SUSU Supports Black Lives Matter
Over the weekend, there has been significant media attention on the senseless murder of George Floyd by a U.S policeman. However, this is not an isolated incident. In the last few weeks alone, there have been a number of racist attacks on the Black community, and has been an ongoing issue for a long time. This has led to recent media attention on the #BlackLivesMatter movement and today people are positing black squares as part of #blackouttuesday to raise awareness. We encourage people using the #blackouttuesday hashtag to NOT use the #blacklivesmatter hashtag, as it is currently removing space for important updates from the movement on social media.
We recognise that SUSU has a large platform, and we will continue use it to amplify Black voices in this movement and in our student body. We want to speak out now because we feel it’s important to add support from this organisation to the movement and encourage, facilitate and support our students to understand the important issues that are being spotlighted at the moment, but have been issues for a very long time.
SUSU stands with our Black community behind this movement and other movements dedicated to removing systematic oppression. We also call on our non-Black students not to be silent during this time and use their voices and platforms now and after this movement. The conversation is uncomfortable, and it’s supposed to be. We recognise the lack of racial diversity within our own organisation. We recognise our university, like many others is not exempt from this conversation and we are actively working towards breaking down barriers to achieve racial equality, recognising our own histories and contributions to the movement, from social to academic. The University and SUSU have committed time, funding, resource and effort into not only removing these gaps but identifying ones that we’d not thought of before. But we need more of our Black students in the room, and we need to work on removing the barriers that have been put in front of you, by us or by society.
SUSU is aware that racism exists on Southampton’s campus, and we cannot rely on our Black students to do the emotional heavy lifting, we must take action ourselves. This past year, we have released a policy mandating SUSU and Students to act in line with #ExpectRespect, piloted training which includes a section about racism and discrimination and written a code of conduct detailing explicitly what we expect from our members. We are also supporting work in the Race Equality Charter, Decolonising and Diversifying our Curriculum, and considering ways we can better support our staff and students who are committing emotional labour to this work. We are only just setting the foundations, but we recognise there is a long way to go, and SUSU commits to this.
We will be discussing going forward what other practical action we can take to support this movement and our students during this time and afterwards.
For now, you can:
Donate to causes (if you can)
Educate yourself, not through your Black friends but use Google and the mountain of information already out there
Confront yourself on how you may participate and support this action
For those who may be grieving during this time, please see below some specific support services you may wish to use across the UK.
If you have further links you’d like us to add, please message the Sabbaticals
George Floyd: www.gofundme.com/f/georgefloyd
Belly Mujinga: www.gofundme.com/f/rip-belly-mujinga
Colour of Change: colorofchange.org/
Tony McDade: [The fundraiser that was previously created for this for Queer POC has currently been disabled, if anyone comes across a legitimate fundraiser for their family, please pass along!]
Here are some resources and literature you can read. We are currently working on getting some titles free and accessible through the University’s online library.
- Why I’m No Longer Talking to White People about Race- Reni Eddo Lodge
- Natives, Akala
- From #BlackLivesMatter to Black Liberation, Keeanga-Yamahtta Taylor
- Black Lives Matter Website: Resources, guides and support blacklivesmatter.com/resources/
- Directly follow Black influencers, students, business owners and people to hear directly from them about this issue
We stand in solidarity with Black Lives Matter and our students. #ExpectRespect #SayTheirNamesTags: family, fundraiser, information, support