A statement by Vice-Chancellor Graham Baldwin
The death of George Floyd and others has caused enormous shock and outrage and we share the horror that many staff, students and alumni feel about recent events which have been the catalyst for a global movement to challenge structural racism towards black people.
As the fight against racism continues, it’s important that we all play our part in standing with and being allies with our black students, colleagues and the wider black communities. UCLan and the wider higher education sector have a huge role to play. We must be upfront and recognise that racism exists in society and work together over a sustained period of time to eradicate this. Here at UCLan we are tackling these issues head on but recognise there is still much to do.
While UCLan works hard to be a welcoming, respectful and inclusive community we commit to building on this to create an environment which consistently challenges and works to find solutions to racism within and beyond our institution.
Positive momentum is coming from our students and staff and there have been many student-led events and reports which are defining and documenting the issues very articulately. We will reflect on the stories and voices as we shape our plans.
We will work pro-actively with our staff, student and wider community in our response to the Black Lives Matter movement with specific action taken to narrow the black awarding gaps and working to decolonise the curriculum. There will be opportunities for all our stakeholders to get involved and we will keep everyone updated as our progress continues.
One of our own colleagues, Turner prize-winning artist Lubaina Himid is working with The Guardian offering their readers the chance to buy an exclusive print, with proceeds going to the ROOT-ed Zine, which aims to inspire, promote and support creatives of colour from, or based, in the north-west.
We recognise that this is just the beginning. We need to go further, and we will. Universities like ourselves can play a huge role in changing attitudes, practice and stretching minds with new experiences and perspectives. Stretched minds rarely go back to old dimensions.