, led by the University of Westminster,  into unmet need for legal advice for people making claims under the  WCS which  found the process was to complex for claimants to navigate, legal assistance was required, the current advice framework in inadequate and there is considerable unmet legal need.

 

Have any of the cases you’ve worked on surprised you?

I have been struck how the Windrush scandal has impacted a wide variety of people from all walks of life and ages. King’s  WJC is representing clients from a variety of countries in the Commonwealth, including those with  Jamaican, Dominican,  Indian, Nigerian and Canadian heritage.   We have younger client’s who are victims of domestic abuse,  experiencing  serious problems  in accessing housing support due to the inability to prove their lawful residence.  An older client who’s highly successful  career in creative industry  was  stalled for a number of years,  which  had a  devastating impact on his life including  health issues, financial issues and the  resultant breakdown of significant relationships.  A daughter who  experienced  significant delays returning to the UK to care for her elderly and unwell mother. Many people’s lives have been impacted and it is humbling to hear about their experiences.

 

What lessons do you hope we have learnt from the treatment of the Windrush generation?

There is much to reflect upon and learn, this is something we are planning an event around to take place in either September or October 2022, so watch this space!  For  me the following are critical as a starting point:

It is important  to assess the root cause of   any  problem and  we have to address   the historic and ongoing racism which permeates immigration legislation in the UK.   Whilst there  has been some acknowledgment ,  there does appear some resistance.    It was recently reported that   the Home Office is  suppressing the release of   a government commissioned report  which finds racist legislation led to the Windrush scandal.

Public sector equality duties must be carried out in a meaningfully and robust fashion.  In 2020 the Equality and Human Rights Commission found that the Home Office has acted unlawfully by not properly considering how it’s hostile environment policies  affected black members of the Windrush generation.

A functioning and effective legal aid system is vital to protect people’s rights and keep a check on government.   When the hostile environment immigration policy was introduced, large parts of immigration advice was removed from the scope of legal aid,  therefore Windrush victims  were unable to access to   vital free legal advice.  Many Windrush victims  currently need legal  assistance with their  compensation claims in light of its complexity and the historical trauma suffered, legal aid is not available and this  is another reason for the low uptake in the compensation scheme.

A government compensation scheme should  be administered by an  appropriate  department  who is not viewed as the   perpetrator of the harm by the victims.  Distrust in the Home Office  has been cited as a reason for the low uptake in the scheme, the  rules of the scheme itself require a level of evidence which perpetuates the culture of hostile environment:

“From my experiences with the Windrush Compensation Scheme / Home Office, and their responses to my claim, it is almost like they are telling me the following: “We are really, really, sorry for punching you in the face, however, we are sure you’ve recovered now, it wasn’t that bad of a punch, so here is another punch in the face, but don’t worry about that one, because you’ve already recovered, please accept some tape and cotton wool to make a plaster out of.’” Windrush victim testimony provided to Home Affairs Committee

 

What is the future of the work of the WJC?

The WJC has been  great success so far ,   it won Best New Pro Bono Activity Award at the 2022 Law Works and Attorney General Student Pro Bono Awards.  Most importantly we  are supporting clients and providing our students with a valuable learning experience, where they can develop  an understanding of structural inequalities in society and work with clients from diverse backgrounds.

We want the WJC to help as many people as possible through casework  in partnership with Southwark Law Centre, build capacity in other Clinic’s and organisations across the UK,  and carry  out  further research on unmet legal need and systemic issues  with the compensation scheme.


Want to Learn more about Equality, Diversity & Inclusion at King’s College London?

The Windrush Generation – Britain’s Builders

To mark Windrush Day, Hannah Gordon, a first-year English student at King`s College London, remembers the legacy of the Windrush generation and their contribution to Britain.


 

Picture of the ship Empire Windrush.

The ship Empire Windrush.

Waving hands and smiling faces spill out of the Empire Windrush as it approaches Tilbury Dock. A new generation of hopeful arrivals determined to make their mark in the ‘mother country’ and build a better life for them and their families back home. Unbeknownst to them, they would face racism, inequality and discrimination that would define British race relations for years to come.

