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University marks #DayOfReflection with commitment to tackling systemic inequality


Day of Reflection video address by Shirley Congdon

Tackling social imbalance must be national priority, says Vice-Chancellor

As the nation prepares to pause and reflect on the sobering losses, strains and stresses caused by the Covid-19 pandemic, the University of Bradford has called for more to be done to tackle inequality.

The University will mark the national #DayOfReflection with a one minute silence at noon; its flag will be lowered to half mast.

The University recently highlighted some of the work by staff and students during the pandemic and Vice-Chancellor Professor Shirley Congdon expressed her thanks for their contribution to the region’s response.

Professor Congdon said in a video address the pandemic had highlighted glaring socio-economic imbalance that needed addressing.

She said: “In March 2020, few would have imagined the pandemic would still be causing stress and chaos across the world 12 months later. Covid related anniversaries, and there will be many, will bring many emotions, as people reflect on personal experiences.

“Covid-19 has not been an equal opportunities virus. It has exposed inequalities within and between countries. We must continue to be concerned by the disproportionate effect it has had. In the UK, health disparities have been identified that put ethnic minority groups at higher risk of contracting and experiencing adverse risks of Covid-19 and evidence is increasingly showing these differences can be attributed to social and economic disadvantage and structural inequalities.

“Equality, diversity and inclusion is a cornerstone of the University’s strategy and fundamental to our values and mission, so we must continue to advance our work to address structural unequal locally, nationally and globally. We cannot move forward as a post-pandemic world without making stronger contributions to these fundamental issues.”

She added: “Today is a day for us to reflect, not only on the negative impact of Covid-19 but also to recognise the achievements of many people who during this period have gone over and above... I would like to thank each member of our staff for everything they have done over the last year to keep our services running…[and] ensuing we have a focus on wellbeing on everything we do.

“I am proud of what staff and students have achieved during this time of uncertainty and the role the University has played during the pandemic.”

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