30 June 2020 (update for weeks of 22 & 29 June)
Hello Black Lives Matter-LSHTM! It’s been a big couple of weeks for Black Lives Matter-LSHTM. Here are the highlights:
Invitation from the School Council to speak about racism at LSHTM
As shared last week, the School Council, which is the governing body of LSHTM and has overall responsibility for its operational and strategic management, asked Black Lives MatterLSHTM and the Decolonising Global Health group to make a 1.5-hour presentation this past Thursday, 2 July, at their meeting. It was a great opportunity to speak to Council members directly, and we pulled no punches, emphasizing the School’s historic indifference and the SLT’s active role in suppressing complaints of institutional discrimination. We also vigorously advocated for an independent, external review of the school by anti-racism experts, along with publication of their findings.
We are happy to report that the meeting went very well - It started with an introduction to LSHTM Colonial history by Lioba Hirsh, followed by a presentation by Mishal Khan and a series of presentations prepared by BLM-LSHTM and partners. If you’d like to read BLM-LSHTM presentation transcripts, you can access the file here: https://drive.google.com/file/d/1lxvJYSCfNthYQlL3_mESL4PdLkAEq2pL/view?usp=sharing.
The main themes we presented can be summed up as follows:
#Decolonise LSHTM Lead by example with a public apology and restatement of values Serious resources for implementation by all staff, supported by independent anti-racist and colonial experts
#Reclaim Diversity & Inclusion Independent Global Diversity Council Elevation of the Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion role (grade 9 minimum) to Chief Diversity Officer Ownership and accountability (KPIs) for change by every member of SLT and throughout management/PDRs
#Reimagine LSHTM Externally led review instead of Race Equality Charter Dedicated funding BLM, DGH, and Unions signing off on a co-drafted, inclusive Terms of Reference External selection process to avoid conflict of interest Public release of all findings
Meeting with senior staff
On Monday, 29 June, we also met with two senior faculty members at LSHTM, Liam Smeeth and Helen Weiss, who reached out to offer their support and encouragement for our work. The meeting was very positive. They were receptive and respectful of our experiences. Maybe you saw us in the EPH newsletter ;-).
Meeting with the University and College Union (UCU)
The UCU is a staff union for academic and academic-related professionals, and they reached out to us last week to schedule an introductory meeting between our two groups. The other two LSHTM unions - Unison and Unite - also joined. The meeting was held today Tuesday, 30 June, and each party presented our structure, activities, and priorities. We then explored potential avenues for collaboration and mutual support.
More in the document attached