tackles racism in HE
first full-scale audit looking at institutional racism
within a university in the light of the Stephen Lawrence
inquiry is under way at Leeds. The audit is a HEFCE Innovations
funded project to stimulate and promote debate about how
institutional racism can be effectively challenged and
action prioritised by the HE sector. The project, run
by Dr Ian Law of the Centre for Ethnicity and Racism Studies
(CERS), aims to provide a toolkit for assessing
and tackling institutional racism in higher education.
report into the matters arising from the murder of Stephen
Lawrence highlighted the fact that: "Racism, institutional
or otherwise, is not the prerogative of the police. It
is clear that other agencies including those dealing with
housing and education also suffer from the disease."
The Race Relations Act 2000 places a statutory obligation
on public bodies to eliminate institutional racism and
promote equal opportunities, and plans for action must
be in place by May 2002.
the idea came initially from the centre, weve had
enormous support from the University," said Dr Law.
"Surveys have been carried out in the past in HEIs
looking at racism in relation to specific areas, but to
our knowledge this is the first full-scale audit of an
Law, and research fellow Dr Laura Turney, will be contacting
all departments about the project, assessing equal opportunity
action plans, and interviewing staff. A postal survey
is to be sent to staff and students. Anyone interested
in participating in the audit can contact the researchers
of human resources, Matthew Knight commented: "This
audit gives the University the opportunity to review its
profile and practices in depth and to learn about what
it needs to do to really get to grips with race discrimination.
We strongly support the initiative and look forward to
implementing an action plan based on the outcomes."
for further details on the Stephen