As protests continue across the UK and the world, in response to the killing of George Floyd and the ‘pandemic of racism’, the University of Worcester has spoken out in favour of the Black Lives Matter movement and against all forms of discrimination.
The University is deeply committed to its core values of inclusion and equality and is a powerful example of a university which dares to stand up for justice and liberty, whilst promoting participation, professionalism, inclusion and reason.
The University was originally founded in 1946, in the aftermath of World War II, to win the peace through education.
Professor David Green CBE, Vice Chancellor and Chief Executive, said: “Black Lives Matter. Each and every human being is precious and is endowed with inalienable rights including the right to life, liberty and the pursuit of human happiness. These are the values on which this University was founded and by which we stand. We support this powerful worldwide movement for racial equality and social justice.”
“We deeply regret that the current ‘lockdown’ means that we cannot join together in one place with our many friends and partners in the City and the region to join in solidarity against racism and against all forms of discrimination,” he added. “We must work together to end the pandemic of racism whilst promoting mutual respect, understanding, inclusion and love.
Professor Green was born in the USA and has spent his life actively fighting against all forms of prejudice, including 20 years’ service on the Hackney Council for Racial Equality in the 1970s, 80s and 90s during which time he worked relentlessly to counter racial violence and intimidation, including successfully opposing the siting of the Headquarters of the then ‘National Front’ in Shoreditch.
Professor Green said: “Now is the time to recommit the University of Worcester community to act as a beacon of justice and equality where black colleagues and students, who have felt and feel the hideous impact of racism on their lives, can be sure that this University is their University, that this University is all our University and that we will act together for justice, truth and liberty for all.”
In relation to the controversial toppling of the statue of slaveowner, Edward Colston, Professor Green drew attention to the statement of Marvin Rees, the Mayor of Bristol, who said on Sunday: “Today’s protest saw around 10,000 people take to the city streets to stand against injustice and racism, with many more joining in at home by Taking the Knee. Thank you to everyone who took part peacefully and respected the need to protect their communities as the Covid-19 pandemic continues.
“I know the removal of the Colston Statue will divide opinion, as the statue itself has done for many years. However, it’s important to listen to those who found the statue to represent an affront to humanity and make the legacy of today about the future of our city, tackling racism and inequality. I call on everyone to challenge racism and inequality in every corner of our city and wherever we see it.”
The full news article can be found at this link: https://news.bristol.gov.uk/news/statement-from-the-mayor-of-bristol
The University of Worcester has a long history of championing and promoting inclusion, equality and community cohesion and is one of the top 10 universities in the UK which best reflect society (HEPI 2017).
The University is sharing a number of messages which have been given, including those made by former Presidents of the United States: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eU-oi8ZLA4M