We are all shocked and distressed by the awful treatment and untimely death of George Floyd. His death is a dreadful reminder of the systemic and poisonous racism that still exists in our society in the UK, and across the world. Our thoughts are with Mr Floyd’s family and friends at this terrible time, and with other victims of racism across the globe.
Inclusion is a value which we aim to have at the centre of all we do at Queen Mary. Events like these remind us not only of the importance of inclusion and tolerance, but also of the vitally important, ongoing work we have to do to be a truly inclusive University. Staff and students have been writing to me, appalled at Mr Floyd’s death, and asking what more we can do to promote inclusion. A step I would like to take now is to set up a BAME network: led by the BAME community, for the BAME community, with the aim of bringing about positive change and giving our BAME community a voice. This new network should elect its own leader, and work with other existing groups as required. It will have a champion in Sheila Gupta, our Vice-Principal for People, Culture and Inclusion. If you have other ideas for positive steps we can take now, please let me or Sheila know. Grass roots movements such as Black Lives Matter have achieved so much, and there is so much more to do.
We do not tolerate hate crime of any sort: if you witness or are victim of such crime, please report it immediately
Let us work together, and support each other, to create a truly inclusive and welcoming community.
Professor Colin Bailey, CBE, FREng, BEng, PhD, CEng, FICE, FIStructE, MIFireE
President and Principal, Queen Mary University of London
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