The UCL Great Ormond Street Institute of Child Health believes Black Lives Matter.
On May the 25th I was horrified to see yet another example of brutal racial injustice, resulting in the killing of George Floyd by a police officer in America. The protests that have followed demonstrate the pain and frustration felt around the world, these appalling events cannot be ignored and we must speak out about these inequalities. Whilst there has been some progress in addressing racial inequalities in the UK, the experiences of the black community testify to regular and systematic racism across a broad range of sectors and environments.
GOS ICH are committed to change, to ensure that racial injustices against our Black staff and students and other ethnic minorities do not occur. We want to make sure that everyone, at all levels of our Institute, have an equal voice in our community, and feel empowered to speak out against intolerance and ignorance. Equality Diversity and Inclusion is central to our academic strategy. We also, as part of the Athena SWAN process, continue to monitor and address any gender biases and intersectional injustices. This has shown, that inequalities do exist, for example, Black males and females are less likely to be appointed to a post, at GOS ICH, than their white peers. We are working to change this and have consulted with staff and students to develop a four-year Action Plan to tackle discrimination and structural inequality.
We are also, through the world-class research, education and public engagement we undertake, working to address the multi-faceted impacts of inequalities on children and the adults they will become. By understanding how social, economic and environmental conditions affect our lifestyle and our behaviour, and understanding in turn how these affect our health, we can inform the development of services, interventions and policies that address health inequalities.
We also want members of staff and students who have experienced racism at GOS ICH to know that they can discuss this with the GOS ICH HR manager or one of UCL’s Dignity Advisers and encourage anyone who has witnessed or experienced racial harassment or abuse at UCL to report it through the anonymous, Report and Support system. Other resources that may be useful for you include the UCL Race Equality Group and the UCL BME Students’ Network.
Professor Rosalind Smyth CBE FMedSci
Director, UCL Great Ormond Street Institute of Child Health