Statement of Intent
Recently, following an external investigation, LSHTM wholly and unreservedly recognised the existence of institutional failings (intranet) in the management of student complaints relating to racism, with an urgent need to address these failings at LSHTM. In an effort to act robustly and purposefully, LSHTM Leadership decided to follow the recommendations (intranet) to work more closely with the FAIR network.
The FAIR network and LSHTM have agreed to work together in good faith. All involved recognise the value in working collaboratively while acknowledging the challenges inherent in addressing racism within an institution with a long colonial history, particularly in the field of global public health. This work will require challenging current LSHTM policies and ways of working as well as each other. Both parties are committed to prioritising safety, accountability, and transparency, and aspire to build action-oriented trust between LSHTM Leadership, FAIR, and the entire LSHTM community.
In recognition of this shared commitment to "foster an inclusive environment and a community that is safe, respectful and supportive and where all can – and do – thrive", FAIR and LSHTM have worked to identify common objectives that they wish to pursue together.
Our shared vision
We seek to undergo a radical transformation into an institution that does not shy away from holding itself accountable for institutional injustice and whose commitment to create a more racially equitable environment and community embedding social justice principles including access to resources, equity, participation, and diversity is reflected in tangible actions.
We believe that having and sharing knowledge is crucial to create the changes that will move our institution towards acceptance, awareness, and accountability (author organiser and youth advocate Carlos Wallace explains that 'ignorance is a progressive thinker’s enemy; acceptance, awareness, accountability and action are the tools of the informed; of people who want change and do all they can to achieve it') about the ways in which racism continues to manifest and permeate institutions as well as inspire purposeful actions designed to dismantle colonial legacies.
LSHTM's Executive Team recognises its responsibility to actively dismantle existing systems of oppression inherited and exacerbated by colonial legacies consistent with the laws governing LSHTM's charitable and University status. We are committed to being grounded in and steered by anti-racism in our collaborative working. The direction of this work will therefore be led by the voices of those directly impacted by the systemic injustices mentioned above and grounded in their lived experience. We will listen and actively respond to the voices of those within our community that are racially minoritised, seek external expertise where needed, and inform our work by scholarship from the Global South and the fields of critical race studies and decoloniality and other relevant thinking.
Our shared objectives
LSHTM and The FAIR Network will work together to foster a collective engagement towards racial and social justice by;
- Implementing restorative practices principles (the Restorative Justice Council’s principles of restorative practice are restoration, voluntarism, impartiality, safety, accessibility and empowerment) across our LSHTM community.
- Creating shared knowledge on how racism and colonialism manifest in everyday practices at LSHTM as well as ways to prevent and address these issues.
- Nurturing a definition of shared values in relation to racial and social justice.
Ways of working, LSHTM and the FAIR Network
LSHTM and FAIR will work together to develop sustainable, positive changes and outcomes for the whole LSHTM community, now and in the future. To support our journey towards building trust and mutual respect, we will continue to have regular open dialogue on key matters relating to anti-racism, staff and student welfare and decolonising our Institution and have developed the following novel collaborative process to do so:
- FAIR is independent of LSHTM and its freedom of speech is protected and valued. LSHTM and FAIR acknowledge that different viewpoints can exist and be valid. In recognition of the positive contribution of FAIR to LSHTM, its work will be protected from retaliation or attempt to prejudice career prospects, learning opportunities and achievements or employment with LSHTM.
- LSHTM is a University governed by Charter and accountable to the Charities Commission, the Office for Students, other regulators, funders and operates in the context of English Law. The governing body is the University Council as described in the School Charter. This brings a raft of regulation and compliance which bound the operations of LSHTM. FAIR and LSHTM recognise these parameters when agreeing joint actions and activities
- FAIR is organised and coordinated by a core group of volunteer staff, students, and alumni who propose and lead initiatives, engage with LSHTM and departmental leadership, and maintain the FAIR website. The FAIR steering committee is not representative of and does not speak on behalf of the LSHTM community. The committee takes responsibility for all materials disseminated by the group.
- LSHTM recognises FAIR’s overarching goal not to remain in operation indefinitely. It is FAIR’s intention to ‘hand over’ its work, in due course, to the wider LSHTM community as it matures and embeds anti-racism and it is our joint ambition that the principles of decoloniality, anti-racism, equity and social justice will have become embedded at every level of the Institution and will be fundamental LSHTM’s governance, culture and values.
- FAIR is a network without membership. As FAIR’s objective is to work with LSHTM to transform and redefine the Institution’s culture, all LSHTM community members (staff, alumni and students) are invited to lead, discuss and support projects related to FAIR’s vision and objectives and to incorporate anti-racist principles into their teaching, academic support and research practice.
- LSHTM and FAIR will collaborate on the production and dissemination of knowledge and information relating to racial equity and decoloniality at LSHTM according to the needs expressed by the LSHTM community. LSHTM Leadership retains full responsibility for ensuring that the anti-racist agenda is implemented in the Institution.
- LSHTM and FAIR are committed to creating a more inclusive environment where groups representing different marginalised demographics support each other by acknowledging their unique and intersecting identities. Wherever racism intersects with other issues, FAIR will focus its work on amplifying the right voices by listening, partnering, extending support and affirming the work being done by existing advocacy groups rather than leading or being the loudest voice.
- FAIR is a space for learning and unlearning racism and colonial practices at LSHTM. Staff and students are encouraged to reach out to the Network with questions and for discussions and attend events to learn about better communication, restorative practices, decolonial thought and anti-racist praxis.
- LSHTM and FAIR will invite members of LSHTM’s community (staff, students, and alumni and external experts) to lead or conduct different pieces of commissioned work in pursuit of our shared objectives. Contributions will be coordinated by FAIR core contributors working in partnership with LSHTM and will be remunerated according to the salary grid agreed with LSHTM’s Executive.
- FAIR and LSHTM will collaborate in the production and delivery of anti-racism and decolonial focused work for staff and students at LSHTM and the work will be recognised and resourced. The core group of FAIR contributors and those additional contributors commissioned to undertake the work will retain full and exclusive ownership of knowledge produced and shared by FAIR.