A statement from Vice-Chancellor and President Professor Karen Cox, Kent Union President Sasha Langeveldt and Omolade Adedapo, Vice-President Welfare and Community, Kent Union.
As a University and Students’ Union, we acknowledge the institutional and societal impacts of racism in our society and within our own community here at Kent. We hear the voices of our Black students and staff who have shared their experiences and we are committed to taking real actions to address racism at the University and the wider society.
Many of our staff and students are actively working to address issues of institutional racism. The University has funded initiatives to redress some of the structural inequalities that affect students from Black, Asian and minority ethnic (BAME) backgrounds through the Student Success Project and has acted on recommendations from the BAME Staff Network, Kent Union and the Decolonise University of Kent movement.
Kent Union continues to lobby for ethnic diversity at every level of the University particularly amongst the Executive Group, University Council and within Student Services. In addition, following the publication of the Equality and Human Rights Commission Report on racial harassment, Kent Union are committed to expanding their City-Wide Zero Tolerance Project to explicitly tackle all forms of discrimination.
However, as institutions we must do better and, at the most senior level, are committed to working with our staff and students to actively tackle racism on our campuses and in our wider community and to help bring about long-overdue changes within our society.
It is our collective responsibility to stand up for justice, freedom and human dignity.
We fully support and encourage all our students to be active in reporting incidents of racism, harassment and discrimination through the InformKent reporting tool. Staff should report incidents using the approach outlined on the new harassment web pages.
We appreciate how experiences of harassment and discrimination can have a detrimental effect on mental health and wellbeing. Students affected by current events should contact our Wellbeing Advisors, Kent Union’s Advice Service or GKUnions.
Our Employee Assistance Service is available to support members of staff.
Professor Karen Cox, Vice-Chancellor and President
Sasha Langeveldt, President, Kent Union
Omolade Adedapo, Vice-President Welfare and Community, Kent Union