I think most of us will have watched the events in the USA over the weekend with an immense feeling of sadness, anger and helplessness that, nearly six decades on from the civil rights marches of that time, the issues of racial prejudice and discrimination are still so prevalent in our society. With protests on both sides of the Atlantic and unrest reaching boiling point, people are quite rightly looking not just for explanations but more importantly for justice.
Many of you sent me a form letter asking me in my capacity as Principal to respond to these events, and I am writing to restate the RVC’s principles and commitment to equity, equality, diversity and inclusion and our opposition to discrimination of any kind related to race, ethnicity or cultural background. Many of us come from a position of privilege as result of the colour of our skin and it is for us to ensure the events that have led to the current protests are not let slip from societal focus and that the underlying prejudices and biases are addressed wherever they are found. That starts right at our front door and, at this time in particular, when BAME communities have been disproportionally affected by COVID-19, we need to redouble our efforts in defending and supporting our colleagues and students wherever necessary. This must be part of a longer effort and involve the whole RVC community and our stakeholders.