The Windrush generation, as most are known, have become the face of the dynamic global hub, which is Britain. In 2018, the Windrush Scandal became headline news with numerous cases of wrongful detentions and deportations of these migratory pioneers, who were invited by the British government to live and work. This scandal prompted widespread condemnation but more importantly, a conscious drive to honour the contributions of the Windrush generation. Subsequently, every year on the 22nd of June we celebrate Windrush Day commemorating their indelible sacrifice to Britain.

Both my grandparents were part of the Windrush generation. My grandmother was a night shift nurse in the NHS for 40 years and lived in Ladbroke Grove during the Notting Hill riots. My grandfather was an auto- electrician and then a machine operator- spanning 30 years. So, as we approach Windrush Day, what better time to learn more about the effort, resilience and duty of this generation who helped mould Britain into the cultural powerhouse it is today?

Lord Kitchener (calypsonian)

Lord Kitchener (calypsonian).

Contributions to the Public Sector

Picture of two nurses from the Windrush generation.

Picture of two nurses from the Windrush generation.

The NHS is a cultural institution to Britain. It embodies ideas of equality and accessible rights to all – regardless of circumstance. No wonder it took a staring position at London`s 2012 opening ceremony- think Britain think NHS. Today, 20 % of the NHS’ workforce is from Black and Minority Ethnic Backgrounds and it is the most diverse workforce in the whole of Europe. Caribbean nurses from the Windrush Generation played a massive part in building the NHS helping to fill the labour shortage. Despite experiencing racism and discrimination, they pursued in their roles demonstrating dedication to their job, family, and Britain.

Many of the Windrush generation also worked in Transport for London. Transport for London actively recruited in the Caribbean and by 1956 they had enrolled dozens of workers – both men and women. Around 20% of TFL workers are still from Black and Minority Ethnic Backgrounds today. This transport network, iconic to London, still bears the Windrush imprint.

Contributions to Music
Large sound system.

Sound System.

Music has been long associated with the Windrush generation. From the sound systems, which became a vocal point for black youth seeking identity in hostile Britain, to genres like Reggae, Dub and Ska. Dub, which remixed records, became the premise for modern day genres like drum and bass as well as house music.

Contributions to Literature

As the conversation surrounding race in fields of education and literature becomes more prominent. Writers like Zadie Smith, Malorie Blackman, Sam Selvon and Benjamin Zephaniah are more widely recognised. Walk into waterstones and their books are in some of the most noticeable displays. The influx of diverse literature was a massive contribution of the Windrush generation. Writers like Sam Selvon helped popularise the creole voice in writing and his subversive style is often adopted by ‘contemporary figures like Zadie Smith’.  Other mobilising movements, like the Caribbean Arts Movement and the Caribbean Voices helped attract an audience to these new styles of writing.

Sam Selvon sat at a desk holding papers.

Sam Selvon

I have only scratched the surface of the Windrush Generation’s achievements. There are so many more exciting stories and experiences to share. We must continue to read, educate, and honour the debt they paid for this country as Britain`s builders.


References

Want to Learn more about Equality, Diversity & Inclusion at King’s College London?

Experiences of racial discrimination on clinical placements: A narrative analysis of medical student perspectives.

KCL Intercalated Bachelor of Science (iBSC) Primary Care Student Luckshi Jegatheeswaran is currently researching medical student experiences of racial discrimination whilst on clinical placements. Luckshi is inviting KCL medical & intercalating students, between the years 2 – 5 to contribute to the project by sharing their experiences.


Why is this study important?

The purpose of the study is to understand how medical students can experience racial discrimination – whether directed at them, other students, or members of staff and to understand the immediate and lasting emotional impacts of these experiences.

The NHS boasts the UK’s most ethnically diverse public sector workforce. Increasing awareness of the experiences of people of ethnic minorities within the healthcare team (from medical students to senior staff) is crucial. This will facilitate greater understanding of the experiences of these groups. It will also allow the identification of areas where measures that will empower and create safe workspaces can be taken, benefiting the well-being of healthcare professionals from ethnic minorities.

What is the aim of the study?

  • To understand how medical students can experience racial discrimination- whether directed at them, other students, or members of staff.
  • To understand the immediate and lasting emotional impacts of these experiences.

