Hello! We wanted to introduce ourselves as your Race Equity Advocates (REAs) for the Business School: Ife and Gurbir. Ife is in her first year studying Psychology with Business Management. Gurbir is in her final year studying Economics and Politics.
The aim of the REA programme is to create a safe space and platform for Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic (BAME) students in the Business School. We want to help amplify students of colours’ voices and work towards closing the awarding gap here at Sussex. The awarding gap is the difference between white students and BAME students being awarded a ‘good’ degree (a 2:1 or 1st). At Sussex there is a 14% awarding gap. We NEED to reduce this, and we need your help to do so.
We are available to hold 1-to-1s with any Black student or student of colour in order to discuss and gain a better understanding of your lived experiences. We are here to create a safe space for you to talk to us about anything, from any form of discrimination, to any microaggressions in and outside of University. Your lived experiences and the 1-to-1s we hold act as a testimony to the injustices occurring on a daily basis at Sussex, which is why these 1-to-1s are so essential. We collate these issues and communicate them with Senior Management and ensure that necessary changes are implemented.
Such changes include developing a Race Equity Plan that includes great detail and a lengthy timeline of when and how certain objectives, such as decolonising the modules you take, can be achieved to help reduce the awarding gap. We are also working with the Business School to include organising career events specifically for Black students and students of colour through the university’s Career Equity Plan. The final initiative we are hoping to achieve is giving foundation year and first year students the option to choose to be placed with at least one other BAME student per 6 people flat in student accommodation.
We hope these plans and changes, as well as much needed training for staff and students, reduce the awarding gap and create a safer learning and living environment for Black students and students of colour. If you would like to share your lived experiences with us, please contact us at: firstname.lastname@example.org and email@example.com and we can arrange a time that suits you best (it can be as long or short as you would like). We are here to represent our Black students and students of colour. We really look forward to speaking to you.