Race Equality Taskforce

Raising the profile and importance of racial and cultural diversity at York St John.

A taskforce has been set up to understand what racial inequalities currently exist and identify steps to address these. This work should help York St John offer a welcoming and inclusive environment for a diverse community, increasing the representation of BAME staff and students to 10% of the University’s population by 2026.

The taskforce will make recommendations to the Executive Board in autumn 2019. 

Join the conversation about why race equality is important for York St John, the challenges we face and how to address these.

Vice Chancellor Professor Karen Stanton has pledged her support to the National Union of Students and Universities UK's report and its recommendations 'Black, Asian and minority ethnic student attainment at UK universities: #ClosingtheGap'.

#ClosingtheGap (UUK webpage)

The student survey has now closed. 


Language is evolving continuously and there are a number of terms in use around race and ethnicity. We recognise the limitations of terminology. Two key terms we are using are 'BAME' (Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic) and 'White'. 

However we are mindful that ethnic and racial groups are more diverse. The Equality Act 2010 says that people who share a colour; nationality; ethnic or national origins can be described as belonging to a particular racial group. ethnic and racial groups include, for example, British Asians, Black Jamaicans, Jews, White East Europeans, Gypsies and Travellers. The taskforce welcomes contributions from people of any ethnic and racial group about racial inequalities and how we can address these.

Advance HE briefing about race and ethnicity terminology

Equality and Human Rights Commission advice about race discrimination

Get involved


Tue 23 April       13:00 - 14:00        QE/106    Roundtable with Director of Human Resources, Head of Staff Development and BAME staff
Wed 1 May 10:30 - 12:00 SK/126 Roundtable with SU Chief Executive and BAME students
Mon 20 May 14:00 - 16:00 HG/135 Student Success and Engagement Team is inviting all BAME students to a discussion about the student success programmes. To register, please email Emma  at e.maslin@yorksj.ac.uk.

We welcome your contribution to the conversation. Please send your comments, queries or suggestions to Marije at m.davidson@yorksj.ac.uk.


The taskforce focuses on:

  • Awareness and understanding of standards and expectations related to race and diversity
  • Staff recruitment and promotion processes
  • Information, advice and guidance for students, applicants and parents
  • Student induction and transition
  • Capturing data, in particular the experiences of Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic students and staff.


The taskforce is supported by Governor Mohammed Ali OBE, and reports to Dr Amanda Wilcox, University Secretary.

Dr Richard Bourne Head of School of Humanities, Religion and Philosophy; Acting Director of Learning and Teaching (Chair)
Marije Davidson Equality and Diversity Adviser (project manager)
Olivia Bowers SU President Wellbeing and Diversity
Alizée Cordes International Recruitment Regional Manager (Europe)
Tené Dowling SU BAME Officer
Phill Gray Deputy Director Student Recruitment
Shifali Saini Estates Development Manager, BAME staff network co-chair
Nic Streatfield Head of Student Services
Jo Thompson Head of Human Resources
Dr Aminu Usman Senior Lecturer Computer Science, BAME staff network co-chair 

BAME staff network

Shifali Saini, Estates Development Manager, and Dr Aminu Usman, Senior Lecturer Computer Science, are BAME staff representatives on the taskforce. They act as a critical friend and liaise with BAME staff, inform them, collate responses and provide feedback to the taskforce

A BAME staff network is being set up, constituting of members from academics and professional services. Activities are in the pipeline to support the successful launch of the network. Contact co-chairs Shifali at s.saini@yorksj.ac.uk or Aminu at a.usman@yorksj.ac.uk.

BAME students

Olivia Bowers, SU President Wellbeing and Diversity, and Tené Dowling, SU BAME Officer, are student representatives on the taskforce. They act as a critical friend and liaise with Students’ Union and students, inform them, collate responses and provide feedback to the taskforce. The SU BAME Officer works closely with the President Wellbeing and Diversity to ensure a diverse voice is heard in the SU and beyond. It is a voluntary role.

A designated BAME student contact is based in the Student Success and Engagement Team in Student Services. Emma Maslin is able to meet with BAME students to discuss issues so that student services meet the cultural and social needs of BAME students.

The International Student Support team aims to help international students feel supported. If you have any questions or just want to say hello to our friendly team, please get in touch. They run the Global Campus Programme that offers opportunities for UK and international students to meet and share cultural learning.

Global Campus Programme

YSJSU Cultural and Faith Societies are places to connect with and meet similar people, celebrate cultural and faith specific events and ensure all students are represented equally and fairly. 

Students' Union Societies

Report and support

Racism is not tolerated and must be tackled as soon as possible. If it happens to you or you witness it, please tell someone. Our Dignity and Respect page lists the different options available to students and staff.

Dignity and Respect

Staff development

We offer training to our staff to help understand their rights and responsibilities under the Equality, Diversity and Human Rights Policy Statement. For more details please visit the Staff Development page.

Staff Development Equality and Diversity training (Intranet)

Training currently includes:

Online equality and diversity module (required for all staff)

Online unconscious bias module (required for all staff)

Unconscious bias for recruiters (required for recruitment panel chairs, recommended for other staff involved with recruitment)

Cross cultural awareness workshop

In December 2018 the taskforce hosted a workshop 'Learning and Unlearning Whiteness'.



Marije Davidson Taskforce designated contact E: m.davidson@yorksj.ac.uk
Emma Maslin Designated BAME student contact

E: e.maslin@yorksj.ac.uk

International Student Support  

Meet The Team

Students' Union

Olivia Bowers SU President Wellbeing and Diversity

E: o.bowers@yorksj.ac.uk

Facebook page

Tené Dowling SU BAME Officer

E: tene.dowling@yorksj.ac.uk

Facebook page

Cookie Settings