The death of George Floyd and the events taking place across America have once again highlighted the injustices in our society. This is not an American problem, this is a world problem. This weekend we saw protests take place across the UK including our local area in support of Black Lives Matter and those who have lost their lives.

The UK faces the same issues and we have a duty to end racism in all forms. Now is not the time to be silent. The college recognises the importance of this matter and firmly believes we should embrace our differences, whatever they may be, rather than see them as a reason for division.

These events have further opened our eyes to the pain and suffering black and ethnic communities face on a daily basis. We see these events as a learning opportunity and a chance to be part of the catalyst for much needed change. Race can be an uncomfortable issue to talk about, but without discussion, there can be no change.

We stand in solidarity with our black and ethnic minority students, staff and communities. We condemn all acts of racism, discrimination and senseless acts of violence towards people and members of the community because of their race or ethnicity.

The college will continue to deliver anti-discrimination education to our students, staff and wider community in South Essex. We are committed to creating a community that is more diverse, inclusive and opposed to racism. We ask everyone in our college community to stand up and call out racism and discrimination in every form. Now is the time for real and lasting change.

We hear you. We see you. We stand with you.