A message from Edge Hill University’s Vice-Chancellor Dr John Cater.

The murder of George Floyd in the USA, and subsequent global protests, have been a devastating reminder of the extent to which racism continues to blight the lives of individuals and communities across the world.

These events provide a timely reminder that challenging and addressing the causes of inequality in all its forms is required of each one of us. The recent terrible events should prompt organisations to honestly and robustly review and enhance their policies and practices relating to all forms of racial inequality. We assure our University community that we are committed to doing so. We at Edge Hill are aware that our response in expressing support and solidarity was not prompt enough, and we apologise for this. We would not however, wish that to detract from our genuine commitment to the cause.

We at the University recognise that we can do more in raising awareness of, and in tackling these injustices, in the spirit of an institution founded on principles of inclusivity and diversity. Our roots come from the Suffragette movement, fighting for women’s rights and providing an environment where all people are valued for who they are. These principles should run as threads throughout everything we do, and we have work to do to ensure this is evident to everyone.

Our commitment to equality and diversity is demonstrated by the policies and processes we have in place, and also through our teaching, research, events and networks. Our International Centre on Racism (ICR) delivers advanced research on global questions concerning racism and builds on the University’s long history of antiracism. Also, through the work of the Institute for Social Responsibility (ISR), we try to break the mould and challenge social injustices. We recognise however, that we have more to do in ensuring that this important work has a higher profile and makes a greater impact.

We have spent the last few days listening to our students, colleagues and alumni, and are developing this into a more formal consultation process. Listening will result in prompt and positive action, and an energetic commitment to continuing to make our community one to which we all proudly belong.

Over the next few weeks we will publicise more details about the format this will take.