Ethnic Minorities Officer
Hey, I'm Jason, and I'm Pembroke's Ethnic Minorities Officer. My role is to provide pastoral support for, and represent, ethnic minority students and to work on making Pembroke, and Cambridge, a safer and more welcoming environment.
At present, non-white students constitute just 20.8% of the total undergraduate student body at Cambridge (according to the Undergraduate Admissions Statistics, 2015 cycle). Reviewing specific demographics reveals further disparity, with Asian students (including those identifying as Indian, Pakistani, Bangladeshi, Chinese and Asian Other) constituting 9.9% of the student intake and Black students (including those identifying as Black African, Black Caribbean and Black Other) just 1.4% (2015). Therefore, Cambridge can appear to be quite an unrepresentative space for students of colour which can result in Cambridge seeming intimidating, awkward or strange. However, though being an ethnic minority at this institution does confront one with noteworthy challenges, this need not be a barrier to flourishing academically and having a happy and memorable experience at Cambridge.
As Ethnic Minorities Officer I am committed to ensuring a zero-tolerance approach to instances of racism and racial harassment, and will be working on ensuring that college's harassment policies are in tune with this. Certainly, however, I recognise that racialized experiences can be more insidious, and to do with subtler issues such as stereotyping and sense of belonging. This is where the welfare aspect of my role comes in as I will be readily available to provide support and understanding to students who so desire. While I cannot pretend to thoroughly understand all lived experiences, I will also be co-operating with the Men's, Women's, LGBT+ and Disabled students officers to tailor specific advice and welfare towards students of colour with intersecting identities.
Furthermore, I aim to use this office to both advertise and create a host of events relevant to the culture and issues of ethnic minority students (which will be open to all!) including panel discussions, forums, as well as socials and mingles. Beyond the undergraduate body, I will also be working on connecting current ethnic minority students with prospective applicants of similar demographics and backgrounds, whether racial, cultural or religious. Moreover, beyond Pembroke, I will be liaising with CUSU BME (Black and Minority Ethnic) Campaign and connecting with Ethnic Minorities Officer's at other colleges to broaden the network of relations for ethnic minority students and access greater support for our interests and initiatives.
Being an ethnic minority student at Cambridge provides a unique opportunity to find communities of relief and solidarity, and I have found in my time here that involvement in societies and cultural activities can aid in overcoming adversity, whether race-related or not.
Whether you are a current student or prospective graduate, for more information, confidential help, advice or support, or just for a chat over cake and coffee please e-mail me at: email@example.com! (Alternatively, you can leave a note in my pidge or add/message me on Facebook.)
Relevant Information, Networks & Links:
University of Cambridge: Public Equality Duties, Race & Racial Harassment
University of Cambridge: Widening Participation, Insight
CUSU BME Students' Campaign
The CUSU BME Students' Campaign exists to voice the concerns, address the issues, cater to the needs of, and improve the educational and social environment for Ethnic Minority Students in Cambridge at both undergraduate and graduate level.
'Fly' is a forum specifically for women of colour at the University of Cambridge. 'Fly' presents an opportunity for BME women to develop relationships which will hopefully span longer than our degrees as we incorporate race into the wider feminist discussion. 'Fly' also regularly updates a blog: https://flygirlsofcambridge.com/
I, Too, Am Cambridge
A 2014 photo campaign, following the 'I, Too, Am Harvard' initiative, aiming to highlight incidences of discrimination and stereotyping that occur within Cambridge University, and provoke wider discussion and necessary change.
A cambridge-based mental health magazine, founded by a woman of colour at Cambridge, aiming to promote discussions of mental health, particularly its intersects with identity.
This is a non-exhaustive list of Facebook groups and pages you can join/like to keep up to date with the events and forums they are offering!
CU African-Caribbean Society: https://www.facebook.com/groups/101021409944681/
CU Arab Society: https://www.facebook.com/CUArabSociety/
CU Buddhist Society: https://www.facebook.com/CambridgeBuddhist
CU Ghanaian Society: https://www.facebook.com/groups/7579322460/
CU Kurdish Society: https://www.facebook.com/CUKurdSoc
CU India Society: https://www.facebook.com/groups/2203091656/
CU Islamic Society: https://www.facebook.com/groups/2202289995/
CU Jewish Society: https://www.facebook.com/groups/159259014163275/
CU Malaysian and Singapore Association: https://www.facebook.com/groups/CambridgeMSA/
CU Nigeria Society: https://www.facebook.com/groups/284626101571067/
CU Pakistan Society: https://www.facebook.com/groups/cupaksoc/
CU Sikh Society: https://www.facebook.com/cusikhsoc
Rare and SEO are both BME careers services which aim to provide access and mentoring to young ethnic minority students through CV guidance and networking/insight events, and support applications for internships, graduate programmes.