Hannah Akhalu

Black Officer, 2020-2021 (Southend Campus)

Systemic racism has been an issue Black and other non-white communities have been battling for not just decades, but centuries.

However, following the tragic murder of George Floyd, Black communities across the globe decided that enough is enough.

Racism, more specifically institutional racism must be challenged everywhere, especially here in the UK. We are not innocent.

Thus, we have decided that we will do all we can to recognise and combat the racism within our institution here at Essex. It is our duty.

The University of Essex have established the Tackling Racism Working Group which has been focusing on racial inequality within all of our departments and how we can deconstruct and improve a system that is inherently racist and exclusive.

Here at the Students’ Union, to ensure that the Working Group are actively doing what needs to be done, we have created a committee to ensure that the University is held accountable for their actions and to make sure they remain committed to the task at hand.

Additionally, as your Black Officers, myself and Andrea will also be holding the Students’ Union to account, to make sure they too are actively tackling racism.

Systemic racism cannot be eradicated overnight. It is going to take a lot of time and a lot of effort. Most important, everyone, especially those in powerful positions, have to be willing to listen, understand and actively make changes.

We want our Black students to feel safe, we want them to feel heard, we want them to feel wanted. The University and the Students' Union have a lot of work to do, and we want you all to have a say in this. Therefore, we promise to be as transparent as we can be about the work we are doing.

Myself and Andrea are here to amplify Black voice, to make sure we are being heard and to ensure that actions are being made.

We want you all to feel free to contact us regarding absolutely anything.  We are here to serve you.

We hope that changes are made and the future of Essex is better for all of our students.

Black Lives Matter.

Thank you.


Hannah Akhalu

Black Officer, 2020-2021 (Southend Campus)