In the past few months, our lives were turned upside down by COVID-19, but the strength and innovative spirit of our community has been helping us through this.
We are now faced with a different kind of crisis, that of institutional racism. This is not new. It has existed in our society for hundreds of years. The outrage over the death of George Floyd and the ensuing demonstrations taking place all over the world are a clear signal that this must now end, and we must all take a stand.
BUas is firmly against any form of racism, whether out in the open or hidden. We will not tolerate any form of racism at our institute or within any of our partner organisations. We stand in solidarity with the #blacklivesmatter movement in condemning racism.
Though diversity and inclusion are part of our key values, we can do better in creating a truly inclusive university for everyone in our community. We must not hesitate or shy away from reflecting on our own behaviour and the faults that may lie in our own systems.
We can start by educating ourselves and our community about the complexities of racism and the subtle and systemic ways in which it can manifest. To raise awareness, we are offering this reading list. Moreover, we must not be afraid to call out racism when we see and hear it, and we must then do everything we can to immediately eliminate it. We will also look into more ways of integrating diversity in our curricula, events, and programming. But to really make a difference, we will need the entire community to join in.
This means going beyond expressing sympathy and outrage. Systemic racism will not end with a demonstration, a post on Instagram, or an online petition. It must be rooted out everywhere, in the classroom, in meetings, and at the coffee machines. This isn’t a one-person job, nor will it be solved in a day. When the demonstrations have ended and the news cycle inevitably moves on, our work will continue.
BUas Executive Board