Decolonising the Arts is an initiative that was championed by the Officers' predecessors, with major breakthroughs pushed by past Education Officer, Anita Israel. As a student that found a community and solidarity through the Decolonising the Arts zine, Campaigns Officer, Yasmeen Thantrey holds this action extremely close to her heart. Yasmeen and current Education Officer, Dylan Wilson will be working together to break down barriers and encourage action on systemic racism within higher education.
For many who have come through the system of arts education, they have a lived experience of systemic racism, which reflects the varied experience for students based on their race. At UAL, Black and minority ethnic students are around 21.5% less likely to achieve a 1st or a 2:1 in comparison to their white counterparts. Evidently, there is still much work to do in order to improve the treatment of these students.
As Sabbatical Officers, we have identified that there needs to be a culture change at UAL. Currently, the university is acting on their new Anti-Racism Strategy, which includes Equality, Diversity and Inclusion (EDI) training for their student facing staff. We will be holding the university to account to see this strategy implemented and actioned, with the request to see all staff in the institution participate in EDI training collectively.
Campaigns Officer - Yasmeen Thantrey Education Officer - Dylan Wilson
- Diversity within the curriculum as a norm and not as optional units
- Recruitment of diverse staff, on all levels (specifically Black and POC members)
- Incorporation of other languages into curriculum content
- UAL’s advocacy and facilitation of safe spaces for anti-racist knowledge exchange between students and staff
- Mandatory anti-racism training for all staff and students