Workshops

Register now: Organising for Liberation Weekender, 15-16 June 2019 #org4lib #barcworkshop

15-16 June 2019 – REGISTER HERE

9.30am-5pm, Saturday 15 June – Sunday 16 June 2019
Carnegie Hall, Leeds Beckett University, Headlingley Campus

Co-hosted by BARC and Prof Shirley-Anne Tate of the Centre for Race, Education and Decoloniality, Carnegie School of Education, Leeds Beckett University.

Decolonising work within higher education has been gaining profile and momentum in both national and international universities.

But the discussion can often be confined to the re-working of course curricula which, whilst valuable, leaves unchallenged other important ways in which the learning environment are structured by the privileged norms of whiteness. Moreover, this approach can mean the decolonising project falls foul of becoming a tick-box audit exercise.

Over the course of this two day workshop, we invite participants to engage with us in re-imagining the classroom as a broader set of embodied relations and dynamics that have the power to perpetuate or to disrupt racism:

What is an anti-racist space? We will reflect deeply on this simple yet provocative question as we move forward in our work that develops the theoretical tools for our times that can be used to dismantle white supremacy in the classroom.

We build on Tate and Bagguley’s (2017) conceptualisation of the anti-racist university as a ‘contact zone’ where different people and ideas might be brought together in non-hierarchical relations to (re)form one another. We ask:

  • What does an anti-racist classroom look like? What does it feel like?
  • Who is understood to be a ‘good’ student, and how do they transform over the course of their degrees?
  • What alternative philosophies can we draw on to envisage and embody anti-racist spaces, practices, and relations to one another?
  • Do we have the language to imagine it, construct it, demand it?
We will work with an artistic, participative methodology to develop a programme of activity that promotes reflexive thinking, discussion, and community-building.

Fees: We propose, for those who are able to access funds, an optional sliding scale solidarity fee (£20, £40 or £60) which will be used subsidise costs – please email us at to let us know you would like to contribute and we will send you details.

Participants will need to cover their own travel and accommodation but we do have a limited number of £50 bursaries available for attendees from NARTI institutions (see below). To apply for a bursary please email Joanne Garrick.

Daytime meals are included (Saturday: Breakfast, lunch; Sunday: Breakfast, lunch, afternoon tea). On Saturday night we will plan to go out somewhere for dinner together.

Spaces are limited to 30 participants. The event is sponsored by the Northern Advanced Research Training Initiative (NARTI) and thus targeted at business and management staff and students from NARTI institutions, but all scholars and students involved in decolonising and anti-racist work are encouraged to apply.

NARTI institutions: Keele University, Durham University, University of Hull, Leeds Beckett University, Leeds University, University of Liverpool, Liverpool John Moores University, University of Huddersfield, University of Manchester, York Management School, Lancaster University, Sheffield Hallam University, Sheffield University, University of Salford, Northumbria University, Newcastle University, Manchester Metropolitan University, University of Lincoln. 

We aim to make this event as accessible as possible; please contact us with any accessibility needs that would support or enable your participation. 

To register for the event, please click here.

Follow updates on Twitter: @CollectiveBARC #org4lib #barcworkshop

Thank you and we hope to see you there!

Activism, Critique, Workshops

The Origins of BARC

Business and management schools have a problem.

While we research diversity and teach it on the curriculum, the classroom
overwhelmingly focuses on whiteness, Eurocentric knowledge and North American corporate practice. Students of colour/Global South students are expected to engage with content that does not reflect their realities, theorisation that actively excludes them, and Screen Shot 2018-08-03 at 15.34.13learning environments in which the voices of white students and the English medium are often dominant.

University management and teaching staff is also predominantly white as well as male, and most fail to interrogate their own positionality and privilege. Racialised perceptions lead staff to deem these same students less able, less networked, and lacking in aspiration and social capital. All of this feeds into an attainment gap that is not being meaningfully addressed.

In addition, staff of colour/Global South staff face issues with career progression, recognition, publishing, and doing a disproportionate amount of labour that is caring, feminised and emotional, and which is therefore undervalued. We are over-represented in professional services roles, lower academic pay grades, and on precarious contracts, and while our labour is the backbone of the university, our voices and power are restricted and suppressed accordingly. This is particularly true for women.  Despite the numbers of home students of colour growing year on year, this is not reflected in the makeup of staff, with home academics of colour having only grown from 4.8% in 2004 to 6.2% in 2015. As whiteness is the norm, and whiteness remains the unmarked and invisible standard of achievement, it is critical to talk about race.

Building the Anti-Racist Classroom aims to bring together scholars of colour and anti-racist allies around these issues. We believe that meaningful change only occurs through radical thinking and collective organising and that the time is ripe for these conditions to change.

Our aims are as follows:

    • To provide a safe space for management educators of colour and white allies to engage with contemporary anti-racist theory in order to develop critique, knowledge tools and resources supporting the enhancement of pedagogy.
    • To facilitate mutual learning between established and new faculty who face different challenges in relation to anti-racist work
    • To enable participants to identify the key issues specific to their local and institutional contexts, share strategies for addressing them, and design activities to begin implementing and advocating for anti-racist practices in their universities.

In recognition of the fact our own discipline is lacking in critical racial analysis and anti-racist work, we have developed an interdisciplinary programme that features leading UK scholars in sociology and education, the disciplines in which cutting edge work in this area is being done. The schedule has been planned to be interactive, centring participants’ experiences of racism in the classroom, and from this, we will collectively develop practical tools, intervention pathways, and an anti-racist agenda for management and organisation studies in UK HE.

Our pilot event took place on Thursday 18- Friday 19 October 2018 at Queen Mary University of London. Please read a summary of the event here.

Letters, Testimonials, Workshops

A letter to BARC and all the wonderful people of colour

“The journey starts where I will it, so I hope to see you along the beautiful road to freedom!” – Sima

To my people,

Afraid. Alone. Abandoned.

That was what I most unwillingly felt before a project called the BreakThrough! I was then able to master and abolish these feelings to some extent through this project by building up my resilience and confidence in not only my personal ability and skills, but my identity and the strengths that lie behind my ethnicity and heritage. I was always conscious of my skin colour and what that meant regarding how I establish myself in the world and most definitely, how the world will establish itself around me. This project therefore allowed me to voice those inner bombarding emotions and helped me acknowledge and understand that the discriminatory practises of white privilege and culture and racism are real and alive and very much prominent in everyday life.

Then came the BARC Collective.

Another well positioned platform for me to utilise and help muster the burning strength that I knew I had clustering inside me. I knew I could finally be myself and really showcase what I am, who I am and who I wish to be. I am fire. I am rage. I am love and hate and friendship. I am cheeky. I am strong. I am skilled and motivated and worthy. But most importantly I am a woman of colour! This part, the most important part to me, is something that I often failed, and unfortunately was scared, to voice. So when BreakThrough! came along, and then BARC, I knew I had the opportunity to finally be myself. Finally. BARC gave me a platform, a chance and a space to voice myself, to voice my constant disappointment and burning rage with the undemocratic and despicable system of institutional racism, of racial and religious repression, of the hypocrisy of meritocracy. BARC gave me an unwarranted outlet to voice my grievances, to face the world that was so strategically trying to keep me out, to meet other women of colour who understood my pain and my story, to develop a stronger sense of who I am, to create strategies and ways in which to demolish the barriers of White privilege, and most importantly provided me with the safest place where I could truly be me. A woman of colour.

This is my story, my life, my experience and I will not give up nor give in because

I am a strong woman of colour!

Your sister of colour,

Sima Akter