Hello Black Lives Matter-LSHTM! A new academic year is getting started, and we can’t wait to make 2020-2021 the turning point for racial justice at the School. Here’s what’s been going on.
Decolonising the curriculum
After our letter to the Senior Leadership Team (SLT) on 17 August, Kara Hanson got back in touch with us to invite Black Lives Matter-LSHTM to join the working group on this initiative. We are happy to report that the SLT has largely recognised the need for a broad, inclusive, and well-funded project framework going forward. Our group will be involved to observe the process and help ensure that it is as transparent and rigorous as possible. It’s a specialised field, so if anyone in the BLM community is qualified or interested in being our focal point, just let us know.
Publication of correspondence about the colonial legacy at LSHTM
On 28 August, three academics involved with LSHTM published a letter in Nature Medicine ,discussing the colonial legacy of the school and their own experiences in it ( https://www.nature.com/articles/s41591-020-1062-6.epdf?sharing_token=c2S0SR9ZZO5q
They also discussed our group’s work - the first instance it had been shared outside of the LSHTM community. While we are pleased to see racial justice attracting more attention in biomedical journals, the publication of this correspondence made us uncomfortable, as we were not aware it was being drafted nor consulted about the content related to our work. Emilie shot back on Twitter ( https://twitter.com/udnore/status/1299374331148017670 ), and we contacted the School to let them know we were not involved. Our group has also been in touch with the journal to request that it set the record straight on a few important details. Stay tuned for more developments!
Internal and External communication about BLM-LSHTM
Thanks to strong internal advocacy, the School has reached out to discuss a roadmap to
making BLM-LSHTM content and work available to all at the School but also via LSHTM website. It will set the ground for the internalisation of BLM at LSHTM through the FAIR (Fight Against Institutional Racism) Coalition. We will be meeting with Naomi Stewart next week to discuss first steps including how the actual pages are set up in terms of blocks/headings/topics etc. If you would like to participate now or offer content later, join this group.
On the agenda
- 7 September 2020 week - Release of Part 1 of the Anti-racism Toolkit: Decolonize LSHTM . We are really excited to share this document, which we hope can give the LSHTM community, and especially members who are not familiar with current trends in racial justice, the basic tools they need to have open and constructive conversations about race, racial inequalities, and the colonial legacy at LSHTM.
- 24 September 2020 from 10.00 to 12.00 and 15.00 to 17.00 BST - Emilie Koum Besson will be joining the stall for Equity, Diversity and Inclusion at the new Student Marketplace, set up as Zoom rooms where new students can get to know the groups operating at LSHTM. Spread the word!
- 9 November at 17:15-18:15 BST - Black Lives Matter presentation and Q&A at the Global
Health Lecture Series , via Zoom