It’s been five months since our last blog update on our work internally to tackle racial injustice at Student Hubs, and we wanted to share the steps we have taken and will continue to take to move this work forward.
We recognise that five months is a long time, and it’s important for us to address why that is. The work that we did in the summer revealed that internally at Student Hubs, we needed to restructure some of our processes, systems, and review our approach to all aspects of our work, including staff and student recruitment, programme delivery, capacity and budgeting. This takes time, and is a process. But we want to do this right and well, which means we must spend the time on it that this work deserves in order to ensure the work is embedded and sustainable.
So below, we want to share where we have gotten up to, and what’s next for us.
What has happened since October:
- We have had discussions with our Equality, Diversity and Inclusion team on this topic to decide our actions as a network and conducted a ‘Solidarity Health Check’, recommended by The Listening Fund, exploring our listening practices with students with our staff team as part of our recent Programme Day in March;
- Working groups have been created which have already actioned work in this area including a communications working group, and our Management Team updating our pay, policies and safeguarding practice;
- We have started updating our recruitment processes, which include recommendations for fairer recruitment, auditing and improving all of our recruitment processes and our salary practices;
- We have been updating our practices around accessible volunteering, reviewing our communications and building image descriptions into our national and local communications;
- We have been auditing our community partner recruitment practices, with the aim to provide stronger guidance for recruiting partners and ensuring they share our commitment to anti-racist practices;
- We have been undertaking research to shape our communications work which is exploring how we can embed stronger listening practices in our local and national work, conduct audience research equitably, as well as our case study and national blog offer for students;
- Our Management Team have also been considering how we can commit to this work in the long-term, considering how we allocate budget to the above actions, and in our staffing and capacity.
Our top priorities for implementation in our Hub network across the summer include:
- New practices for our case studies, national blogs, focus groups, community partner recruitment, programme recruitment and design approved by our Management Team;
- Updated processes and materials for staff recruitment for the new academic year;
- Long-term strategic commitment to this work, including in budget planning and how we explore funding additional capacity to lead in this area.
We hope to provide an update in the summer with how this work has progressed, and what goals we are continuing to work towards. Capacity for delivering this work is a priority for us, and will continue to be so for the foreseeable future.
In conducting our research, we would recommend other organisations explore the reports and recommendations from CharitySoWhite, The Runnymede Trust and Voice4Change. We have also conducted additional audits exploring our work with students and using recommendations and practices from The Listening Fund and The Centre for Youth Impact.