Dean of Medicine’s statement on racism3 June 2020
‘If you are neutral in situations of injustice, you have chosen the side of the oppressor’ – Desmond Tutu
Today the Dean of Medicine, Professor Steve Riley, has released a post on Facebook and this blog which provides more information for education and links to support our students. We acknowledge the past month has been especially challenging, traumatic and exhausting.
Medicine is not excused from racism. We cannot stay silent about an issue that is truly tragic. As we have seen the murder of black people has cost the life of countless of individuals, fathers, brothers, sisters, daughters, and friends. We must stand up for our black community and act on years and years of dehumanisation, systemic racism, and oppression. You matter, we care about you and we will support you in every possible way as racism and discrimination has no place in our University.
We worked with one of our students, Christine Muhota, to write the piece for Facebook. The UK is not exempt, it is our problem too. Racism and discrimination is ongoing in the UK every day and police behaviour on race is an issue in the UK too. Racism, institutional and personal affects us all, our patients, our staff, and students. Racism affects many in our community on a daily basis and cannot underestimate the reality of racial injustice.
Black and minority Cardiff University students have been, and sadly, will continue to be affected by racism and discrimination. We are actively working to provide safe spaces for discussions of race. Our Race Equality Support Panel was highlighted as good practice by the EHRC Report on Racism (Pg 91). We actively encourage discussing incidents with people you trust and to consider reporting if you feel safe and empowered to do so.
What can you do?
If you are not sure where to start this a good start: https://blacklivesmatters.carrd.co/
You can sign, petitions, donate to charities directly working to eliminate racism and discrimination, listen to other people’s lived experiences and be willing to educate yourself on what you do not understand. We must use our voices and privileges to better this world because it needs to change.
‘In a racist society, it is not enough to be non-racist, we must be antiracist.” — Angela Davis.
- https://blacklivesmatters.carrd.co/ – Ways You Can Help
- Racial Injustice: Medicine is not exempt – Melanin Medics (Olamide Dada)
- British Medical Journal special issue on racism in Medicine
- Talking openly about racism in Medicine
- Tackling racism in medical schools: Why students need guidance on preventing and dealing with racial harassment
- TED article about What you can do to if feeling helpless and not sure what to do
- Lancet articles about racism and discrimination in COVID-19 responses
- Bhugra Report about a race incident at the School of Medicine in 2016
- Tackling racial harassment: universities challenged – a report by the Equality & Human Rights Commission
Some of the support available at Cardiff University
- African Caribbean Medical Association
- Any member of staff you trust – your Head of Year, Professional Services or academic staff.
- Cardiff University Student Union
- CU Pride (LGBT+ Society)
- Disclosure Response Team at Cardiff University (Student Intranet link)
- Islamic Society
- MEDIC Support
- Melanin Medics
- Personal tutors
- Staff involved in Equality, Diversity and Inclusion
- Student Support
If you would like to suggest further resources or changes to this page, please contact me on BrennanP@cardiff.ac.uk
Paul Brennan is the Chair of the Equality, Diversity and Inclusion Committee at the Centre for Medical Education of the School of Medicine. I believe that we can all play a part in working to improve inclusion in our universities, our communities and in our countries. The typographical errors are all mine.
Prepared with help from Christine Muhota – an undergraduate student in Medicine at Cardiff University.