Education providers fundamentally cannot decolonise education themselves because of what our education and institutions were created and built upon - historical genocide, enslavement, displacement and colonialism. Decolonisation of education will only be achieved by centring and empowering Black people through a movement that is networked, resourced, and active.
Strengthening and providing a platform for this movement is the aim of our #NUSDecoloniseEducation campaign. Because reaching and centring Black people within this campaign is our intention, you will find we use the term ‘us’ throughout specifically in this context, but decolonising education will benefit every one of us, and all allies are welcome to support this work.
Sara Khan, Vice President Liberation and Equality
Larissa Kennedy, National President
Hillary Gyebi-Ababio, Vice President Higher Education
The Covid crisis has been created by the same system that created colonialism and racism. The repercussions of Covid-19 on Black communities in Western countries, such as the disproportional percentage of contamination leading to death, the disproportional loss of incomes, or the disproportional percentage of front-line workers affected, was to be expected from a system that sees us as expendable. This was to be expected because it happened before, and it is going to continue unless we stand against it. Decolonisation urges us to learn from Black campaigners before us and honour them by taking action now.
When thinking about these possibilities, Assata Shakur puts it perfectly: “It is our duty to fight for our freedom. It is our duty to win. We must love each other and support each other. We have nothing to lose but our chains.”
So, in October 2020, we launched #NUSDecoloniseEducation. This launch offered several opportunities to discuss, as a community, what decolonisation means for us. From this, in this academic year, we will organise many opportunities to learn and grow together, so we can imagine and create learning spaces free from racism, colonialism and imperialism.
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