Dear colleagues and Black Lives Matter - LSHTM community,
Please find attached our black paper presenting our values and way for working and the Part 2 (Reclaim Diversity & Inclusion) and Part 3 (Re-imagine LSHTM) of the Black Lives Matter-LSHTM/FAIR network Anti-racism Toolkit.
We were glad to receive positive feedback on the first part and decided to write parts 2 and 3. At this juncture, we feel it is important to restate our values as a community:
We do not support free labour: it is not the responsibility of racially minoritized people to dismantle the problems created by White people, and certainly not for free.
We are advisors not experts in anti-racist studies or implementation: we are wary of creating harm by agreeing to do the work that should be reserved for, or led and monitored by, experts in this field.
We value the processes as much as the outcomes: leadership efforts should not be about being seen differently by racially minoritized groups, but about creating systems that sustainably protect these groups.
We believe in transparency and will not abide by respectability politics: when White feelings are valued above racially minoritized lives, when White comfort is valued above Black safety, we will speak up.
Our power is in our community: without this collective movement, we would have no power at all. We employ a non-hierarchical organising model in which all voices - alumni and former staff included - are given weight.
We do not claim to represent the entire School: we act as advisors on behalf of our self-organised BLM/FAIR network, not as LSHTM representatives.
We are our values: we will not be bullied, threatened or intimidated.
Further explanation of these values, and how they align with our priorities, is set out in Section 1: Who we are and how we work.
Black Lives Matter-LSHTM has identified two priority actions that we believe LSHTM must complete within the 2020/21 academic year in order to lay a strong foundation for a more diverse and equitable environment at LSHTM in the future.
These priorities will also help clarify the difference between anti-racism and diversity & inclusion which so far have been wrongly used interchangeably.
Commission an external review whose objective will be to embed diversity and inclusion in LSHTM institutional objectives and practices. (Part 2 - Reclaim Diversity & Inclusion)
Commission the design of an all-staff anti-racism training programme tailored to the School alongside an evaluation framework both for the training and the anti-racist work at LSHTM as a whole. These should be built in partnership with experts within the School as well as external specialists in the field. (Part 3 - Reimagine LSHTM)
Each part of the toolkit will include a compilation of examples detailing how other institutions have started doing this work.
Finally, we have serious concerns about the draft ToR for the proposed Diversity and Inclusion Committee which the School wishes to establish and will clarify them in separate communications later this week. The Part 2 of this document will offer an initial understanding of our concerns.
Thank you for your time and we hope you enjoy the document attached.