Black History Month 2021 Mission Statement
15 October 2021
Over Black History Month, which runs throughout October, the Law School has set out a mission statement to re-think – and to gather feedback about – the ways in which we address Black history, culture, experience and thought. We want to underline the intellectual value of studying Black history and engaging with Black/Africana thought, and to ensure our activities centre conversations that will be productive and enriching to our students in all aspects.
Dr Foluke Adebisi is the Law School's Racial Inequalities Champion. Her scholarship includes work on racialisation, decolonisation, and the law, and she has co-designed and co-teaches a unit on Law and Race.. As Racial Inequalities Champion Dr Adebisi’s aim is to continue to create a law school where significant conversations about racial justice can take place and we can make change happen. She has worked with colleagues in the School's Equality, Diversity and Inclusivity Committee to develop the following Black History Month Mission Statement:
Noting that activities for the celebration of Black History Month in universities are often infused with an underlying presumption that while we may celebrate Black culture there is no cerebral benefit to studying Black/African history, that while there is something to learn from the Black experience, there is no intellectual value to Black/Africana thought…
Wanting to avoid a focus on Black suffering, that ignores how the suffering is produced and irrevocably ties Blackness to trauma…
Refusing to exceptionalise the form of Black excellence that often operates as respectability masquerading as liberation, we stand on the words of Imani Perry who tells us, ‘Blackness is an immense and defiant joy.’ …
For Black History Month 2021, the Law School commits to being responsive to the needs, voice and ambitions of our students who are racialised Black. We commit to activities that centre the conversations that will be productive and enriching to our students in all aspects.
Over Black History Month we will be listening to students past and present about at diversity offering activities could be most productive and enriching. If you are a student or graduate or the Law School, please look out for your chance to contribute in our latest newsletters or via Blackboard. Your voice matters.
The Equality, Diversity and Inclusivity (EDI) Committee provides a point of contact for staff, students and external persons if they have issues or ideas concerning LGBTQ+, Income, Gender, Disability or Racial inequalities, and to address ways to improve Law School policies in these areas.