Commitments to Goldsmiths Anti-Racist Action

Goldsmiths is working to meet a range of commitments made to Goldsmiths Anti-Racist Action (GARA).

Primary page content

Goldsmiths Anti-Racist Action (GARA) held a 137-day sit-in occupation of Goldsmiths building Deptford Town Hall in 2019, in protest at inaction on racial injustice at the College.

The occupation was brought to a close on 27 July 2019 after the College and the campaigners established a mutually-agreed statement of commitments. Staff and students from departments across the College are working towards meeting these commitments.

You can find information about each of the commitments made and their status below.

See the full Statement of commitments made to GARA (PDF). The commitments were agreed by Goldsmiths Senior Management Team (SMT).

Access to Deptford Town Hall for Lewisham residents

Commitment detail

  • ‘Drop-in’ service to be set up at DTH reception for booking enquiries
  • Specific booking query form to be made available via the ‘Community’ pages of the Goldsmiths website

Status of commitment

All areas complete.

The Deptford Town Hall community booking form is available.

Please note that the drop-in service and hire of Deptford Town Hall is currently unavailable due to Covid-19 controls. This applies to all our buildings.

Reinstatement of scholarships for Palestinian students

Commitment detail

  • Two scholarships to be reinstated for Palestinian students, currently residing in Palestine or holders of Palestinian travel documents, who would require Student Visas to study in the UK. Recipients are to demonstrably plan to return to Palestine or their place of residence to support civic society there
  • Scholarships to be reinstated for the start of the academic year 2020/2021
  • The selection process should continue (as it has been in the past years) to have elected student representatives (ie: Palestine Twinning Officer, President of the Palestine society or any relevant Goldsmiths Students’ Union elected representative)

Status of commitment

All areas complete.

Two scholars have been selected for the 2020/2021 academic year. Further information about the Humanitarian Scholarships programme.

Review of Social, Therapeutic and Community Studies (STaCS) contact hours

Commitment detail

  • The Social, Therapeutic and Community Studies (STaCS) Department Management Team (DMT) will form a working group to review the BA Applied Social Science, Community Development & Youth Work programme and work towards the reinstatement of the STaCS contact hours
  • The working group will be formed in September of the upcoming academic year (2019/20)
  • The working group will consist of staff of the BA Applied Social Science, Community Development and Youth Work programme, current students on the course and alumni - facilitated by the programme convenor, the progress of which will be reported to Elisabeth Hill (Or whomever fulfils the role of Learning, Teaching and Enhancement Pro-Warden)
  • Department staff and students will spearhead all decisions of this working group

Status of commitment

A departmental working group has been established within STaCS.

Its review of contact hours across all three years of BA Applied Social Science, Community and Development and Youth Work has been completed.

In accordance with our established approach to considering and approving changes to programmes, the working group’s proposal is currently under consideration within the STaCS department. Any changes will be considered by Goldsmiths’ Programme Scrutiny Sub-Committee for final approval and implementation in line with their requirements and timelines.

Mandatory anti-racism training for all staff

Commitment detail

  • Every level of staff will undergo the training. This training will commence in the academic year 2019/20 going forward as reflective of the initial meeting of the Anti-Racism Training Steering Group
  • This training is to be rolled out across future academic years and for incoming staff members
  • SMT and the Communications team will be prioritised as early adopters
  • There will be discussion about how best to roll out the programme across the College in the way that is most effective and in discussion with the Anti-Racism Training Steering Group
  • There will continue to be an additional 2 GARA representatives and 2 representatives from each of the liberation groups (Black, Disabled, LGBT+, Trans, Women) in the Stakeholder Group(s)

Status of commitment

An anti-racism training group has been established to plan our approach to all-staff training for 2020/2021. The details of the training programme have not yet been approved by the group.

Several Senior Management Team members and key Communications team staff have attended and completed a two-day, externally run training course during the 2019/20 academic year.

Some senior staff are part-way through this training due to disruptions of delivery due to Covid-19 and will be attending the remaining modules as soon as possible.

