Open letter: Black Lives Matter
IGDC's open letter to staff, students and members in solidarity with the Black Lives Matter global movement.
Dear IGDC staff, members and students,
The killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis last month has spurred global action in defence of Black lives. As a Centre, we want to take this moment to express our solidarity with this global movement and particularly with our staff, members and students of colour, and update you on what actions the IGDC has been and will be taking in support of Black Lives Matter.
Dismantling systemic racism is central to the work of the IGDC: it not only underpins much of the research that our members undertake but also informs our teaching, in particular the BA in Global Development which launches in September. As the Black Lives Matter movement has been gaining renewed momentum in recent weeks, IGDC staff, members and students have been taking action in defence and support of Black lives by speaking out on social media and elsewhere, protesting, donating to activist organisations fighting police brutality and systemic racism, and volunteering in community groups and initiatives supporting the most vulnerable in our communities.
We realise, however, that we can do more to further fight racism and other forms of discrimination. To that end, we will undertake the following:
- Adopt an Equality, Diversity and Inclusion strategy covering all areas of the IGDC, including our work with external partners. A small working group will draft the strategy which will be put to consultation for the wider membership and student body in September.
- Continue reviewing and decolonising our curriculum, ensuring that the core modules of the BA in Global Development are inclusive and representative of Black voices and histories and that our students can take options from other departments that are similarly inclusive.
- Host a workshop in the autumn with partners from Maastricht University on creating an inclusive pedagogy for the teaching of Global Development.
- Host an IGDC forum to share ideas on what we can do as a centre and as individuals to fight systemic racism in our research and teaching.
These, however, are our initial activities. We intend to monitor and review our actions, discuss them with our staff, members and students and play as full a role as we can in the University of York to end institutional racism and contribute to creating more equal societies. Some IGDC members have contributed to a collectively created BLM reading list.