Dear black students, currently we are facing two pandemics: COVID-19 and racism. However, as your BAME Officer, I would like to assure you that you have the full support of JMSU and LJMU. If you are unsure about anything - whatever it may be - please do not hesitate to let us know so that we can support you fully. - Julia Ngadi, BAME Officer, LJMU BAME Student Network, JMSU
We stand in solidarity with the Black Lives Matter Movement and with everybody seeking justice and equality across the world. The murder of George Floyd adds to an endless list of lives that have been needlessly taken because of the colour of their skin.
JMSU is a registered Hate Crime Reporting Service. This means we are specially trained to support people in the reporting of a hate crime or hate incident, all with complete confidentiality. Here are the ways we can support you.
Society in the UK is steeped in structures that disadvantages Black people and privileges white people across every area of life. The UK's history of racism and colonialism runs hundreds of years and yet many have little or no knowledge of it because it is erased from our schools, news, and public discourse. We owe the recent UK activism to the decade of political work undertaken by Black activists who came before us. But dismantling racism and white supremacy is not the responsibility of Black people - it's all of our responsibilities. We know from NUS' work on Race Matters, Institution Racism Review, and from Closing the Gap that Black students and staff face specific structural racism within education and the student movement.
We want everybody who studies at LJMU, works here or works with us to feel respected and respect others. Respect, Always is a collaboration between LJMU and JMSU which aims to collectively commit to putting respect at the heart of everything we do, ensuring we maintain and develop this approach across all areas of University life.
But we, as an organisation know there's more work to do. It is important that we both individually and a collectively recognise our positions of privilege, and use those privileges to support, listen to and understand the needs of our Black community. We are collating a list of resources below for us all to access to inspire and effect change, and will update this regularly.
NUS recently launched the Racial Justice Hub on NUS Connect. It includes resources for supporting students, actions we as a Students' Union can take, and how organisations can support their staff.
The National Union of Students (NUS) Black Students' campaign is the largest organisation of Black students in Europe. They campaign on issues at local, national and international levels aswell as connect activists across the UK. They offer a lot of guides, workshops, skills training and talks. Follow them on Facebook and Twitter.
Operation Black Vote campaigns for a fair, just, and inclusive democracy. They seek to inspire BME communities to engage with public institutions in order to address the persistent race inequalities faced in areas such as education, health and employment. Their work spans a number of areas including; voter registration, lobbying, mentoring schemes and political leadership programmes.
VICE recently published an article that features some self-care tips for black people struggling or feeling overwhelmed throughout this heartbreaking time. It includes how to manage your social media, links to articles and online black communities, black art, and affirmations.
Here is a resourceful Twitter thread which highlights UK based charities, organisations and platforms whose work aims to eradicate racial injustice.
The Northern Police Monitoring Project (NPMP) is an independent campaigning and advocacy organisation to educate, empower and organise people in the face of police harassment, violence and racism. They provide specialist legal assistance, community outreach initiatives and educational projects, including Know Your Rights workshops.
Donate, where you can, to organisations and charities that need your help to continue the work they are doing to organise, mobilise and campaign against racial inequalities and whom tirelessly fight for equality. You can also donate directly to George Floyd's family, as well as The Minnesota Freedom Fund, who are paying criminal bail and immigration bonds for those who cannot afford it; Reclaim the Block, to allow them to continue advocating and investing in community-led safety initiatives, and many, many more.
Here are some essential anti-racism books, documentaries and films:
Why I’m No Longer Talking To White People About Race by Reni Eddo-Ledge
Freedom Is A Constant Struggle by Angela Davis
The Fire Next Time by James Baldwin
Your Silence Will Not Protect You by Audre Lorde
Me and White Supremacy by Layla F Saad
13th – Netflix
Dear White People – Netflix
I am Not Your Negro – Kanopy
When They See Us – Netflix
Every Mother’s Son: Policing and Race in America – Kanopy
Sign petitions! This is a collective and powerful way for our voices to be heard. Black Lives Matter website has a list of petitions you can sign today to help support the movement. Here you can demand Justice for George Floyd, Justice for Ahmaud Arbery, Justice for Belly Mujinga, support the #WeAreDoneDying Campaign. Here you can sign petitions in relation to the UK;