Racial Equality Working Group
The Race Equality working group was formed in the summer of 2021, with a focus on identifying and tackling equality issues regarding race and ethnicity in the department. We have a monthly hybrid meeting and we aim to reduce discrimination on the basis of race and ethnicity, to support people who experience racism, to facilitate an open culture for discussions/raising concerns, and to cultivate the diversification of our workforce with incoming staff and students. It is open to all members of the department, though we particularly encourage anyone who identifies as a person of colour or being from a black or minoritised ethnic group to join.
Over the past six months, we conducted a number of surveys and focus groups to identify issues related to race equality in the department, as well as issues related to bullying and harassment and challenging work environments/relationships (concerns which disproportionately affect ethnic minorities). We are currently developing an extensive action plan to address the issues raised in this process, including:
- Clearer, simpler website with all information about how to raise issues and concerns in the department – both formally and informally
- PI monthly meetings to reflect on own practice, consider challenges, peer-support, with slot for more formal training
- Linking in with WIN diverse hiring guidance and expanding our school outreach
- Setting up a welfare officer focused on race equality
In 2021, we successfully applied for funding from the Research Enhancement Culture Fund, which allowed us to hire an external EDI specialist to facilitate race equality focused surveys and focus groups in 2022. In March 2023, we reported back on the results of the surveys and focus groups and shared our draft for a departmental action plan to address these concerns. We promoted activities, training and resources around the university aimed at tackling racism and inequality (including this guide on inclusive research), and celebrated the successes of academics of colour. We bought books on racism that now sit in the common room for anyone to access, guided by this anti-racism reading list.
Working with other groups and with feedback sought from across the department, we also helped develop the behaviour and values framework so that it would “outline the department’s commitment to rewarding a broader set of values in academia - workplace good culture, respect and EDI”.
BIPOC STEM Network: for staff and postgraduates within the University’s STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths) departments who identify as Black, Indigenous and People of Colour (BIPOC), or Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic (BAME). Sign up to be a member or ally here.
Race and Resistance Network: brings together researchers, students, and activists in the history, literature, and culture of anti-racist movements. To sign up, send a blank email to email@example.com .
MPLS ED&I Network: monthly updates to anyone interested in equality, diversity and inclusion related activities within the Division/University. To subscribe, email firstname.lastname@example.org .