Students Staff

11 June 2020

#BlackLivesMatter – it’s more than just a hashtag.

Filed under: News — Laura Mathias @ 10.09 am

The Enactus Essex society wanted to share this message of support with the ‘Black Lives Matter’ movement:

“May we continue to give compassion and seek understanding, despite our differences, for the rest of our lives. May we continue to stand by each other, as equals, as one, when the energy for equality dies.” – Vex King.

We aren’t going to sit here and deny that racism doesn’t exist, it’s undoubtedly everywhere. What we resist shall persist, hence we must not remain silent. What is happening right now is not normal and is unacceptable.

It’s necessary to not overlook the fact that having a darker skin tone can often make life more challenging. Some people or should we say the unfair truth, that is people of colour, have to consciously think about how to approach each day, unlike other people of privilege. If you haven’t experienced anything such, then imagine going out everyday with the fear that someone might be triggered with your presence just because of the way you look, and you’ve got to think about your safety. Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor, David McAtee and George Floyd, to name a few are many of the innocent lives lost. To the Black people, we want you to know that we stand with you, we stand for justice and love.

It’s up to all of us, it’s in our hands to be the change we want to see. We must believe and also stand for equality. The first step is self-awareness. Did we all forget how to love? It’s our nature by default and if one has learned to hate, one can be taught to love too. Take a moment to reflect and throw away the ideologies that creates a division amongst us. Let us learn to love again, once more.

Now is certainly the best time. Not being racist and not causing any harm isn’t enough. We’ve already seen the consequences of that. We must acknowledge humans, all humans. We must reinforce the belief that Black lives matter. We must hear people of colour and amplify their voices. If you choose to stay silent and neutral, sorry to say but you’re causing more harm to those who have been exploited and victimized.

#BlackLivesMatter – please note, no one claims that only they matter. As much as all lives matter, Black lives are in danger. It is important that we understand and find a solution to the injustice our black brothers and sisters are dealing with. This issue must be handled by spreading awareness and acting from the place of love in order to make progress. Please do not be silenced, thinking how others will react. After all, to bring about change we must act. Act for the ambition to unify the world. Their pain is our pain, we are all one part of the human race.

Here at Enactus Essex, we aim to use our voice to support what’s right, powered by our founding belief in creating a better world using an entrepreneurial mindset, teamwork and business as a driving force. Through all this, we stand with you. We truly support #BlackLivesMatter. As a matter of fact, our multicultural team focuses on inclusivity. We have people from, as well as international projects based in Black communities. We are action oriented, attuned to the needs of others, and strive to be driving change that benefits all communities worldwide.

Together let us ensure a world where #WeAllWin.

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4 June 2020

In support of Black Lives Matter

Filed under: News — Laura Mathias @ 2.03 pm

Statement in Support of Black Lives Matter for the LGBTQ Staff Forum:

We, as a forum of LGBTQ staff at the University of Essex, stand in solidarity with the Black Lives Matter movement. We support the protestors who are standing up against police brutality and systemic racism in the US, the UK, and the world.

The violent murder of George Floyd by Minneapolis police was captured on film, but his death was not an isolated incident. Two days after the death of George Floyd, Florida police shot and killed Tony McDade – a Black trans man. Two weeks before, Breonna Taylor was shot and killed in her own home after Kentucky police broke in. The protests are fighting to get justice for these Black lives murdered by police.

But racist policing is not only an American issue:

  • Over 50% of British youth in prisons are ethnic minorities, despite being 20% of the general population.
  • Between 2014 and 2019, Black people were 7 times more likely to be stopped and searched than white people.
  • Black people are detained under the mental health act 4 times more than white people.
  • 12% of police incidents using force involve Black people, despite Black people making up 3.3% of the population of the UK.

But racism is not just found with the police. Our own University’s Student’s Union has released a statement reporting their experiences of racism at the University at the hands of other students and staff. The University must do more to challenge racism in our community and in our own institution. We cannot just claim to not be racist. We cannot just unpack our unconscious biases. We cannot just retreat into silence.

We as a community must be anti-racist. We must work to combat the racist acts and systems of oppression at our University and in our communities.

The liberation of Queer people has been intimately tied with the liberation of Black people, and the modern struggle for LGBTQ rights in the US and UK started at the Stonewall Riots in New York City in 1969. The Stonewall Riots were initiated and led by Queer people of color, including Marsha P. Johnson and Sylvia Rivera. As a staff organisation of LGBTQ people, we support the ongoing fight for racial justice in the US, UK and, the world, and we are committed to combatting racism in our own communities.

Black Lives Matter. Black Queer Lives Matter. Black Trans Lives Matter. Black Lesbian Lives Matter. Black Gay Lives Matter. Black Bi Lives Matter. Black Nonbinary Lives Matter. Black Intersex Lives Matter.

The University of Essex will moderate comments and there will be a delay before any posts appear.