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University’s BAME Forum shakes up curriculum

The Forum is pushing for consistent visibility of BAME issues in the curriculum

By: Jeevan Bains

Photo Credit: BAME Forum Logo - The University of Aberdeen

This year's members of The University of Aberdeen Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic (BAME) Forum are determined in their efforts to decolonize the University’s curriculum

Members of the Students’ Association BAME Forum are currently in talks with various University departments to help to decolonize their curriculums in a range of changes that are being sought after by the Forum.

Dialogue has begun with the Anthropology department and the student chair for the Race Equality Network, as well as plans for talks with other university departments.

BAME Forum Treasurer Vanessa Mabonso said she hopes the University will listen to “our intelligent and courageous generation of BAME students that are putting an immense amount of emotional labour to change the system’.”

This comes after weeks of work across the Forum to ensure, under new leadership of Convener Annie Wilson, that BAME students’ voices helped to lead the University’s Black History Month celebration.

Mabonso explained that “decolonizing the curriculum represents moving forward from Eurocentric narratives that push knowledge from people of color to the sidelines”.

She continued to explain that putting “texts into their cultural contexts and present non-Western texts from the same historical eras [would bring] diversity that represents the world as it is – a variety of perspectives.’

BAME students convener, Annie Wilson, shared her desire to “unapologetically challenge and work with the university at all levels of power during her position as Convener”, using her influence and “small army” team to create consistent and visible improvements on campus.

She hopes that by increasing awareness of BAME LGBT+ issues and providing BAME students with platforms to share their experiences they will be able to embrace their identity, culture and be inspired to educate others on racial injustices that have not been tackled in the university previously.


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