BUCU Anti-racism Workshop, Monday 21 June 1.00pm

Zoom Online,
21 June 2021, 13:00 - 14:30

BUCU CPD Anti-racism workshop

What to expect

The  session will begin with a look at the history of slavery and colonialisation in the UK and in Higher education. 

Educational Institutions throughout the UK at primary and secondary level have shied away from discussing the realities of slavery and colonialism. This has been partly because, at school and college level, the National Curriculum has not required study of these topics, and partly because of the fear that a true depiction of events that occurred during slavery and colonialism would not put the UK in a very good light and increase inter-ethnic tensions. However, for Black people and people of colour in the UK the failure to address the history of slavery and colonialism truthfully has profound implications for their sense of inclusion within the society, and thereby well-being.

The circumstances in which George Floyd was murdered, the consequent increased prominence of the Black Lives Matter Movement, and the ethnic disparities in the impact of COVID-19 have all magnified the calls for the decolonisation of educational and other institutions.

A number of educational establishments, mostly within HE, are thinking about and working on decolonising themselves, from their curriculum to staffing. In the first part of our session we will consider:

  • What does our institution understand by decolonisation?
  • What processes are required to achieve it?
  • To what extent was Birmingham and the University of Birmingham a beneficiary of the slave trade and colonialism?
  • Are we moving in the right direction and what challenges do we think the institution will face in decolonising itself?

Outcomes & objectives

We will then discuss with the West Midlands Black Members network how we can organise as a trade union and what we can do to develop better anti-racist activism.

  • Consider how we can build solidarity around this work across the institution and the wider region.
  • Discuss how members can get involved and how we can build capacity in the branch around our anti-racist campaigning work.
  • What are the challenges of organising intersectionally (and why is intersectionality important?)

How the workshop will work

The session is scheduled for 90 minutes, which will include an initial presentation and discussion on decolonising the institution (45 minutes) followed by a discussion of how we can develop the BUCU branch (45 minutes).

Once you have registered you will then be sent a meeting number and password for the webinar using zoom, along with a couple of points to think about before the webinar. You will be able to join the session from about 10 minutes before the stated start time. We would recommend you join 5 to 10 minutes early as you will need to be admitted to the session, and of course there can be technical problems.

On behalf of Birmingham UCU

Bookings no longer allowed on this date.