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UCL Black Students Town Hall Meeting Link

Two tweets by Quinta Brunson (@quintabrunson) reads: “Being black is having a good day and then seeing another black person was killed for no reason. Then you have to think about/talk about that all day. Or don’t and numb yourself. It’s a constant emotional war. Meanwhile you still need to work and worry about everything else”]

Though we, too, are enraged, pained and deeply saddened, we are sending our love and strength to all black students and to people worldwide that are experiencing state violence, police brutality and white supremacy. Racism is not new or uniquely American - the deaths of Ahmaud Arbery, George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Tony McDade, David McAtee and beyond are part of a long legacy of racism, state violence and anti-black aggression. 

The rapid and often careless circulation of videos and images normalises and desensitises racist violence. In the words of Shea Martin: “As long as we depend on consumption of trauma to ‘empathise”, we will always rely on the traumatisation of black and brown bodies…” 

We cannot pretend racism or anti-blackness in the UK is just covert and subtle - it’s normalised, downplayed, inscribed in policy, systemic, and violent. Let us also remember: Joy Gardner (a Black mature student), Shukri Abdi (a black Primary School child), Stephen Lawerence (a Black teenager), the victims of Grenfell (2017), and so many more.

To Black staff and students, I hope you’re taking time to decompress, speaking to your loved ones and are being held (physically or otherwise) by the ones who love you. We live in a society that doesn’t give us the time to process the intensity of public violence and process grief and trauma - feel every emotion, take a day and when you are ready, take action. 

In an institution with a history of Eugenics, where you can count the number of Black Female Professors on one hand, where there are large numbers of Black staff currently on second-class employee precarious contracts - your silence, empty words and inaction on racial injustice will now and forever, speak volumes.

In a racist society, it is not enough to be non-racist, you must be anti-racist

Angela Davis

We aim to honour the humanity in one another and recognise that allyship or solidarity is not something that must be begged for, but rather should be forfeited willingly. Black people should not have to beg for their humanity to be recognised. 

This movement is for the advancement of Black people throughout the Diaspora, including those in UCL network. Therefore, we need university-wide conversations about this - the systemic and pervasive nature of racism and Anti-blackness in both the our local geopolitical context and the wider global sphere. It is time for everyone to take racism and anti-Black violence as seriously as we do. 

Say all of their names. Say all of their names.

If you are neutral in situations of injustice, you have chosen the side of the oppressor.” 

Desmond Tutu


The BME Network is committed to supporting students of colour through peer support, mutual aid, political education and representation. Please follow us on Facebook, Instagram and our newsletter. Contact Sandy, the BME Officer to find out how to get involved and organised.


Additional resources:

Political education about racism and oppression

Acts of solidarity

Racial trauma after tragedy and supporting black students 


Links and references

Article on anti-blackness:

Articles on covert and subtle racism:

Articles on normalised and downplayed racism:

Articles on systemic and violent racism inscribed in policy:

Remembering Joy Gardner:

Remembering Shukri Abdi:

Remembering Stephen Lawrence:

Articles on UCL’s history with eugenics:

Article on precarious contracts at universities:

Articles on self-care:


Political education about racism and oppression

Acts of solidarity

Racial trauma after tragedy and supporting black students