Initiative to tackle racism

November 16, 2001

Witness days for ethnic minority staff in universities to speak about their experiences and suggest strategies for tackling discrimination and blocks to promotion, could form part of a new drive for equality in the sector, to be led by the BlackAUT.

Such days were pioneered in further education colleges by the Commission for Black Staff in Further Education, set up to tackle institutional racism in the wake of the inquiry into the death of Stephen Lawrence.

The Equality Challenge Unit - a body that promotes equal opportunities in higher education - was due to finalise its "vision, mission and programme of work" at a steering-group meeting this week.

ECU director Joyce Hill said an exploratory meeting with BlackAUT had been an important step forward.

BlackAUT member Gargi Bhattacharyya, who chairs the union's equal opportunities committee, said: "It's early days. But we were heartened by the recognition from the ECU that without active participation from black staff in the sector, initiatives are not likely to succeed."

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