Employment of BME wellbeing and counselling staff and rollout of cultural competency training

Commitment detail

  • Every reasonable and practicable measure should be taken to ensure the recruitment of BME staff into the wellbeing and counselling teams for the upcoming academic year (2019/20) and beyond
  • Recruitment advertisements will be put out in race equality networks, BME networks and all appropriate platforms
  • The person specification for the roles has been amended to ensure that there are BME counsellors and wellbeing advisors
  • SMT will commit to rolling out Cultural Competency Training for all staff within the wellbeing and counselling teams for the upcoming academic year (2019/20) in addition to the cross-campus mandatory anti-racist training
  • The new Director of Human Resources (HR) has been contacted to secure application workshops to be rolled out in the upcoming academic year (2019/20)
  • Proposals for supporting BME applicants in the job application process will be brought forward to the HR & Equalities Committee in the next academic year (2019/20)
  • A BME student will be invited to be on each interview panel for student-facing staff on the Wellbeing and Counselling teams e.g. GARA representatives

Status of commitment

New staff from BME backgrounds were appointed into the Wellbeing and Counselling team in the 2019/20 academic year. Roles were advertised with an amended job description as agreed with Goldsmiths Anti-Racist Action and were advertised on additional networks.

A cultural competency training programme has been researched and an overview drafted in collaboration with the Organisational Development and Equalities Manager. A final delivery timeline will be confirmed once budget details are finalised and in discussion with the anti-racism training group.

Outsourced cleaners, front of house and security staff to be brought in-house

Commitment detail

  • SMT will be putting forward a proposal to Goldsmiths council in their September 2019 meeting to bring all security staff in-house

Status of commitment

All areas complete.

Cleaners were insourced from 1 May 2019. Security and front of house staff were insourced from 1 February 2020.

Review of SEAtS Software

Commitment detail

  • The Data Impact Assessment will be released to all parties concerned (including but not limited to: UCU, Unison, Goldsmiths Student’s Union (GSU), GARA, student and staff liberation groups and Goldsmiths Race Equality Group (GREG) - should these groups wish to be a part of the process)
  • The Equalities Impact Assessment (EIA) will be carried out transparently and rigorously. The EIA will inform how, or whether, the project continues. The following groups will be consulted as part of the EIA: GARA students, Students’ Union officers, Students’ Union liberation groups, staff, staff unions, staff with disabilities, LGBTQ network, and GREG
  • SEAtS will not be rolled out to any new departments until the Equalities Impact Assessment is completed and the project board makes a decision about the future of SEAtS

 

Status of this commitment

Our rollout of SEAtS software has been halted while further work was undertaken. Representatives from Goldsmiths Anti-Racist Action (GARA) have been added to the SEAtS project board.

A Data Impact Assessment and Equalities Impact Assessment have been conducted and released to all agreed parties including GARA, Goldsmiths Students’ Union officers, Goldsmiths Racial Equality Group and others.

A consultation on the use of SEAtS software was held with 792 respondents (505 students and 287 staff members). Final analysis has been shared with the SEAtS project board, who will discuss next steps once campus reopens in autumn 2020.

New complaints reporting system

Commitment detail

  • The working group will spearhead the design of a new centralised reporting system which will have procedures in place to better safeguard victims and complainants, ensuring they can receive the support they need, whether it is pastoral, judicial or disciplinary
  • The working group will consist of 2 GARA representatives, 2 BME staff, 2 academics, 3 Goldsmiths Students’ Union representatives and other relevant parties
  • The working group will meet a minimum of three times a month, in order to ensure that a new system can be designed, tested and rolled out as soon as possible
  • Existing staff members who deal with the Hate Crime Reporting Centre and the new complaints procedure will receive cultural competency training in addition to the mandatory anti-racist training

Status of this commitment

The new working group has been established, including representation from two GARA representatives, 2 BME staff, 2 academics, 3 Goldsmiths Students’ Union representatives and other relevant parties.

The working group has met to consider a new complaints procedure, including the possibility of an external appointment to scope a new complaints system. Progress on this external appointment has paused owing to the implications of Covid-19 on staff recruitment, as well as other developments outside of Goldsmiths including discussions with the University of London around the development of a federal complaints system for University of London institutions.

