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NUS introduces five-year plan to create race equity

Wednesday 02-08-2017 - 12:00

Today, we are launching our new Race Equity Plan - a proactive body of work which will help us to be a racially just organisation, one that is exemplary in leading the way for other organisations.

Our five-year Race Equity Plan outlines the proactive steps we will take to address the findings of the Runnymede Trust’s report. This plan is about tackling all forms of racism including antisemitism and islamophobia, but the plan is not limited to this. We also seek to improve our practices by focusing additional resource on addressing racial disparities and covert forms of racism within the organisation.

Our vision is to be a racially just organisation – one which is determined to attract and retain diverse talent so we can continue, as we have throughout our history, to be at the vanguard of societal change. 

We hope that in being among the first organisations to create such a comprehensive plan, we will inspire students’ unions – as well as other organisations - to review their own policies and practices. We make a commitment to share our lessons with those who embark on this journey.

Here are a number of ways we aim to work with your students’ union to achieve this…

How can this plan help my students’ union?

While this plan is about NUS, there are parts of the plan that talk about our movement and the way in which create healthy political spaces both online and offline.

These spaces effect your staff and officers and we’ll need your help and support to change this culture too.

The plan has practices that can be applied in any organisation committed to tackling institutional racism and we hope that many SUs will adopt these.

How will NUS help students’ unions to improve their awareness of the issues and how to tackle them?

Anything we deliver as part of this plan within NUS will also be repurposed as guidance, policies, training and toolkits to help your students’ union.

Some early examples of this include:

  • Racial Justice training that NUS staff are undertaking will be available for free to senior leaders across the movement from January 2018.
  • Guidance and training on dealing with racist incidents will be translated into students’ union guidance and training.
  • Lessons from working with a specialist BAME recruitment agency will be shared.
  • In the next couple of months we will be scoping out what a Black Talent Network for staff in the movement will look like.

How does this work link to the Race Matters work for students’ unions?

Many of the areas identified through the Race Equity Plan are similar to those already identified in students’ unions through the Race Matters research. The Race Matters work will continue and we’ll be updating that plan to incorporate our learning and best practice from our Race Equity Plan. The two pieces of work will be delivered hand in hand to benefit both NUS and your students’ union. To help us deliver on this we are in the process of recruiting a new Race and Inclusion Team within NUS.

At the centre of the plan are the experiences of Black, Muslim and Jewish staff, officers and volunteers. We acknowledge the bravery and emotional labour it has taken for them to share their experiences in the hope of making NUS and our spaces racially just and inclusive. We would like to thank everyone involved in this work, particularly Mandeep Rupra-Dane and Sarah McIntosh who have led the consultation and produced the plan with the Black Staff Group.

You can read the board's response to the Runnymede Report here.

For further information about NUS’ Race Equity Plan, please contact Mandeep Rupra-Daine (Race Equity and Inclusion Manager) or Sarah McIntosh (Head of People and Talent) from our Race Equity Project Delivery Team.

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