Today saw the formal launch of LSTM’s BAME Staff Network with presentations including a talk from Professor Uduak Archibong, MBE, Professor of Diversity at University of Bradford.
The event was open to all students and staff and was chaired by Senior Lecturer, Dr Angela Obasi. It included a presentation from Ayo Barley, Co-Chair of the Network, who talked about the Network’s origins and progress to date, coming in a year where BAME colleagues experienced additional challenges around the disproportionate impact of COVID-19, and the global Black Lives Matter movement which shone a light on the prevalence and nature of institutional racism in the UK and beyond.
Dr Uzoh Egere, also a Co-Chair of the Network, said: “It is impressive and inspiring to see the enthusiasm and commitment of colleagues come to this point in time when the LSTM BAME Network is officially launched. It is a testimony to months of hard work and dedication by members and support from LSTM leadership. This is an important first step in our partnership with LSTM leadership towards ensuring racial equality across LSTM.”
LSTM’s Director, Professor David Lalloo, congratulated the Network for getting to its launch, and talked about his commitment, and that of the senior leadership team, in working with the Network in addressing issues arising from Network and Taskforce. He said: “As an institution with a long history of successful partnerships around the world, it is critical that LSTM gets this right and this will be a priority for the senior leadership team.”
The virtual event was well attended and Professor Archibong MBE spoke about the difference between diversity and inclusion and talked about the importance of culture change. This was followed by questions from the audience being posed to Professor Archibong and the rest of the panel.
The BAME Network has been established by staff volunteers to support all UK and international staff that identify as Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic (BAME) by raising awareness of race equality across LSTM, and to promote the creation of a working and learning environment in which all staff, students, stakeholders and visitors feel welcome, comfortable, respected and valued.