BLM: The UCL student who is demanding justice from Academic Institutions

A group of students have come together to produce a letter addressing Academic Institutions worldwide imploring them to recognise the death of George Floyd

UCL student, Dom Borghino, has created a letter to demand recognition of George Floyd’s murder from academic institutions worldwide. Universities along with other major establishments remain silent during these events of horrific injustice. Many including Borghino and his colleagues, who helped him write the letter, highlight how this is part of the problem. They believe that silence from Academic Institutions merely perpetuates the problem.

These students want universities to tackle injustice currently being placed on BAME students who are being placed under enormous pressure to academically perform amongst trauma, whilst also receiving no kind of safeguarding assurances from their own establishments.

Whilst many are attending protests to at the moment to show their support for the BLM cause, these students recognise that this is not an option for everyone because of social anxiety, disability and fears surrounding COVID. However, they still believe that everyone has a responsibility to ‘do what they can’ and to: ‘donate, educate and demonstrate’.

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Justice for George Floyd

A post shared by Imran Suleiman (@suledigital) on May 31, 2020 at 9:44am PDT

The template can be found here if you want to send the letter on to your own institution. Dom, the letter’s writer (who described his letter as being among one of the things white people do best: complaining to the manager) said:

“I put the letter together because I was so frustated by the fact that academic establishments, which owe a responsibility to safeguarding the wellfare of its students was no better than any other establishment in its failure to speak out about the racist crimes being committed against the black community.

“Seeing my black peers struggle to cope with the pain being dealt to them made it obvious I had to do everything in my power to help, and realising that black students were being provided with absolutely no support provided a perfect opportunity for me to use my platform and infleunce to carry out change.

‘I want academic institutions to acknlowedge what’s going on and recognise the pain being felt by black students, and offer them support and guidance in dealing with the trauma, as well as academic help given. Even now, those students are stilll expected to perform at their best despite their trauma.”

The letter has currently been sent over 100 times to various academic institutions, beginning with UCL. At present, none of the universities contacted have made a comment on the matter.

Co-writer Jess explained why it is so important as a black student that the letter is shared by as many students as possible:

“There is strength in numbers and while sharing the hurt and frustration, via social media, offers some comfort, this is a promising opportunity to encourage real change. By contacting those with such influence, to educate and incite ‘official’ conversation. It will only be when these issues are recognised and supported by our Academic Institutions that we will more forward- with more hope and security.”

All photos: Imran Suleiman @suledigital (Instagram)