Black Lives Matter - A Message from your Presidents Team

We are at the point where we can no longer say that The Students’ Union is against racism, it is not enough and we know that.

We need to be vocally anti-racist in the face of violence, threats, oppression and prejudice. Anti-Blackness is a very real issue in Britain and across the globe. In these difficult times and with the recent heart-wrenching murder of George Floyd, we want to let particularly our Black Community know that we see you, we hear you and we are here for you.

We are supporting the #BlackLivesMatter movement and calling for an end to police brutality against Black people. We want to work with our student community and we are here to listen and help you to make change happen.

We want to help educate our students and together create an inclusive campus community, and we will work with students and UWE Bristol to tackle systemic and institutional racism.

This isn’t going to change overnight, but we want to make it clear that we will keep working, we will keep fighting for justice and we will make sure this conversation doesn’t stop until we see a real change.

But we need you and we want to hear from you. We want to hear your thoughts, your ideas and how we can help. If you would like to share your ideas, please email: supresident@uwe.ac.uk

 

A message from Precious, Jane, Joey, Josh and Evan

The Students’ Union, President, Precious Onyenekwu Tatah.

“As the first Black Female President elected at The Students’ Union at UWE, I must continue to represent and ensure that the voices of all of our students and in this case, our Black Students are heard and I will challenge whoever I need to in order to get this message across.

I am extremely disappointed with the current state of things and how Black people are constantly maltreated. I see my brothers and sisters getting killed and constantly left with the thoughts of whatever happened to the human race. Why do we hate rather than love? We see the people who are meant to protect us murder us! This is not the first time and it is happening in the UK and across the world. 

Institutional racism is practiced around us on a daily basis and enough is enough! We need everyone to become an active bystander and it’s not enough to say I am not racist. White, Black, Asian, everyone has to take the bold step of educating oneself to stand against racism at any point in time.

As a Black person in the UK, like many others I have been faced with so many challenges, which I have overlooked in the past. I have had people aim racially offensive language at me, call my beautiful Afro hair bushy, have had people feel uncomfortable sitting next to someone like me on public transport, have found it hard to find make up and tights in my skin colour, have been taught a very westernised curriculum and have been placed in rooms/meetings as a diversity check box.

But again, ENOUGH is ENOUGH! We will no longer keep quiet and we need everyone to speak up because it starts with you!” 

 

The Students’ Union, VP Education, Jane Ojiako.

“We stand today in solidarity with the peaceful protesters who want to affect positive change in our society, with the goal of ensuring that laws are enforced equally, and with great care, no matter a person’s race or social standing. Toni Morrison said “The very serious function of racism is distraction. It keeps you from doing your work”. So let’s stay focused on who we are and who we WILL become, not what the systemic system defines us to be. BLACK hopes, dreams, thoughts, families, futures and LIVES MATTER!

 

The Students’ Union, VP Community and Welfare, Joseph Ante.

“It’s not just a call for an end to police brutality, but an end to any form of discrimination to any other race. The colour of our skin doesn’t define our humanity. It is 2020, this is the age and time that this needs to stop, for the future and for the generations coming. Let’s stand together to fight and put an end to this”.  

 

The Students’ Union, VP Sports and Health, Joshua Edje.

“The world is messed up. The seeds of violence, hate and evil that were planted by the people in charge of society for the previous generation are now blossoming in our reality. The sad fact is that we might have to live with it for some time. But make no mistake, eventually if not right now, it will soon get to our turn to plant seeds of love, equality and good into the world, and it is up to each and every one of us to do so.

In the words of Steve Jobs, the people that created what we call everyday reality are ‘no smarter than you’ or me. It’s up to us to realise our full potential, it’s up to us to get into these positions of power and create a better future for the next generation.

It’s up to you, become your best self.”

 

The Students’ Union, VP Societies and Communication, Evan Botwood.

It’s crucially important that we support a movement against the great crimes of a highly influential nation on its own people. We should not do so thinking that the UK is a utopia; the shadows of racism still exist in our institutions, and in the mind.

Let’s tackle the root causes of racism now! This is an issue that should be important to everyone; if one part of humanity isn’t equal, then humanity isn’t equal.”

 

How can you help? Click here to check out all of our resources for how you can help and information about what The Students' Union will be doing.