NTU's Vice-Chancellor launches the Race Equality Action Plan
Professor Edward Peck explains how the events of 2020 have led to this plan and why race equality is a priority for the academic year and beyond.
I have been asked by a number of colleagues about my priorities for this academic year. I suspect they think I will say Covid-19, Covid-19, and Covid-19. They are partially right. They are Covid-19, race equality at NTU, and our anticipation of and response to the forthcoming White Paper on Higher Technical Education and Skills.
The resurgence of the Black Lives Matter movement following the murder of George Floyd meant I received the most powerful and persuasive communications from colleagues and students that I have read during my time at NTU. They articulated experiences of NTU – and of wider society – that made me question my own response, and that of the University, to racial inequality, discrimination and harassment. I had already agreed to co-chair – with Professor Nahem Yousaf – the Race Equality Charter (REC) Self-Assessment Team. However, focusing on long-term analysis and actions as we pursued REC accreditation did not seem sufficient. NTU needed something more immediate.
The result is the Race Equality Action Plan. It has been developed following conversations with Black, Asian, South Asian, and other ethnically and culturally diverse members of NTU’s student and colleague community, our University Executive and Leadership Teams, and our Board of Governors. It contains commitments to actions during this term - indeed some are already in motion. For example, with the support of NTU colleagues from across the institution, the Race, Ethnicity and Cultural Heritage (REACH) network and our Nottingham Trent Students’ Union (NTSU) partners, we have been able to offer 52 separate celebratory and educational events during Black History Month. This is a positive start to our Black History Month 365 (BHM365) programme currently being designed ready for implementation in the first half of 2021.
This plan is not the final word on what we will do. Our work on putting together the programme to support our submission for REC accreditation will continue. But it is the first step in our journey to ensure that colleagues and students never feel they have to write to the Vice-Chancellor of NTU in the same terms again.
I would like to thank all those who have shared their insights and their wisdom as this plan has been put together. Please do keep sharing your perspective.
Professor Edward Peck
Notes for editors
- Category: Press office