Black Lives Matter

We recently wrote to all staff and students in the HSDC community expressing our very deep concern at the recent events around the killing of George Floyd. We stated that universities, colleges, and schools must speak up about systemic racism. As an FE institute with three campuses across Hampshire, we play a huge role in helping shape the minds of many young people and how they think about the world around them, and we must take our role as educators very seriously.

We believe that colleges cannot shy away from difficult conversations that might feel uncomfortable for some. We need to acknowledge the problem, seek clarity and views from our community and together plan a positive way forward. With that in mind, we laid out our commitment to be united as a community in our dedication to standing up to all forms of racism and oppression. We acknowledge that there is much to learn, and we wanted to put this message and our plan onto our website for transparency and clarity. We know this is only the start of that journey.

As a College, we have committed to the following actions:

  • We will ensure the promotion of resources on racism and making enough space via tutorial and class for discussion of these resources.
  • We will set up a black student and staff liaison group to consider topics of racism such as white privilege, harmful stereotypes and so on, to educate our staff members and students.
  • Our Equality & Diversity Committee will continue to critically examine our employment process with the aim of employing a diverse staff.
  • The Principal will join others in writing to the Awarding Bodies to ask them to consider a curriculum overhaul that works towards putting black and colonial histories on the syllabus and allows students to see themselves in the activism and the history of the world we live in.
  • We will also be working with the combined Students’ Union and in the Governance/Student Committee to consider how we ensure active support and promotion of the Black Lives Matter agenda.

As educators, we must inspire black students and counteract myths and stereotypes. We must be acutely aware of the way deep-rooted stereotypes and personal prejudices affect attitudes and behaviours towards them, as students will no doubt feel this too. Any form of colour-blindness is an inappropriate attitude and approach to adopt when providing for our students, as all it does is diminish a whole experience.

Finally, we acknowledge that it will take commitment from everybody to make meaningful change. We look forward to working with our staff, students and supporters on this journey to a more positive future.

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