Building a respectful and inclusive graduate community

Sent to our global alumni community by email on 12 June 2020

We are so grateful for the vast response we have received from across our community. We are processing all of these contacts and either responding directly and/or relaying insights to our Equality, Diversity and Inclusion leadership team. Thank you.

Dear friends,

Along with so many of you, we have spent the last few weeks processing the horrific killing of George Floyd, the events that followed, and so many of the underlying problems that have once again been highlighted in the world. This is a unique moment in which we have the opportunity to consider fundamental and systemic changes which will have a positive impact on a greater proportion of society, and within our own diverse, global alumni community.

In this regard, we have been thinking deeply about our responsibilities. About what we can all do to stand in solidarity with our Black, Asian, and Minority Ethnic community members and beyond, and to work in partnership to make beneficial change happen.

We know that there is the need for much a broader conversation about continuing issues at Durham, and this presents us with important challenges, but we want to assure you - our graduate community - that we are all committed to leading and supporting this in whatever way we can.

The University has already committed to taking significant action. Professor Antony Long, Provost and Deputy Vice-Chancellor, made this statement last week:
"We are working to build a safe, respectful and inclusive environment. We acknowledge we have more to do to make this a reality for everyone, but we are working hard to achieve this. Having signed the Race Equality Charter in March 2019, we are working to understand any institutional or cultural barriers that may stand in the way of BAME staff and students, and to improve the representation, progression and success of BAME staff and students within our University community.
"We have also introduced an online Report and Support tool through which staff, students and visitors can report unwanted behaviour and seek support: reportandsupport.durham.ac.uk
"Additionally, we will shortly be publishing the final report of our Commission on Respect, Values and Behaviour, a year-long study to help us understand people’s experiences of working and studying at Durham University and what can be done to create positive change. All of the Commission’s recommendations have been endorsed by the University’s governing bodies and we will shortly announce a detailed programme of work to implement these changes."

As your Development and Alumni Relations team, we feel that it is deeply important to create a learning environment. Within this environment, we would like to invite you to share your experiences, feedback, and advice with us on how we can make the experience of being a Durham graduate as inclusive, respectful, and engaging as possible for every member of our global community. Please write to us at alumni.office@durham.ac.uk

We are here and we are listening.

Your Development and Alumni Relations Team


Development and Alumni Relations Office
The Palatine Centre
Stockton Road
Durham
DH1 3LE

0191 334 6305
alumni.office@durham.ac.uk

The full team is currently working out of the office due to Covid-19. We always love to hear from you but it may take us a little longer than usual to respond - especially by mail or telephone. Thank you for bearing with us. Please do get in touch with us online for anything time-sensitive at alumni.office@durham.ac.uk