Institutional racism can be observed in the discrimination perpetrated by many UK institutions against people because of their colour, culture or ethnic identity. The education system is no exception, often failing to provide adequate services for students because of structural prejudice.
Having been a victim of such prejudice myself, I know first-hand how demoralising it can be for a student’s self-esteem and the impact that it could have on academic performance. Where does this all end, you may question. Well, ‘I simply don’t know’ – this is not merely my perspective, but was also the opinion of Professor Brendon Burchell (a lecturer at the University of Cambridge), when asked the same question.
However, my experience at New City College has taught me that being passive in the face of injustice, or for that matter any other challenge, is most definitely not the right strategy. NCC is doing everything possible to minimise the chances of racism occurring in any of its campuses, by ensuring an inclusive culture and building a series of checks and balances to ensure that students of colour are heard, acknowledged and respected.
The introduction of the new student position of Black Officer responsible for representing the views of black students on campus is a testament to the work carried out by NCC in response to the Black Lives Matter movement.
I should know; as a person of colour I have always felt supported at NCC, in fact I have always been encouraged to aim for the very best. My teacher always says ‘here we have very high standards’. Such a culture has allowed me to be comfortable in holding the prestigious position of Student Governor.
I am truly proud to be part of such a diverse institution which I believe will continue to follow a student-focused strategy and, as a consequence, produce the leaders of the next generation.