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PhD student challenges sector over race equity

21 Oct 2020 | Daniel Akinbosede October is Black History Month and at Advance HE we are proud to share stories of Black success, experience and action in higher education.

Daniel Akinbosede is co-founder of the Race Equity Advocates programme and PhD Student and Doctoral Tutor in Biochemistry at the University of Sussex.

In this vlog, Daniel says it can be hard to be positive about Black History Month within higher education and academia because “the academy still excludes the humanity of Black people in such systemic and deliberate ways”.

He asks how else he could describe the sector, with 25% of minority ethnic students experiencing overt racism on university campuses? Or that out of 100,000 women teaching in academia only 695 are Black?”

Daniel asserts that in the past few decades not much has changed for Black people in academia. He says, “We are still on the receiving end of some of the largest awarding gaps, pay gaps, representation gaps and more than our fair share of micro-aggressions and overt racism.”

He challenges universities, saying if they are “really committed to dealing with racism in academia, they need to examine not just how the anti-Blackness within the institutions affect the students and staff that work there, but the ways in which that anti-Blackness affects Black people in the wider community as well”.

Daniel advises that for the sector to make progress in race equality, universities should use Black History Month as “an opportunity to re-evaluate and re-assess their policies on anti-racism, and to come up with more imaginative and radical solutions than just posting a few tweets and putting on a few cultural events every October”.

Watch Daniel’s vlog below:

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