An inadequate response to the death of George Floyd will diminish universities in the eyes of their increasingly diverse students, says ’Funmi Olonisakin
June 12, 2020
By ’Funmi Olonisakin
Republished from Times Higher Education
The global protests of the past week in response to the killing of George Floyd by Minneapolis police have refocused attention on racism around the world, and rightly so.
Higher education has not been left untouched. Our diverse communities – students, staff, alumni – are asking questions of university leaders and their colleagues. They are asking for much more to be done, beyond the utterance of platitudinous words of condemnation about racism towards black people. Their demands have urgency at the core, especially against the background of anguish about the differential impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on people of colour. George Floyd’s needless death exacerbates this anguish.
Doing nothing is not an option. And doing too little incurs the wrath of our communities. We as academics and institutions must stand up to be counted.