DecoloniseUKC shuts down day after University takes on recommendations

Image courtesy of: Tahmid Morshed

Vice-Chancellor Karen Cox has stated that she did not know about the shutdown of the staff-student group DecoloniseUKC in early June.

The group, which was set up two years ago by two law professors specialising in critical-race theory at the University of Kent, announced on their website that the University society was shutting down during the Black Lives Matter Protests sweeping the US.

During the ‘My Campus is Racist – In Conversation’ with other Union and University officials, the panel was asked if they were aware of DecoloniseUKC’s shutdown.

The Vice-Chancellor said: “I am not aware of anything about disbanding that.”

Other members of University management at the event, including the Director of Student Services, also didn’t comment.

The University also announced in a joint statement with Kent Union that they would be acting on recommendations from DecoloniseUKC and the Afro-Diasporic Legal Network from the 4th of June to improve racial equality on campus.

The announcement was in response to Black Lives Matter protests that had been seen in both the US and UK following the murder of George Floyd by a white police officer.

However, in a post made to organisation's website on the 5th of June, the society announced it would shut down and its Kaleidoscope Network will be disbanded.

The group also said: “Our energy will be directed to survive and thrive, not resist appropriation #NotInOurName.”

The group was set up by Kent Law Professors and students to diversify the voices in the Law curriculum, and quickly extended into a University-wide society ran under the University.

The group involved dialogue between students and staff members to improve the teaching of BAME Students and the inclusion of Minority voices in University classes.

This led to the creation of a 12-page manifesto on how University Management can better cater to BAME students and inclusion in the classroom and the establishing a network connecting students and staff on the issue.

The University has been approached for a comment.

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