St Mary’s University, Twickenham is pleased to announce its commitment to addressing racial inequalities through the Race Equality Charter (REC), a framework provided by Advance HE through which institutions work to identify and address internal barriers faced by Black, Asian, and Minority Ethnic (BAME) staff and students.
To formally initiate the University’s engagement with the REC, St Mary’s Vice-Chancellor Anthony McClaran released a letter in which he committed to the Charter and its guiding principles. Following the letter’s publication a self-assessment team (SAT) was assembled to lead the University’s Race Equality Charter efforts, in consultation with St Mary’s BAME & Allies Staff Network and BAME Student Network.
The SAT is co-chaired by Deputy Provost Prof Symeon Dagkas, Head of Organisational Development Tally Kandola, and Chief Information Officer Samuel Massiah. The SAT membership is comprised of staff and students from across the institution, representing a wide range of experiences, skills, and knowledge that will be instrumental in driving forward required changes at the University. It is also comprised of a majority of individuals from Black, Asian, and Minority Ethnic backgrounds, recognising that those with lived experience of racial inequality must be central in driving the University’s REC efforts.
Over the next two years, the SAT will conduct the University’s self-assessment process and draft a three-year action plan, which will comprise the submission for a REC Bronze Award in early 2023.
Speaking of the launch of the REC, co-chair Prof Symeon Dagkas said, “I am honoured to be part of this journey as a co-chair of the REC with my other co-chair colleagues in putting together an action plan on addressing systemic change on issues of racial inequalities in HEIs. As an academic with experience in working with BAME groups I have a strong commitment to issues of social justice and I am excited to embark on this journey working collaboratively with St Mary’s staff members.”
Co-chair Tally Kandola added, “The REC brings a fantastic opportunity for St Mary’s to make improvements in the representation, progression and success of black and minority ethnic staff. As a minority ethnic member of the St Mary’s community I am pleased that the University has taken this significant step forward to bring cultural and systemic change. I am looking forward to working with our fantastic SAT members on this challenging and hugely important project.”
Co-chair Samuel Massiah shared, “Having lived, studied and worked in the UK for over 50 years I can say that much progress has been made in the path towards a more equal society. However, recent events have starkly highlighted that there is still much, much more to do. So, I am honoured to be a part of the St Mary’s effort to identify and address the inequality faced by our staff and students. I am confident that, together with this committed and talented group of staff and students, we can help the University become a more equal place to work and study, today, and for generations to come.”