“Our subcommittee aims to address race and ethnicity-based discrimination”

The GSB’s BAME Access & Equality subcommittee introduce their new Library

Clare Hall’s new Access & Equality Library is now open for use.
Created by the Graduate Student Body (GSB)’s new BAME Access & Equality Subcommittee, the Library provides resources on race, access, and diversity to members of Clare Hall. The Library features fiction, non-fiction, and children’s literature on BAME-related issues and by BAME authors. We hope that the Library will help Clare Hall members to learn more about the important issues that we face both as a college and in wider society.

The Access & Equality Library is the first ‘bricks-and-mortar’ project completed by the BAME Access & Equality Subcommittee.
The subcommittee was established in Summer 2020 after the killing of George Floyd and the Black Lives Matter protests worldwide. Members include current students at Clare Hall from a wide range of areas of study and backgrounds. The subcommittee aims to address race and ethnicity-based discrimination, promoting a culture of respect and tolerance, and mainstream diversity within the Clare Hall community.
The idea for the Access & Equality Library was first generated by members of the 2019/20 GSB Committee, alongside the idea for the creation of a new subcommittee to focus on access and equality at Clare Hall. Once the new subcommittee was set up, its members collectively worked towards the Library’s realisation with support from College staff. Drawing from existing inventories of resources found online and literature we had read ourselves, we started gathering ideas into a quickly growing list of books. However, with so much important literature available, coming up with a shortlist was not an easy task. We sought to achieve diversity in terms of author origin, genre, topic, and target audience age. We consider the current collection a starting point for a Library that will grow over the coming months and years, and we welcome suggestions for new content and book donations.

You can visit the Access & Equality Library and check out a book at any time.
It is located in the hallway just outside the Tutorial Office (near the Porters’ Lodge) and is now open for all Clare Hallers to use, including students, staff, Fellows, and resident families. Please sanitise your hands before and after accessing the Library, fill in the sign-out sheet when borrowing a book, and return borrowed books to the dedicated “quarantine shelf” to keep everyone safe.

Going forward, the subcommittee plans to create an Online Library with written and audio resources, which will be especially useful with many College members currently not being in Cambridge.
Further ongoing and upcoming initiatives of the subcommittee include the organisation of anti-discrimination and diversity-related workshops; cooking sessions and events to celebrate cultural festivals happening around the world; and improvements to the visibility of anti-discrimination policies, norms, and procedures in College. The subcommittee also sends out a monthly Diversity & Inclusion Newsletter to share relevant news and information with Clare Hall’s student community and works in close cooperation with the College’s Access & Equality Working Group.

The BAME Access & Equality Subcommittee is open to all students at Clare Hall.
New members are welcome at any time of the year; members of currently under-represented groups, including male, BAME, and LGBTQ+ identifying students, as well as British students are particularly encouraged to join us if interested! Meetings are held online on a regular basis during term, and members are free to join whenever they can. Do not hesitate to get in touch (gsb.bame@clarehall.cam.ac.uk) if you wish to join, make a suggestion, or have any questions. We would also love to hear your reactions and thoughts about the Library’s books.

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A blog for the Clare Hall community