GUILD TALKS: About Race and Everything Else
People come to university for a myriad of reasons. One major reason many attend university is for the pursuit of knowledge. A pursuit to not just absorb and digest knowledge like a sponge. But to challenge and formulate own opinions rooted in evidence.
But what do we do when the building blocks of our knowledge have been short changed? Students pay thousands of pounds every year to pursue knowledge, yet our access to knowledge is being surgically restricted by Eurocentric boundaries and by filling reading lists with - only - authors of a non-diverse background. You know what I mean, our “John Smith” authors and “Harry Reeds”. Thereby filtering the knowledge we as students have access to.
It’s not an exaggeration to state that many of the worlds problems can be traced back to a lack of knowledge and lack of understanding of the root issues of causes. This is often perpetuated by an erasure of history by leaving out valuable diverse narratives and even wilful amnesia.
There’s a common saying “Knowledge is Power” - we attend universities that are hailed for being ‘Russell Group Institutions’ driven by evidence, research and so on.
Yet, too many institutions are silent on this matter. This is evident through -only -displaying authors like “John Smith” who perpetuate - only -eurocentric ideologies, thereby constraining our learning within mainstream boundaries.
As a result, NUS have been supporting student unions like ours to “Decolonise Our Curriculum “
In an era where the higher education sector is facing strong and justified critique over having a large BME attainment gap, and only having 25 black female professors across the WHOLE of the UK, in comparison to over 12,000 white male professors , more efforts should be made to address this.
All of the above is exactly why the Guild has started “Guild Talks” a series of guest lectures open to ALL to attend regardless of degree course or background to learn and engage with topics such as race, equality, diversity and more. This year, the Guild have been active in discussing topics such as race, through the bolstered celebration of black history month, launching the Black Leadership Conference and encouraging students to fill out the EHRC survey.
So, if you value taking the limits off your learning, and exploring knowledge which goes beyond your degree course, step into our first Guild Talks this Thursday led by Dr Christienna Fryar on “Emancipation to Windrush” 6:30pm in the Library Room.
We’ll be announcing further Guild Talks in the coming weeks here.