#BLM, News

Black Lives Matter Seminar Series: a UEA student-led decolonisation initiative

A free online student-led seminar series dedicated to anti-racism activism within the humanities will take place from the 7th to the 11th of September, featuring prominent speakers from various fields. The discussion topics will focus on the historical origins of anti-Black racism in colonialism, Black history, allyship and activism. The Black Lives Matter Seminar Series invites all UEA students, including freshers, to sign up and participate.

Accompanying these seminars are preliminary materials and resources about the topics of discussion that will be provided for attendees before and after the start of the event. Each day, consisting of 2 seminars and follow-up discussion for Black students, will engage with a general theme and the seminars will scope into more specific areas, beginning with a talk from the speaker before opening into a discussion moderated by one of the UEA student organizers.

On the 7th, titled ‘Slavery, Colonialism, and White Supremacy’, attendees will be introduced to the history of British colonialism and whitewashing of African history in preparation for the themes that will explored later in the week. David Featherstone, a reader in the School of Geographical and Earth Sciences at the University of Glasgow, will be speaking in the afternoon seminar titled ‘Black Internationalism, anti-racism and the politics of solidarity.’

Kehinde Andrews, Professor of Black Studies at Birmingham City Univeristy, and Luke de Noronha, an academic and writer working at the University of Manchester, will lead the seminars on the 8th titled ‘Black British History,’ exploring the link between migration and racism, the history of activism in the UK and Black radicalism.

Halfway through the series on the 9th, ‘White supremacy, racism, and complicity of academia’ will discuss academia as being part of the colonial structure and the role academics have taken in upholding white supremacy and racism. These will be joined by author and Professor of Modern Literature Anshuman Mondal from UEA, Elizabeth Cobbett, a lecturer in International Political Economy who is also from UEA, and Robbie Shilliam, Professor of Political Science at Johns Hopkins University.

‘Allyship and bystander training & intersectionality’ on the 10th will focus more on intersectionality and discuss effective ways to be an ally, accompanied by bystander intervention training. This discussion and workshop will feature Sarah Aviah Day, a lecturer in Criminology at the University of Birkbeck, and representatives from Cradle Community, a collective of facilitators, organizers, educators and artists dedicated to developing skills to tackle injustice.

Ending the series on the 11th, ‘Taking action’ deals with a more dynamic implementation of what has been explored earlier in the week. Filmmakers Cassie Quarless and Usayd Younis from ‘black and brown films’ take us through their campaigning and activism experience to give us insight into what we can do to continue and further the discussions into the next academic year.

These seminars will take place on Microsoft Teams. To sign up, please click here, or alternatively for more information click here for their Twitter page, here for the Facebook event or here to follow them on Instagram.

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Jim Gell