The GSA Supports Black Lives Matter

By the GSA Sabbatical Team

In view of the recent episode of brutal violence against George Floyd in Minnesota, the GSA would like to stand in solidarity with people of colour and the #BlackLivesMatter movement.  As a postgraduate student union, we have a responsibility and duty to recognise and actively oppose how racism is intertwined with public institutions.  This blog shows some of the reflections of the sabbatical team during these times.

The criminalisation of people of colour is a reflection of the structural violence that is still pervasive in our countries. We shouldn’t need to explain racism with data, as there has been extensive literature, testimonies, discussions and political stances that have acknowledged institutional racism over the years, but if we look at some of the statistics in the UK we find that:

These are just some of the reasons why we believe we need to take a stance against systemic racism being reproduced on a daily basis through direct violence, cultural violence and symbolic violence and condemn these events.


Did you know?



At the University of York, relevant data regarding PoC at our University is currently publicly unavailable. The GSA are calling on the University of York and will lobby for  the following things:


We pledge to educate ourselves, as well as our members, to the injustices facing people of colour and condemn discriminatory attitudes.  We pledge that when we see or experience racism, we will call it out and make sure the appropriate disciplinary processes are in place. We pledge to create spaces and experiences for vulnerable groups of students to feel safe, so that they can have a space to build community and flourish. We pledge to always ensure that underrepresented student groups have their voices heard; through our representational networks and democratic processes.

We want to be held accountable and responsible as an institution, therefore as sabbatical officers we would like to propose to our GSA Council  a series of policies that the GSA can commit to. In that sense we will be working to:

During the next few weeks we are going to host several events to enable our students community to reflect and discuss collectively on racism and discrimination.

Thursday 4th from 16:30-17:30 our VP Wellbeing and Community will be hosting an online discussion of the documentary 13th, on prison abolition and criminalisation of African Americans. Find the link to our FB event:

Tuesday 7th from 16:00-17:00 our VP Wellbeing and Community will be hosting an online discussion of the chapter ‘We have to talk about systemic change’ in ‘Freedom is a Constant Struggle’ by Angela Y. Davis.  Find the link to our FB event:


Position yourself against institutional racism 

  1. Challenge your own racial biases and inform yourself about white privilege and social inequities. You can find some recommendations in the next section.
  2. Join a virtual protest. Make a poster, picture, or photo and explain why you care about this issue. You can use statistics of your local area or  acknowledge the name of people of colour that have been hurt or killed or failed by the justice system. You can use hashtags like #BlackLivesMatter #BLM #GeorgeFloyd
  3. Talk to your family and friends about the issue. We invite you to share the stories of real people, humanizing statistics and data. Speak kindly to your loved ones on prejudice and privilege, hear them out and appeal to their empathy. Look up for resources, i.e you can find some guidelines on how to talk to your kids about race. Finally, and most importantly, be patient.
  4. If you are a US citizen or have a US post code, sign the petition ‘Justice for Floyd’:

Write a letter to your MP

We encourage you to reflect on your own context

Recommended reading:

Social Media Accounts

You can follow civil rights activists and different organisations advocating for people of colour rights in order to be informed. Here are a few suggestions:


To support in the US: 

Black’s People Justice Fund:
Minnesota Freedom Fund:
Rebuilding the community:
Non-profit media reporting on racial injustice:
Louisville Community Bail Fund:

To support in the UK:

Black Lives Matter UK:
The United Familes&Friends Campaign (UFFC), coalition of those affected by death in police, prison and psychiatric custody:
UK wide-funding pool to support individuals and communities working towards racial justice:
The Majonzi COVID-19 Bereavement Fund to support members of the BAME community who have lost loved ones to COVID-19:

If you can’t donate: Zoe Amira has posted a video on youtube with multiple ads throughout the video. 100% of the ad revenue from the video will be dispersed between various blm organisations, including bail-out funds for protesters. You can turn off your adblocker and put the video on repeat without skipping the ads. Let it play on loop in the background:


3rd June 2020