The University of Nottingham Students’ Union stands in solidarity with the family, friends and community of George Floyd.
Tragically, he fell victim to the horrific actions of police in Minnesota. George, just like many other members of the black community across the globe, was subject to actions of deep-rooted hatred, unfounded discrimination, and racial prejudice, generated by a history of neglect, systemic oppression, and racism. George's death has once again brought attention to issues of inequality and racism which have significantly impacted the black community for generations. It is critical that we recognise that the current protests regarding the Black Lives Matter movement are not the product of issues solely in the USA. Racism is systemic, present in our own communities, and prevalent throughout the UK. We all have a part to play; we all have a responsibility to act.
Black people in the UK are more likely to be targeted by police (including excessive force) and hate crime. The UK is not innocent and when students come to University, they do not enter a magical or perfect bubble. As a Union, we must be loud and direct with our support, and represent our students. This includes using our voice as an institution to amplify the voices of members of our black community.
It was only four years ago that individuals protested in Nottingham for Black Lives Matter. Four years on, racial hate crime has increased by nearly 30,000 cases in the UK. All year students try to make a change within this institution and the community. Yet for the most part, especially for black students, change does not come quickly enough – if at all. During this time our students look to their Union for support and change. Black lives matter and as a Union that means working harder to improve the lives of black students at the University of Nottingham.
This means better and easier reporting of hate crimes, continuingly developing staff training, holding people and organisations to account, education for non-black students and more. This work has started, but it is vital now more than ever that it is prioritised. With cuts from the government now affecting the University and, in turn, the Students’ Union, we must be clear that resources and work for black students are not only protected but advanced.
Right now, people are demanding justice, and are hopeful that this is the tipping point despite there having already been so many moments like this before. Anyone informing themselves on the protests in America will know, black people are tired. It is not the time to expect them to teach you, explain something to you, or reward you for basic decency. It is time for non-black students to do their own learning, and to use their guilt as fuel to learn, rather than begging for forgiveness. Look out for your black friends, check in with them, donate, follow black journalists, and support the Black Lives Matter movement.
This is not resolved overnight but we must work like it can be. As an SU we need to make far more progress on anti-racism and reflect on our practices as an organisation, and we will be pushing for the University to do the same. The Full-Time Officer Committee today committed to putting a motion to Union Council to further enshrine these resolves as actions for the entire organisation to bear, not just those involved few.
We will work alongside our members to do more and provide them with a platform to have their voices heard. We as a Union stand with our black students and the individuals across the globe fighting racism and asking for a different world. Please continue to hold us, your Union and representatives, to account, and we will do the work to support our black members.
Solidarity from the University of Nottingham Students' Union. No Justice. No Peace.
James Pheasey | Daryl Ormerod | Janette Alvarado-Cruz
President | Chief Executive | Director of Student Influence
Georgina Pittman | Jacob Collier | Cassie Ulrich
Activities Officer | Community Officer | Education Officer
Myles Smith-Thompson | Millie Doherty | Abdi Ahmed
Equal Opportunities and Welfare Officer | Sports Officer | Postgraduate Officer
Omolade Osinake | Lee Taylor | Denis Lelin
BME Students’ Officer | Environment and Social Justice Officer | International Students’ Officer
Sam Hawkins | Becca Craven | Delphine Avraam
LGBT+ Students’ Officer | Mature Students’ Officer | Women* Students’ Officer
If you want to make, or just discuss, change at the University or Union, you can get in touch by email.
You can go here to find out who your representatives are and how to contact them.
Wellbeing resources for black students:
Vice-President Welfare and Community at Kent Union, Omolade Adedapo, has shared five self-care tips for black students
Black Minds Matter - A non-profit organisation that aims to empower communities. It has resources for wellbeing, podcasts and much more
- Services for Students are also available at the University to support students’ health and welfare
Books for people to read:
Natives by Akala
Why I’m No Longer Talking to White People About Race - Reni Eddo-Lodge
Brit(ish): On Race, Identity and Belonging - Afua Hirsh
Gal-dem’s guide on what to do if you can’t protest on the street
UK-based platforms to donate
The Black Curriculum - a social enterprise committed to teaching and support of black history the UK educational curriculum
Akwaaba, Hackney – This is a Hackney-based social centre for migrants, where they offer rest, play, learning and mutual support
BYP Network - Founded by a University of Nottingham Alumni, Kike Oniwinde. BYP Network is raising a £10,000 fund for households which have family members risking their lives to work due to financial insecurities. This fund will support key workers in the black community who are immunocompromised, chronically ill, asthmatic, elderly, or posing a risk to others within their households:
Kwanda – Creating a Digital therapy place for Black individuals. About the Project: Taboos surrounding therapy, and the cost of therapy, can act as a barrier to entry for many in our communities. We want to relieve individuals who may benefit from therapy of this cost by creating a free digital group therapy space