School of Languages, Linguistics and Film

Black Lives Matter

The staff and students of QMUL’s School of Languages, Linguistics and Film are horrified by the police killings in the United States of George Floyd and Breonna Taylor.

5 June 2020

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We are also appalled by the deep-seated racism that has supported such atrocities and led to other acts of violence perpetrated on people of colour, such as the shooting of Ahmaud Arbery earlier this year. While there is no recovery possible, we believe it is vital to publicly and explicitly express our joint repudiation of these lethal acts, if only to prevent any repetitions. 

These deadly acts of violence point to societal and institutional structures of racism that have had long histories in many parts of the world and remain active not only in the US, but also in the UK and elsewhere. SLLF remains firm in our commitment to challenge all such forms of racism, discrimination, violence and abuse affecting Black, Asian and all minority ethnic communities. SLLF supports the Black Lives Matter movement and works to safeguard the dignity, liberty and safety of all minority communities. SLLF stands together in solidarity with those of us of colour who may feel the horror of these recent killings particularly acutely.  

Even without specific acts of violence, the effects of structural racism and of historical and economic inequalities have revealed themselves in our society in the context of the Covid-19 pandemic. Affecting Black, Asian and disabled persons more severely, the pandemic has offered proof that racism in society is truly deadly.  

All of us at SLLF believe that universities must play a key role in shifting these structures of institutional racism and reshaping society in the name of human dignity. We stand opposed to discrimination and committed to eliminating racism from our School and University. We understand that those of us who are from ethnic minority communities run greater risks of death, illness and bereavement in the pandemic. We also understand that access to online learning may be more difficult, due to inequalities caused by racist histories, structures, institutions and systems.  

SLLF is keen to engage in meaningful action to address racism in all its manifestations. We commit to: 

  • Developing our work within the EDI committee to ensure values and practices of respect, tolerance, appreciation of equal rights, recognition, respect for difference, and dignity for all on our campus. 
  • Further developing our curriculum in terms of the histories, cultures and perspectives of people of colour and ethnic minorities. 
  • Offering support to all students and staff affected adversely by Covid-19 to help them overcome its challenges as best and as fast as possible. 
  • Empowering our students through their studies and training in critical thinking at SLLF to work towards a society where racism has been overcome and abolished. 
  • Listening to our students via the SSLC to better engage as a community in joint actions to address racism and inequalities.