Race Equality Implementation Group: Interim Report
14 January 2021
This report, sets out the priorities and actions for the next 12-18 months and beyond that REIG believes will make a significant contribution to addressing the systemic and structural barriers to race equity at UCL.
In 2020, the Covid-19 pandemic and the global Black Lives Matter movement rendered even more evident the racism and racialized inequalities within UK society. In this context, a large online ‘Town Hall’ event – ‘A conversation about race at UCL’ – in June 2020 provided a space to share lived experiences of racism amongst colleagues of African heritage at UCL. Following this, Professor Michael Arthur, then President and Provost, requested the creation of the Race Equality Implementation Group (REIG) to develop a cohesive and holistic institutional plan for tackling racialized inequalities within UCL. The remit of the group was to draw together proposals from the Town Hall, recommendations related to race from the Eugenics Inquiry Response Group, and the UCL institutional Race Equality Charter (REC) action plan, which was part of the successful renewal in 2020 of our Bronze REC award. REIG met five times during the autumn term to produce an interim report, which was discussed and enthusiastically endorsed by SMT on 11 January 2021, with both the outgoing and incoming Provosts in attendance.
The report, sets out the priorities and actions for the next 12-18 months and beyond that REIG believes will make a significant contribution to addressing the systemic and structural barriers to race equity at UCL. The intention is that the report serves as a catalyst for intensified commitment and radical action on race equity by UCL’s leadership, and embeds greater accountability and transparency across UCL about progress towards equity and equality related goals.
The report articulates a vision for race equity at UCL in relation to strategy and culture, staff recruitment, pay, retention and staff progression, and teaching, learning and research. It identifies 35 actions that UCL should take, along with the upfront resource investment required. Examples of the commitments made in the report include: consistent use of race equality data in strategic planning; valuing and incentivising race equity activity; ensuring more diverse decision making; and significantly increasing the number of Black academic staff within UCL by at least 50 over the next 5 years (at present there are 15 members of academic staff who identify as Black).
REIG believes that the interim report offers a bold and transformative agenda for race equity in relation to staff at UCL and is continuing its work this term with a focus on students.
Mike Sulu and Sasha Roseneil (Co-Chairs, REIG).