Building anti-racist workplaces:

Our branch Equality and Diversity Officer recently attended a webinar run by UCU looking at building anti-racist workplaces and this is his report.

“The attendance was quite small and much of the time was spent with the facilitators hearing about the steps we at Cardiff University and Cardiff Met were taking in relation to challenging racism.  We (I and the rep from Cardiff Met) have planned to work together this coming year to carry out some joint ventures together with the UCU Equality section in relation to recommended action points such as:

  • Engaging with our employer in taking steps to create an anti-racist workplace and I will take this to the next university EDI committee to look at we and the other campus unions can work together in challenging racism.

  • Take time to reflect and recognise that unions are not immune to racism and we could do with a conversation about this at Cardiff Uni UCU.  Part of this could be looking at how we encourage allyship and create an environment where racism is not tolerated.

  • Start a conversation: I have highlighted the importance of union membership within the BAME+ Staff Network and it would be useful for us as a branch to reach out and show how we can be allies.  This group is also working to create a safe space for staff as is the Student Race Equality Steering Group for students.

  • Educate yourself: perhaps the branch could support staff and student initiatives for black history month (while recognising that black history should be part of our history and not consigned to one month a year).

  • Build connections: it has been heartening to see the UCU banner in partnership with other local anti-racist movements although this is often done by individual members.  There are potential allies and connections to be made with the student union and other anti-racist organisations.

For further details see this document and for information about the Staff Race Equality Steering Group contact Jeff Allen for the Student Race Equality Steering Group and for the BAME+ Network

Some of us in the branch are engaged in this work and your support would be welcome!

Abyd Quinn Aziz”