Help End Everyday Racism
HEER - A call to action to end everyday racism at Oxford
A University of Oxford Research Culture Enhancement Project
Document your experiences as they happen—in college, offices, lectures, supervisions, dorms, departments, laboratories, etc—to add to a collection of stories from around Oxford.
By collecting accounts from across the University, we can understand how racism is experienced at Oxford and advocate for institutional change.
Your Story Matters: Documenting everyday racist incidents validates these experiences and helps acknowledge them for what they are: unacceptable. No incident is too small or insignificant.
Share your Experience (link to follow when live)
The HEER project is one of several activities at the University of Oxford that seek to tackle racism.
The HEER project comprises a ‘Stories of Everyday Racism’ website modelled on the End Everyday Racism website at University of Cambridge, and a story making activity that is underpinned by the methodology of solidarity* also pioneered by the End Everyday Racism team at the University of Cambridge.
The HEER website provides a place for staff at the University of Oxford who have experienced or witnessed everyday racism to record their stories anonymously. Staff will need a current institutional email account to access the site and submit their story (email addresses are only used to verify that the user is a member of the institution; it will not be stored or used to identify individuals).
Alongside the website, a series of HEER story making events will provide collective and supportive spaces (and accompanying refreshments) for people who have experienced or witnessed racism to write and submit their stories and together to reflect on the impacts of those experiences.
During Race Equality Week in February 2023, more than 160 people joined a hybrid event at the Said Business School on responses to everyday racism. This event, was introduced by Professor Sue Dopson and the Vice-Chancellor. Professor Catherine Pope chaired a panel featuring Professor Mindy Chen-Wishart (who initiated #RaceMeToo on Twitter) and Professor Kam Bhui, as well as Dr Ella McPherson and Dr Mónica G. Moreno Figueroa of the End Everyday Racism at the University of Cambridge. You can watch a recording of the event below.
The HEER team are asking the Medical Sciences and Social Sciences Divisions to commit to holding open divisional meetings attended by senior divisional representatives and Heads of Departments to respond to the results.
Members of the HEER team will also present findings to departmental Equality, Diversity and Inclusion Committees to inform their action plans and the project team will reach out to other Divisions and to the student community to extend the work of the HEER project.
The HEER project is not part of a formal reporting or complaints procedure and neither the project team nor the University can respond to individual submissions to the website. To take action in relation to a specific incident, individuals should seek guidance via the University’s Harassment Advisory Service. Additional sources of support for those who experience racism are provided at the end of this document.
We resist providing a neat definition of everyday racism because we recognise that racism shows up in many different ways in our lives. We know that racism takes place everyday. We know that racism can go unnoticed or be viewed as insignificant. We know that people who experience racism may become accustomed to dealing with it and may not discuss or comment on it. We know that behaviours and talk can be obviously racist, or may not necessarily (in isolation) appear to be so, but cumulatively can be part of everyday racism.
We hope that people will use the HEER project to work towards ending everyday racism here at the University of Oxford.
A note about the methods
*The “methodology of solidarity” allows listening and healing alongside collection of stories of everyday racism. For more details see this presentation by the Cambridge End Everyday Racism team.
Collective story making is key to the methodology of solidarity. The HEER project team will coordinate venues and refreshments to allow people to come together to make their stories and upload to the site.
Stories can be used by the individual as they wish – they can create a PDF and use this for their own records, or to pursue further action. They may decide not take this further.
The project team will not re-tell or reproduce the stories. Instead these are analysed thematically and reported as summaries and a report that will be shared widely across the University to advocate for change (the End Everyday Racism project site has examples of reports they produced).
Details and contact for support in and around the university
- Harassment Advisor Network https://edu.admin.ox.ac.uk/support
Employee counselling service Call 0117 934 2121 https://edu.admin.ox.ac.uk/support
- BME Staff Network https://edu.admin.ox.ac.uk/bme-staff-network
- Security Services email@example.com Tel: (2)89999 Emergency or (2)72944 – Enquires ; estates.admin.ox.ac.uk/security-services
- Occupational Health https://occupationalhealth.admin.ox.ac.uk/referral-service
- Togetherall free 24/7 mental health support for students and staff Togetherall
- Trade Unions
- UCU: https://www.ucu.org.uk/support
- Unison: https://www.unison.org.uk/get-help
- Unite: https://www.unitetheunion.org/why-join/member-services/
Contact details for the HEER project
Professor Catherine Pope (Project lead)
Dr Ella McPherson and Dr Mónica G. Moreno Figueroa
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