Who can take part in the study?

  • Medical & intercalating students between years two and five.

What is involved?

  • You will complete an anonymous survey. The survey will ask you to state your course and year of study. You will be asked to describe your experiences of racial discrimination on medical placements.

How do I take part?

  1. Read this participant information.
  2. Submit your experiences using this online form

For further information please contact Luckshi via email: luckshi.jegatheeswaran@kcl.ac.uk

 

International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination

To mark the United Nations’ (UN) International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination, Sarah Guerra, Director of Equality, Diversity & Inclusion at King’s College London shares how you can make a difference and tackle racial discrimination. 


The United Nations’ (UN) International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination is observed worldwide on March 21 each year. The day aims to remind people of the harm caused by racial discrimination. It also encourages people to remember their obligation and determination to combat racial discrimination.

I only just this year learnt that the International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination was established six years after an event, known as the Sharpeville tragedy or Sharpeville massacre, which captured worldwide attention. This event involved police opening fire and killing 69 people at a peaceful demonstration against the apartheid “pass laws” in Sharpeville, South Africa, March 21, 1960.

The UN General Assembly called on the international community to increase its efforts to eliminate all forms of racial discrimination when it proclaimed the day as a UN Day of observance in 1966. It also called on all world states and organizations to participate in a program of action to combat racism and racial discrimination in 1983. It held the World Conference against Racism and Racial Discrimination, Xenophobia and Related Intolerance in 2001.

“Youth standing up against racism” is the theme of International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination 2022. A theme that should be close to all university’s hearts especially those like us that have declared themselves determined to be anti-racist.

Young people have the option of posting their opinions regarding discussions on human rights and racial discrimination at Voices of Youth, which is UNICEF’s online bulletin board for young people.

As part of the King’s community, there’s various ways for you to play your part in standing up against racism. EDI will be hosting active bystander training for students on 28th & 30th March and 1st April which you can sign up to here.  We are also delivering microaggression training to staff & students, which will teach you to identify, call out and respond to racial microaggressions. If you have witnessed racial discrimination and wish to report it, you can find out how on our Dignity at King’s webpages.  This also includes the option of reporting anonymously, which helps us monitor patterns to inform our proactive work.

Our Race Equity Inclusive Education Fund (REIEF) has provided over £99,000 across 13 projects, two of which are particularly relevant to today (Gargie Ahmad is bringing anti-racism into education and training for mental health research and practice, and Sapphire Williams is exploring anti-racism globally). Gargie will be telling us more about their research in an upcoming blog.

Happy Black History Month

Helena Mattingley, Head of Equality, Diversity & Inclusion at King’s reflects on what makes the cut into history curricula and shares her ever growing reading list.


Each October we mark Black History Month to  celebrate  the achievements and contributions of Black people now and throughout history, and noting the deliberate neglect or active removal of Black people from history.

British History as taught in schools is highly edited, not only in terms of historic periods, but who within those periods has the spotlight. History is produced in re-creating – who and what is chosen, how it is presented, and the selective memory and even more selective re-telling.

History is created from the pieces left behind, cherry picked and woven into a narrative by curators which typically matches their world view. It’s taught as being History, rather than curated evidence of the past – by which I mean it’s presented as Truth with a capital T.

My perception of what I was taught as history was like looking through a microscope and being told I could see the whole of UK History. To have a real understanding, we need to recognise the prejudice and bias of the evidence, of the historians, and what makes it into public consciousness is not a true reflection. I want to add more microscopes and more perspectives until I can see a broader representation of the past to continue my self-education.

This is why Dr Liam Liburd’s work to design a King’s Colonial History module is so important. Through inclusive scholarship, a cohort of talented students have uncovered and pulled silenced histories into focus. New voices and perspectives are bringing an important dimension of our past to life, and challenging the simplistic default white narratives.

Self-education is a powerful took, which is why I’ve been building a reading list. What would you add to this?

  • Black and British, David Olusoga
  • Black London, Avril Nanton and Jody Burton
  • Black Tudors, Miranda Kaufmann
  • Staying Power, Peter Fryer
  • Empireland, Sathnan Sanghera

You can use the comments section below to share your own inclusive must reads lists

 

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