A Statement from the School of Politics and International Relations
The Mile End Institute is situated within the School of Politics and International Relations (SPIR) at Queen Mary University of London. This piece affirms the School’s solidarity with the Black Lives Matter movement and provides resources recommended by the School’s Equality, Diversity and Inclusion committee.
#Black Lives Matter
Racism is murderous. We have seen it repeatedly over centuries of oppression and injustice and we are seeing it now directly in the homicide of George Floyd, and indirectly in the radically unequal effects of the global Covid-19 pandemic experienced by people of colour.
The majority of our students in SPIR are people of colour, the majority of staff, and particularly of academic staff in leadership positions, are white. It is particularly vital for those of us who have benefited from systematic racial privilege to take responsibility for addressing these deep injustices. We remain deeply committed to challenging racism in SPIR and supporting anti-racist actions that seek to push back against the criminalisation and devaluation of black lives in our own campus neighbourhood and elsewhere. In this vein, many members of our school have donated to local and national anti-racist campaigns in the UK. These include Black Lives Matter UK, The Runnymede Trust and The Stephen Lawrence Fund. You can find out more about the important work carried out by these organisations and others by following the links below.
We know that recent events have had a deep impact on many members of our SPIR community. As academics, we also understand that this is a moment for listening and learning. If you have been moved by the events of the past week and wish to learn more about the issues of discrimination, racialised violence and empire that have been amplified by the #BLM protests here in the UK, the SPIR EDI committee recommend some e-readings below.
- Equality and Human Rights Commission Report: “Racial Harassment in British Universities: qualitative research findings” (2019)
- Khalwant Bhopal “White Privilege” (Bristol: University of Bristol Policy Press, 2018)
- Maya Goodfellow “Hostile Environment” (London: Verso, 2019)
- Paul Gilroy “There Ain’t No Black in the Union Jack” (London: Routledge, 2002)
- Nikesh Shukla, “The Good Immigrant: 21 Writers Explore What It Means to be Black, Asian & Minority Ethnic in Britain Today" (London: Unbound, 2016)
- Robbie Shilliam, Race and the Undeserving Poor: From Abolition to Brexit (Newcastle: Agenda Publishing, 2018)
- Nadine El-Enany, (B)ordering Britain: Law, Race and Empire (Manchester University Press, 2020)
Links to relevant NGOs and campaigns
The full letter to staff and students in the School of Politics and International Relations is available here.