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It’s time to tackle racism head on.

Racist incidents have been widely discussed on campus, profiled in national media and sparked an anti racism protest.

So what is actually being done?

 
 
 
  • SU staff and BME Committee members have met with University colleagues about the response to the incident at Varsity, and how to tackle racism longer term.
  • As a result, the University have said that they ‘apologise sincerely for the distress caused’ over the handling of the Varsity incident.
  • A formal anti-racism group has been established, made up of senior University staff, student BME Representatives, and SU staff. This ‘task and finish’ group will first meet in June 2018.
  • Sheffield Students Union, together with the SU’s BME Committee, are launching a new campaign: Take Racism Seriously.
  • You can now report racism directly to the SU by emailing reportracism@sheffield.ac.uk. It doesn’t need to be an ‘incident’ to use this email. Uncomfortable “banter”, suspected racial profiling, something you overheard on the tram – all these things can and should be highlighted.

Momentum is building for change. 2017-18 saw an inspiring protest, as well as some thought-provoking events discussing institutionalised racism, white privilege and implicit bias with speakers like Reni Eddo-Lodge and Dr Anita Franklin.

Take Racism Seriously will build on this momentum to educate people about racism and actively challenge racism in all of its forms.

Your email will be received by senior SU staff and discussed with student representatives of BME Committee. Emails will be checked daily to identify any urgent action needed, identify any hate crimes and advise students of additional routes available to them like making a formal complaint to the University. A response, if required, will be received within 2 weeks for non-urgent emails and much faster where necessary.

We may share the contents of your email, and any other information you send us,  if we believe you have raised any welfare, safety or risk issues.

As well as action specific to the incident or experience reported, emails will also be used to inform longer term understanding of racism on campus and appropriate ways to combat this.

Take Racism Seriously has a double focus. To identify and tackle incidences of racism on campus, including through the use of reportracism@sheffield.ac.uk; and for people (particularly White people) to really understand the problem.

Racism is often seen as a polarity - you’re either a racist, or you are completely immune to racism. But what if we all live in an imperfect society with subtle racist norms and structures?

The next time you hear unacceptable ‘banter’ or experience discrimination, call it out via reportracism@sheffield.ac.uk

You can also join the conversation at facebook.com/ShefUniBME or use #takeracismseriously