In the Department of Chemistry, we are committed to ensuring that our ethnic minority staff and students feel valued as part of our community and do not face barriers or discrimination of any form. We encourage all our staff to read and ensure they follow Imperial’s policy on racism.
In response to the Black Lives Matter action in the summer of 2020, the Department commissioned an external organisation to run anonymised focus groups with our ethnic minority undergraduate and postgraduate students and one-to-one interviews with our ethnic minority staff. This has provided an insight into the experiences of ethnic minority staff and students as they work and study with us. The Department has committed to implementing the recommended actions from the report produced from the focus groups. A summary of the Department response and recommended actions will be published here in due course.
As part of our membership of the Race Equality Charter, in 2019 and 2020, Imperial College also carried out similar College wide focus groups, with many parallels with our Department level study. The report from these focus groups is available online. In December 2020, Imperial As One commissioned two staff focus groups, the first focusing on Black staff members with the second open to members of Imperial As One. This report is now available to download from the IAO website. The College has also developed and collated resources and information to advise white staff and students on How To Be a White Ally.
We liaise with Imperial As One, an advisory group made up of Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic (BAME) staff. Imperial As One hold regular events throughout the year and during Black History Month, this includes the Belonging series of interviews exploring the BAME experience at Imperial.
Our Department has also received a generous endowment from Mrs Alice Hirst in memory of her husband Jack to create the Jack Hirst Scholarship to provide the opportunity for postgraduate students from Nigeria to spend a year in the Chemistry Department.