A cultural competency training programme has been scoped. A final delivery timeline will be confirmed once budget details are finalised and in discussion with the anti-racism training group.

Information and consultation on Deptford Town Hall statues

Commitment detail

  • Plaques will be made that detail the history of each statue as a temporary measure in place at the latest for the next academic year (2019/20)
  • This will be an interactive process. For example, a callout for design ideas can be incorporated into the open call for BME researchers for the reparative justice programme or the design work could be done in collaboration between Goldsmiths, GARA and local schools in the community
  • Once a text is agreed, including with GARA, following the research carried out by the BME researcher(s) (who is carrying out a study into Goldsmiths’ colonial heritage), Statement of commitments made by Goldsmiths Senior Management team to Goldsmiths Anti-Racist Action Goldsmiths, University of London 7 then information about the statues and history of Deptford Town Hall will be available on the Goldsmiths website and be included in the next batch of print prospectuses to be produced for academic year 2021/22. This information will be included in current digital versions of the 2020/21 prospectus
  • There will be a public conversation held regarding the statues with involvement from key stakeholders, such as grassroots organisations in the local community
  • Alongside this, consideration will be given to views within the College regarding the iconography of the building as part of the race audit being led by Dr Rollock. This will inform next steps
  • An online consultation will be held but not in the form of a tick box exercise

Status of this commitment

Plaques detailing the history of each statue were agreed with GARA and added to Deptford Town Hall railings as a temporary measure in September 2019.

Text about the statues has been included on the Goldsmiths website and in our online prospectus for 2020/2021. It will also feature in the 2021/2022 print and online prospectus.

The Warden chaired a meeting in July 2020 with representatives from GARA and other internal stakeholders including Goldsmiths Racial Equality Group (GREG), the Students’ Union and GUCU. The meeting was also attended by representatives from Lewisham Council and Historic England. Subject to approval from Goldsmiths Council, a planning application will be made to Lewisham Council regarding the removal of the statues following an online consultation with our local community.

The consultation will be opened in later summer 2020. It will be agreed by the stakeholder group and will be published online using Goldsmiths' Consultation Hub and conforming to best practice standards for consultation by a public body.

Recruitment of full-time staff resource to work in Racial Justice Team

Commitment detail

  • Recruitment for a research post and additional budget and resource has been made available to Dr Rollock to deliver her work
  • This research will be done across Goldsmiths College

Status of this commitment

Two members of staff were recruited to work in the Racial Justice Team and employed into the 2020/21 academic year.

Both posts are currently vacant. The current review of racial justice work across the College will determine the best use of this resource moving forward.

Annual fund for Black history events

Commitment detail

  • £20,000 will be ring-fenced for Black History events for Goldsmiths Students’ Union at the start of the upcoming academic year (2019/20) and will continue annually - awarded according to fulfilling criteria which will be developed by Goldsmiths Students’ Union in collaboration with the College (via the Racial Justice Action Group)
  • Goldsmiths Students’ Union will report transparent expenditure to relevant parties biannually

Status of this commitment

Goldsmiths Students’ Union has developed an approach to the use of this fund. The College is awaiting final confirmation from the Students’ Union on operational points and launch plan before the funding is released.

The Students’ Union has indicated that they will restart this work in autumn 2020.

Public statement on Goldsmiths’ complicity in racism

Commitment detail

  • SMT will collaborate with GARA on the contents and the wording of the statement
  • The statement will not go public until GARA has expressed their approval of the statement
  • The public statement will be sent from SMT to all levels of staff and students at Goldsmiths at the start of the upcoming academic year (2019/20)
  • The statement will be published publicly, including the Goldsmiths website and all forms of social media at the start of the upcoming academic year (2019/20)
  • If agreement about the details of the statement cannot be reached, both parties would engage with an agreed independent arbitrator(s) who has experience in racial justice whose decision would be final

Status of this commitment

All areas complete.

The complicity statement was published on the Goldsmiths website on 23 October 2019. It was sent to all staff and students by email and was shared via Goldsmiths social media accounts. The statement is actively used when managing queries from members of the public or the media.

