When we launched this campaign back in November 2020, we made a number of promises to you. As this current officer team is due to leave at the end of June, with a new team joining in July, we look forward to meeting the new officers and establishing the direction of our anti-racism work for next academic year. For our final Be Better, Do Better update, we wanted to look back at these promises and share some of our achievements, as well as things we’re continuing to work on for next academic year.
1. Completed 14 number of mythbusters
This year we produced 14 ‘Mythbuster' posters which covered a range of race-based myths such as "Universities Aren't Racist Anymore" and “The Job Market Is Not Biased Towards White People”. These posters were released on the KeeleSU website, the officer’s social media channels and the student life page for students to read and discuss. As part of our tribute to the anniversary of George Floyd’s death, these posters were also placed around the SU building.
2. The Awarding Gap - explore and explain the awarding gap and share an update
?During the University’s senate meeting earlier this year, the University informed us that analysis into the recent improvement of the BAME attainment gap at Keele was taking place. The University is currently undertaking this research and we will continue to push them to publish this data once it is available. We maintain the importance of the University understanding all the contributing factors to last year's improvement, so that the awarding gap can continue to narrow.
3. Seek out and host events beyond Black History Month
Throughout the year, we continued to hold conversations around race issues beyond Black History Month, such as in Disability History Month and LGBTQ+ History Month. We are hopeful about the opportunity to continue hosting these events in person next year.
4. Put Race Equality on the agenda of every meeting we attend (where appropriate)
One of our aims when we started this campaign, was to put race equality on the agenda of every meeting we attend. We therefore made a commitment to get, where applicable, race equality routinely placed on agenda items especially in meetings at a strategic/higher level within the SU and the university.
We had a number of successes with this, including our partnership meeting with University Executive Committee members and our Trustee board in the SU. Race equality already exists as an agenda item on Senate but our campaign helped draw greater attention to it.
Thanks to the traction of this campaign, more university committees, sub-committees and routine meetings, have been adding this as a standing item.
5. Reviewing our internal policies, practices and procedures
With the recent introduction of our HR department, we are reviewing our internal policies, practices and procedures with the hopes of attracting and retaining diverse candidates for both full-time and part-time roles. Diversity recruitment is a long-term project for the SU but we hope to make positive progress over the coming months.
6. BAME role model system
While we had high hopes for the BAME role model system, the strains and constraints of this year ymade it incredibly difficult to make any progress with this project. However, a similar project called Race Equality mentoring has been taken up by the BAME staff network, which looks incredibly promising.
7. We held monthly anti-racism meetings to review progress and reported back
Every month since we promised to hold monthly meetings and report back on our progress to you, as you can see here: https://keelesu.com/yourunion/campaigns/current/ongoing/bebetterdobetter/
Apart from our main aims, we achieved so much more this year. Check out our monthly updates to find out more!