Staff and students are encouraged to use the terms in lectures, surveys, reports, and other university documents and language, instead of BAME, and to update any text or slides that use the acronym.
Over the last academic year, the Equality Team launched a research project, in collaboration with the Black and Asian Minority Ethnic Staff Network and the Black and Asian Minority Ethnic Student Network.
Led by Dr Nicola Koyama, the group wanted to investigate the LJMU’s community thoughts on terminology relating to race and ethnicity, following student and staff feedback who expressed discontent with the use of the BAME Acronym.
‘BAME’ is often used to described ethnic minority communities, and the acronym which stands for “Black and Asian Minority Ethnic”, has been previously used in reports, surveys, questionnaires and so on.
Amongst others, Marie Hie, JMSU President, expressed she herself didn’t like the use of the term BAME. Last year she was elected the ‘BAME’ Officer, and, while she enjoyed that role and campaigned for decolonising the curriculum, the acronym didn’t best represent her and her work.
The group conducted a university wide survey and, subsequently, focus groups, and found that:
Many people across the university agree with Marie and do not identify with the term BAME.
Students and staff would like to engage the university community in an educational campaign to promote awareness around language and identity.
There is no single ‘ideal’ term and individuals will self-identify which whichever language they are most comfortable with.
During the ongoing consultation, for those requesting an alternative, the terms ‘ethnically diverse’ or ‘ethnic minority’ were deemed to be the most appropriate.
As ethnically diverse and ethnic minority are the terms that resonate the most with our students and staff, LJMU will now adopt these across its communications and throughout the university community, moving away from the ‘BAME’ acronym.
Moni Akinsanya, Head of Equality, Diversity and Inclusion, shared she is pleased to see the direction this project has taken:
“I would like to invite students and staff to keep engaging in this conversation about language and identity. Language is always evolving, and this is only the beginning. I would also like to thank members of the working group for this excellent work, which starts at LJMU and extends far beyond.”
Tina Purkis, Chair of Inclusivity Board and Director of HR, said:
“It is so important for us to have conversations about language and identity within LJMU, and beyond. This project has opened up that conversation and taken it a step further. We are now moving away from using the ‘BAME’ acronym and adopting the terms ‘ethnically diverse’ and ‘ethnic minority’ as a university instead. I would like to thank all the colleagues and the students involved in this project”.
LJMU Vice-Chancellor, Professor Mark Power, said:
“The language we use at LJMU is integral to ensuring all our students, staff and community feel included and seen.
“What started as individuals coming forward to question their own preference on the use of terminology, relating to race and ethnicity, has created a full investigation into the language our community wants to be used, here at LJMU.
“We also understand that whilst many members of our community may identify with one term, others may feel better represented by another, therefore although ethnically diverse or ethnic minority have been deemed to be the most appropriate, I encourage all those at LJMU to keep the conversation going about language and identity within our university.”
The project regarding race and ethnicity terminology is ongoing and will have more focus groups in the future.
If you would like to join the conversation, please get in touch at email@example.com