Tackling Racial Injustice: Our Next Steps

Posted on: 8 October 2020

Back in July, we shared a statement about our commitment to tackling racial injustice at Student Hubs, and as we move into the new term we are continuing to prioritise this work internally. 

Since our last update, we have held calls with the whole staff team exploring and reflecting on racial injustice, including how it impacts our work with students, our staff, our stakeholders and university partners, and considering where we will focus our attention. It was essential for us to make this an organisation-wide discussion, with separate opportunities for reflection, as well as the topic of racial injustice being included in the agenda of management team meetings, to ensure we were giving this issue the priority, time and space it deserves. The Student Hubs Management Team has reviewed the outcome of the organisation-wide discussions, as well as our own discussions, and broken down the actions and work necessary to meet these goals in reframing our approach to racial injustice. 

As a systemic social issue, racial injustice influences and affects everyone we engage and interact with. It needs to be acknowledged and tackled at all levels of our organisation. Because of this, it’s important to us that we give this work the time and space it needs, and we did not want to rush into actions before we had taken time to reflect fully. 

Out of our reflections, we have established key steps and timelines for work that needs to be undertaken in the next few months to keep tackling racial injustice a priority at Student Hubs. 

Our top priorities include:
  • Educating and informing students about racial injustice, and informing them of what they should do if they experience or witness racial injustice in any part of their engagement with Student Hubs. Areas of work in addressing this include reviewing and updating our selection and training workshops for students to outline our code of conduct, our expectations and where students should go for support, and including this written guidance in our volunteer handbooks;
  • Updating our safeguarding training for both staff and students outlining our anti-bullying and anti-harassment processes;
  • Defining what ‘anti-racism’ means to us as an organisation and how far our duty to educate extends;
  • Ensuring we are accessible as an employer, including interrogating our recruitment practices such as reviewing recommendations for fairer recruitment, examining our salary banding and our status as a living wage employer;
  • Reviewing guidance around accessible programme design for our volunteers; 
  • Pooling resources for staff, students and other stakeholders. 
Other areas which we will be exploring this term include:
  • Working groups which review our vision and mission, our work with community partners, and our history through the lens of racial injustice; 
  • A communications project which examines how we can fairly conduct audience research insights, and better reflect diversity in our branding and communications, including collecting more diverse case studies from students. 

As in our last blog, we remain committed to supporting students to be active citizens in their communities, and to curating a workplace that is supportive and rewarding for all. This work will continue to be prioritised at all levels of Student Hubs, and we look forward to sharing further updates as we carry out this work this term. 

The Student Hubs Management Team

This blog was written jointly by Pippa Smith (CEO), Sim Dhanjal (Network Director), Fiona Walsh (Sales Director) and Sophie Ford (Southampton Hub Manager) who form the management team of Student Hubs.

Tags: Community, Education, Higher Education, Social Action, Third Sector

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