People and Organisational Development

Equality, diversity & inclusion

Race equality guiding principles

Members of the BAME Staff Network have developed a set of Guiding Principles for race equality work.

These principles are intended to support all those who are asked to take action in the area of race equality, and address the wide variation in understanding around race that currently exists across the University. The principles were approved by the Race Equality Charter Action Group in February 2021.

  1. Avoid negative impacts on BAME staff and students by efforts to advance race equality at the university. If there is uncertainty regarding whether an action pathway could harm BAME staff or students or make them more vulnerable, err on the side of caution and either take steps to eliminate this risk or do not proceed with the action without consulting the BAME staff network or relevant student groups.
  2. Respect the stories and identities of BAME staff and students. Do not share personal images, stories, accounts or experiences without permission; do not repurpose accounts shared for a particular reason for another reason.
  3. Accept the need for safer spaces in which BAME staff and students can gather and discuss issues and concerns that are relevant to them, without the observation, participation or inquiries of white peers and managers. Encourage the creation of these spaces where they do not yet exist.
  4. Centre the collective expertise of BAME staff and students. Consult and involve the BAME Staff Network and relevant student societies when generating ideas for and making decisions related to race equality efforts; prioritise the perspectives of these collective bodies and their representatives over individual opinions.
  5. Enable the leadership and participation on decision-making bodies of BAME staff and students. Invite the ideas and input of BAME staff and students, and open opportunities for their leadership where possible. Seek to ensure their leadership and participation is recognised formally, for example, through allocated workload hours, line manager’s approval, the creation or taking up of a relevant role or title, or other mechanisms.
  6. Recognise the valuable contributions of BAME staff and students both interpersonally, in group settings, and more widely through institutionally and publicly visible channels. If BAME staff or students have contributed content to an institutional document or an initiative, ensure they are cited prominently and credited appropriately. Pro-actively seek to develop this habit as a marker of good practice.
  7. Familiarise those involved with the characteristics of structural, systemic and institutional racism, white supremacy culture and the bias of professionalism standards. Consider how these may be showing up in local institutional culture. For example, the tendency of institutions to simultaneously hinder and take credit for advancements made in matters of race equality is one way in which white supremacy culture shows up. Be aware of this tendency and seek to challenge it and similar issues when they arise.
  8. Acknowledge and account for intersectionality, or the knowledge that people can be multiply and simultaneously marginalised or advantaged by a variety of demographic and identity characteristics, of which race, ethnicity, and national origin are only some. To illustrate, the intersections of gender, gender identity, sexual orientation, social class, disability, religion and age may exacerbate or cause different manifestations of disadvantage and/or privilege, in concert with the dimension of race, ethnicity and nationality.
  9. Recall that BAME is not a homogenous group but instead a catch-all and contested term that covers a range of individuals, groups and lived experiences. For example, anti-Blackness means that Black African and African diasporic people as well as those of mixed Black heritage are continually discriminated against. The experiences of marginalised minorities within the BAME category also require close attention and further investigation.
  10. Call on knowledge, skill and leadership in relation to racial equality and equity initiatives according to experience and competence, rather than replicating existing hierarchical structures (or other ascribed power structures within the institution). This supports an anti-racist model and can include partnership and collective leadership models.