Professor Gerald Pillay, Vice-Chancellor and Rector of Liverpool Hope University, reflects on a week of trauma following the killing of George Floyd:
“Liverpool Hope University’s mission and values are based on being inclusive and welcoming. For over 175 years it has reached out to embrace countless others from across the globe.
At the heart of our educational philosophy is the building of a caring community, where students from all walks of life flourish in an environment built on kindness and generosity; that is why there can be no place for racism at Hope or anywhere in our Society.
The University stands with all those in the black community, who to our shame, still experience the trauma, pain and injustice of racism in all its myriad forms. Must people die before our eyes are opened? Every act of racism diminishes us as a society.
Liverpool Hope University’s motto is the quest for Truth, Beauty and Goodness.
There is no Truth, Beauty or Goodness in acts of racism.
I do not claim to speak for the black community but having experienced at first hand the appalling hurt of Apartheid in South Africa, issues of race have long been at the forefront of my mind.
As a University, we have for a long time now implemented projects designed to foster a sense of worldly togetherness; to bridge racial divides.
Our Global Hope initiative, for example, sees us engaging in projects addressing social justice in countries such as India, Sri Lanka, South Africa, Malawi and Brazil.
After many months of preparation, we are close to announcing a new partnership with the present Lord Mayor of Liverpool designed to recruit students from the BAME community into one of our key professional programmes.
We are working hard to improve the recruitment and retention of BAME students. We recognise that we can, and will, do much more in this respect.
The University will continue to address issues of inequality for both our students and our members of staff.
As we strive to overcome the challenges of a global pandemic, all of us have rediscovered our dependence on each other.
See the scale at which people from the BAME community have served our country and who have given their lives in service!
Now is the time - more than ever before - to reject racial discrimination in all its forms and to support the victims of racism who are simply saying, ‘enough is enough’.
We shall stand with them!"