AGCAS Phoenix, February 2021 - Race Equality

In this issue of Phoenix, we profile the work taking place within university careers services across the country to address race inequality. For many, the events of 2020 and the resurgence of the Black Lives Matter movement has sparked further momentum and presented the opportunity for bolder and braver institution-wide action.

There is broad recognition of the need to review language and terminology. Voices rejecting the term ‘BAME’ are growing in number and prominence. There are calls to move away from the labels and acronyms that, in grouping individuals together within one generic category, fail to acknowledge the intersecting identities and nuanced experiences of students from different ethnic backgrounds. AGCAS members’ awareness of the need to address the unique challenges facing a diverse student body has informed the development of tailored careers and employability interventions, specific to the needs of different groups.

The drive to support Black, Asian and ethnic minority students has become ever more pressing under the cloud of Covid-19. There is still much work, listening and learning to be done. The examples featured within this issue are far from being a panacea for eliminating entrenched racial inequality. Ongoing, meaningful and constructive conversations about race and racism are critical to dismantling the structural barriers facing students and graduates.

While some of the initiatives featured in this dedicated issue of Phoenix are still in their infancy, there is hope that the action taking place across the sector is starting to have an impact. The task at hand is to ensure that the sector’s response, and all the work developed to date, provides the firm foundation for professional practice that gives all students and graduates from Black, Asian and ethnic minority backgrounds fair opportunities to fulfil their potential and realise their ambitions.

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