Queen’s Film Theatre, 20 University Square
25th March: 6.00pm – 9.00pm (doors 5.30pm)
Racism in Higher Education is increasingly recognised as a major issue. This event addresses the issue of racism in Higher Education, and gives a voice to staff and students affected by racism.
Universities are incredibly diverse places and Queen’s University Belfast has for example 75 nationalities represented among its staff, and as many among students. Yet, racism in Higher Education is increasingly recognised as a major issue. According to the Race Equality Survey in 2014, undertaken by the group Black British Academics, 56% reported discrimination, while almost three quarters said they would rate their institutions’ performance on race equality as ‘poor’ or ‘very poor’. In 2018, QUB Students’ Union held its first ever Black History Month, highlighting the issue of race and discrimination among the student body. There is a growing movement of academics and students who debate how to ‘decolonise’ a white curriculum and how to make colleges – inside and out – less racist.
In the particular context of Northern Ireland, and because of a strong focus on sectarianism, racism is often overlooked. Perhaps there is also an unacknowledged belief that racism is only a problem for more diverse societies. However, it goes without saying that it is precisely the fact that NI has been homogeneous (or white) for a longer period of time, that racism and the ‘othering’ of people of colour might be occurring, as evidenced by the experiences that both university staff and students have only started to share. This event addresses the issue of racism in Higher Education, and gives a voice to staff and students affected by racism. We will screen Sincerely, The Black Kids, a documentary about racism on American university campuses. It focuses on students of colour who are in positions of leadership. The film was produced and directed by Miles Iton, a black student and former student body president at New College of Florida and will be presented at the Sundance Festival 2019. The film will be followed by a panel discussion with academics and experts dealing with issues of equality and diversity, and an open floor debate.