Decolonisation of the curriculum

Commitment detail

  • The race audit will take into account views about how best to decolonise the curriculum. We will endeavour to ensure that all departments engage fully with the audit
  • This work will be taken forward with the support of the Racial Justice Action Group (which will be formed in the next academic year 2019/20) with this group’s terms of reference (including frequency of meetings) be determined in collaboration with those in the group and in line with the wider deadline of the audit
  • We will ensure that the Racial Action Group and/or the wider reference group include members of student liberation groups, GARA representatives and Goldsmiths Students’ Union
  • SMT agrees that revisions to the curriculum are likely and important and we will look to take forward and give full consideration to the recommendations of the audit in this respect. An overhaul of the curricula will be a priority. Departments will proactively support the wider Goldsmiths audit, providing relevant evidence on how they have addressed decolonisation

Status of this commitment

The race audit has not progressed. A priority of the current review of racial justice work across the College is to examine a different way to take forward curriculum work, ensuring that ongoing decolonisation work running from the Library and within departments is captured.

Projects in the Library including Liberate our Library and Black Lives Matter Reading Lists are supporting this work, and Liberate our Degrees continues to be the first aim of the Goldsmiths Learning, Teaching, Assessment Strategy.

Curriculum review will form part of the College’s 2020/21 recovery planning and will include racial justice in a range of forms as a priority.

Research into Goldsmiths’ colonial heritage and reparative justice programme

Commitment detail

  • Goldsmiths has requested a formal consultation with Glasgow University to investigate how they carried out their reparative justice programme
  • If Glasgow University does not respond by the end of August 2019, Goldsmiths will proceed with this work regardless
  • There will be an open call for research proposals from BME academic researchers to take part in investigations into Goldsmiths’ colonial heritage. Goldsmiths will allocate funding for its own study, which will be able to fund full-time, contracted staff who will lead on the research
  • Goldsmiths will be prepared to publish the results of their study and draft a programme of reparative justice including its pledges, ideally in the next 9 months
  • Updates will be shared publicly on a monthly basis including but not exclusive to online platforms

Status of this commitment

Goldsmiths made contact with Glasgow University to discuss their reparative justice programme, who have shared information with the College.

This area of work is to be continued under the public engagement and consultation on Deptford Town Hall statues.

Funding for paid departmental BME representatives

Commitment detail

  • Goldsmiths will fund a paid BME representatives proposal, should it be a key recommendation by the Racial Justice Action Group
  • The race audit will include a question around BME student representatives. The information gained will inform the recommendations made by the Racial Justice Action Group
  • Should they wish to attend, a meeting will be arranged, between Dr Rollock, Howard Littler (Academic Representation & Communities Manager of the Goldsmiths Students’ Union), Anna Tango Cañete (Academic Representation Coordinator of the Goldsmiths Students’ Union), Goldsmiths Students’ Union sabbatical officers, GARA representatives, and other relevant bodies to further discuss the case of BME representatives for each academic department. Agreements will include how this would be structured and how BME reps and their respective departments would be appropriately trained, supported and regulated

Status of this commitment

This commitment is not yet met.

The new Dean of Students is to take forward this work, with student representation and racial justice key priorities for this role for 2020/2021.

Additional funding for faith, religion and belief-based events and bigger prayer space

Commitment detail

  • Additional funding of £20,000 will be allocated annually for faith, religion and belief-based events
  • The head of estates will continue to work alongside Goldsmiths Students’ Union, the chaplains and 3 GARA representatives to locate an appropriate space for the start of the upcoming academic year (2019/20)
  • A bigger space will be allocated for a new multi-faith prayer room that is fit for purpose. Preparations (furnishing, carpeting etc.) will be made as soon as practicable with the aim of completion within Term One (academic year 2019/20)

Status of this commitment

All areas complete.

A bigger prayer room was identified and opened at the start of the 2019/20 academic year.

A multi-faith fund was launched in November 2019 for faith-based societies and students to access funding for faith-based events.

Read archived, more detailed pages about the protest and the College’s response.