Despite being an organisation that has campaigned and fought against racism for more than 50 years, the murder of George Floyd in 2020 and the resulting global Black Lives Matter movement inspired us to urgently reflect on what more we could do as a Students’ Union to genuinely tackle racism in all its forms.

We concluded that, despite a significant amount of effort over the years, there was much more that needed to be done in better understanding and representing our diverse student communities, campaigning for change, improving the diversity of the Students’ Union, and working with the university to tackle racism at Essex. 


To coordinate this work we established a Tackling Racism Committee, an official governance committee that reports directly into the Students’ Union Trustee Board. 

Our Tackling Racism Committee meets every 8 weeks and is made up of:

  • Elected SU student representatives, including representatives from our diverse student communities
  • External members of the Trustee Board
  • Senior members of our Director team, including our CEO.


There is still a great deal of work to be done to tackle racism, but the Committee has already led to a number of significant actions including: 

  • Providing student representation on the university’s Tackling Racism Working Group, which led to the creation of a wide-reaching Anti-Racism Action Plan for the University
  • Introducing compulsory, externally delivered anti-racism training for all Students’ Union staff
  • Undertaking a full refresh of unconscious bias training refresh for all Students’ Union staff 
  • Reviewing the Students’ Union’s recruitment processes to identify and implement improvements with the aim of increasing the diversity of applicants
  • Starting a more comprehensive, organisation-wide approach to Equality, Diversity and Inclusion, working with the university and external experts to identify the best support in embedding this within our organisational strategy

If you have information or experiences that you would like the Tackling Racism Committee to reflect on please email us here

Latest Update 

All SU staff have been requested to refresh their training for Unconscious Bias and Equality and Diversity by end July.  The completion rate is being monitored by HR to ensure that this is completed.  Further training is being considered and is an action that is tracked via the Anti Racism Action Group