Racial and social justice seminar series

Racial and Social Justice Seminar SeriesEarlier in October 2023, a powerful event marked the commencement of the new ‘Racial and social justice seminar series’ organised by the University’s Department of Criminology. Titled ‘Policing the Crisis Reloaded: Stop and Search, Gang Violence Matrix, and Structural Racism’, it brought together academics, campaigners and the student community to discuss issues related to structural racism in policing. The seminar series embodies the University’s commitment to social responsibility by fostering dialogue and action on issues that deeply affect our communities.

Katrina Ffrench from UNJUST shed light on the tireless campaign against racism and violence in policing. UNJUST has challenged the Metropolitan Police’s Gangs Violence Matrix. This landmark case highlights the essential role Non-Government Organisations (NGOs) play in holding authorities accountable. A panel discussion added depth to the conversation: Dr Patrick Williams and Professor Tony Jefferson joined Katrina to explore the multifaceted aspects of police reform, abolitionism and alternative approaches to policing. This diverse panel represented academia’s role in understanding, critiquing, and reimagining the future of law enforcement—a vital aspect of social responsibility.

The recurring issue of police brutality demands our unwavering commitment to addressing it effectively. By bringing together NGOs and academia, this event exemplified how a collaborative approach can be a catalyst for change – emphasising the power of open dialogue and the vital role that each sector plays in striving for a more just society.

Our university stands at the forefront of promoting social responsibility and instigating change. All members of our academic community are invited to join us in these critical conversations, working collectively to address pressing issues of our time.

The next seminar, ‘People and dancefloors: A film screening and panel discussion’ will take place on Wednesday, 8 November, from 3-5 pm at Zochonis Theatre B, and will bring Dr Giulia Zampini, Dr Eveleigh Buck-Matthews and DJ Ladybeige.