Black Lives Matter - Statement from the Dean and Faculty Leadership Team
Along with colleagues in the Faculty of Social Sciences and our constituent schools of study, we have watched recent events in the United States with sadness and horror.
These events show how racial injustice and discrimination continue to persist and scar our society. We know that many of you - our students, our colleagues and our alumni – will, like us, have been horrified by what has happened. At this difficult time, we stand in solidarity with our Black community and the Black Lives Matter movement. We want you to know we acknowledge the very real pain many of you may be feeling and to let you know that we are here to support you and that the University’s staff counselling and psychological support and student counselling and wellbeing services are available to all staff and students.
We are, as a University and Faculty, committed to equality, inclusion and diversity. Racism and intolerance, in any form, have no place in our community. We are aware however that systemic racial injustice is a longstanding global issue. It is not restricted to the US and is also found in the UK including in the higher education sector. We acknowledge the courage of Black academics and students who, now and in the past, have spoken out against racism in all its forms. They, and other colleagues and students in Leeds, have done, and are doing, immensely important work. Through such initiatives as our Access to Leeds scheme, work on the awarding gap and decolonising the curriculum, and our support of research agendas that engage with racism and social injustice, colleagues and students in the Faculty are doing much to help us build an environment in which diversity is valued and all can thrive. As leaders in the Faculty of Social Sciences, we recognise the challenges and difficulties of acting against institutional racism. We are, however, committed to playing our part in building an anti-racist environment for learning, teaching and research. Listening harder to what our Black students and colleagues have to say will be an important part of that and we need to do that better than we have done. We are committed to building on the work that has already started but we also need to accelerate it and to be answerable for our efforts. The injustices of centuries are not going to be remedied overnight, but the Faculty will strive to be part of the change that needs to come.
Professor Alastair Mullis, Dean of Faculty
Dr Kerri Woods, Chair Equality, Diversity and Inclusion Committee
Professor Anthea Hucklesby, Pro-Dean (Research and Innovation)
Professor Simon Lightfoot, Pro-Dean (Student Education)
Professor Norma Martin-Clement, Pro-Dean (International)
Professor Richard Beardsworth, Head of Politics and International Studies
Professor Alice Deignan, Head of Education
Professor Joan Loughrey, Head of Law
Professor S. Sayyid, Head of Sociology and Social Policy