KCL Intersectional Feminist Society would like to issue a statement stating that we are in full support of the student walkout being organised by King’s Ethnic Minority Association on Thursday 11th February.
This call to action has been organised as a demand for more urgent action to be taken regarding the lack of diversity in curricula, as well as the ongoing disregard of students of colour in their experiences in various aspects of their university education, such as toxic teaching environments, lack of sufficient mental health support or the day-to-day microaggressions they often face.
Data taken from the King’s BME Fact sheet in their January 2016 Diversity and Inclusion Newsletter show that there was an attainment gap of 19% between home undergraduate BME students and white students in 2013/14 at King’s, while at UCL and Imperial this figure stands below 5%. Moreover, BME students nationally are 16.1% less likely to attain a 2:1 or a first in their degree. While we appreciate the effort taken to raise awareness of these issues via such statistics, they continue to be presented with very few solutions in sight and as a result, no tangible change being felt.
Therefore, while it has become clear to many at King’s – including staff – of the deep-rooted problems that exist within the institution, the college is not doing enough to remedy these issues and protect the interests of students of colour. The institution has ultimately demonstrated a lack of urgency in responding to PoC’s concerns, which we believe is indicative of institutional racism.
As an Intersectional society, we have worked hard to be able to serve students of different races, ethnicities and backgrounds and acknowledge that their experiences at university greatly vary to their white counterparts. This campaign reflects this very notion, and we urge all of you to join us to stand in solidarity with this walkout.
For more details surrounding the campaign, as well as information on official KCL diversity assessments and ongoing research, please visit King’s Ethnic Minority Association’s Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/KEMAonline/?fref=nf
Event page: https://www.facebook.com/events/989432367788681/