Student Success Project manager Abigail Elliott invited eight experts to a symposium called Dismantling Hegemonies and Anti-Blackness in Higher Education to share their experiences and knowledge of how the legacies of slavery and racism continue to set Black people at a disadvantage.
From exposing how Black girls are judged as being more adult-like from as early as age 5 to how UK doctors are only now questioning clinical signs of ill-health for people with darker skin – consider how ‘looking pale’ is observed – as well as racism experienced by the tiny 1.2% of Black researchers, who dare to question a system which favours the white experience in both ethics and peer review.
You’ll get insight into how barriers to success are perpetuated in such insidious ways that they go unnoticed by those that are unaffected by them (and often by those that are impacted); and can even, in some cases, be accepted as the ‘norm’ and irremediable by Black and other racially minoritised people.
Each speaker also gave their take on next steps and calls to action that we must all make to un-learn racism and create actionable anti-racist solutions to make sure there is equitable opportunity for black people to progress.
Abigail said: “It is evident how urgent and critical the learning, unlearning, and action needed to be taken to eradicate systemic racial inequity is just by the sheer amount of attendees on the day. A late Friday afternoon that led into the evening; over three hours of being talked at; and with just two days prior notice! That level of engagement and support is powerful – thank you for your commitment to anti-racism work.”
If you missed the Student Success Project’s annual symposium, you can watch a recording here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hyXuHoZv6Sw