The Race, Accountability and Listening Action Group is committed to advocacy and accountability for the Black community both inside and outside of SOAS. We recognise that institutional racism perpetuates the marginalisation of specific ethnic groups, and we seek to provide an equitable environment for all.
We understand that racial inequalities are not always overt, isolated incidents, but an everyday facet of UK society, and therefore racial inequalities manifest themselves in everyday situations, processes and behaviours. We purport that UK higher education cannot reach its full potential unless it can benefit from the talents of the whole population and until individuals from all ethnic backgrounds can benefit equally from the opportunities it affords.
This group’s primary focus will be to address matters of pedagogy, student experience, policy, and culture within the institution that have implications for the race and cultural experiences of students, staff, and external stakeholders. This group has five key pillars that while independent are interdependent and must be considered in order to improve on race accountability at SOAS.
The five pillars are as follows:
- Decolonisation – Producing and embedding decolonial scholarship and curriculum.
- Race equity – Providing guidance and opportunities for creating equitable spaces for racially marginalised groups.
- Listening – To create and facilitate spaces where students/staff can reflect on their experiences and how their voices are represented within the institution.
- Accountability – To provide meaningful engagement with positive behaviours, and supportive and fair response and processes to negative behaviours around racism.
- Culture and communication – To provide education and information both internally to improve SOAS, to serve the needs of the community, and contribute meaningfully to the global conversations around race.
We have the privilege of working with some amazing initiatives at SOAS, such as:
- The Black Staff and Student Forum
- SOAS Decolonising Working Group
- The Ebony Initiative
- Bridging The Gap
- Breaking Barriers Mentorship Scheme
- SOAS Festival of Ideas
- Culture at SOAS Working Group
- SOAS Student Union & Societies
The following is the full discussion on the Race, Accountability and Listening Action Group between its Co-Chairs, Lucia Kula and Dr Melanie-Marie Haywood.