The Black and Global Majority Staff Network was launched to address the needs, priorities and concerns of both academic and professional members of staff at the College from diverse non-White ethnic groups. You can find out more about the Network below.
1. What is the Black and Global Majority Staff Network and how was it formed?
In 2013, Equality and Diversity Officer Susan Lee (who retired in May 2021) initiated an informal discussion forum for Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic (BAME) academic and professional services staff at Royal Holloway, to foreground conversations on unconscious racial bias, lack of equitable opportunities and the under-representation of minoritized members in positions of leadership across College. The name given to the forum was the Cultural Diversity Network. It offered a valuable safe space for colleagues to freely discuss their lived experiences and to air their concerns around systemic racial aggressions. In early 2021, after a survey of opinions from active members of the network, a decision was taken to re-name and re-envision the goals of the network. The Black and Global Majority Staff Network was formed to collectively and collaboratively hold accountable Royal Holloway’s commitment to anti-racism, equity and solidarity for racialized minoritized constituencies. Post George Floyd’s murder and the Black Lives Matter movement in 2020, the network became committed to equitable actions, not just promises or strategies. We wish to give our College crucial perspectives around social justice, inform College strategy, and we aspire to help shape and focus existing conversations on equalities.
2. Why has the Network recently been re-named?
The Black and Global Majority Staff Network has paid close attention to national and sector-wide critical conversations on the limitations of words such as ‘diversity’, ‘inclusion’ and ‘BAME.’ Drawing on the Beyond BAME Stimulus Report (DaCosta, Dixon-Smith and Singh, 2021: p.24), the network agreed on the term ‘Black and Global Majority’ for the following reasons:
a) that it is in fact global majorities who are ‘racially minoritized in institutional contexts in the UK’;
b) the term ‘fosters a more positive sense of self-identification and solidarity with those involved in anti-racist struggle globally’;
and c) psychologically, the term ‘nurtures a sense of wellbeing [….] to define oppressed groups in the UK as being part of the “majority”’.
The term ‘Black and Global Majority’ therefore defines racialised minoritized populations in their own terms, not in reference to whiteness.
3. What are the long and short term initiatives of the Network?
As a network committed to anti-racism, equity and building solidarities, we want to lobby for changes to how Black and Global Majority staff and student experience Royal Holloway. This includes shaping racial equity in the following areas to start with:
- College governance and leadership, in College Executive, SMT, Schools and Departments (Academic and Professional).
- Hiring and Recruitment processes
- Promotions processes and Pay Gap
- Student attainment gap
- Staff and Student Experience
The Black and Global Majority Staff Network endeavours to make Royal Holloway University of London a space where race equality is practiced, not dreamed of. It wishes to create an equitable environment for the burgeoning body of Black and Global Majority staff and students who choose to work and study here. All its initiatives, short and long term, are with a view to deliver that vision.
4. How can colleagues engage with the Network?
We invite and welcome all colleagues across professional and academic services who identify as Black and Global Majority (this includes those who identify as minority ethnic or of mixed race heritage) and our allies to join the network. Requests to be added to our email and MS Teams channel can be sent to Katerina.Finnisroyalholloway.ac.uk, who is the E&D Coordinator for Organizational Development in HR. We meet three-four times per term, in short, one hour lunchtime meetings on MS Teams, although on-campus meets will be back in our diaries whenever possible!
The Network will also host open events across the year where we will welcome all College staff and students to conversations on race and equity in Higher Education. Our annual open-to-all event ‘Power, Poetry and Networks’ is on July 22, 12.30-2pm on MS Teams. Please look out for the flyer and join us if you can!