College of Life Sciences

Supporting individuals to speak out

Medical teaching groupSpeaking out against racist behaviour or racial harassment can be difficult, whether you experience it directly, or witness it. By supporting individuals to challenge and report unacceptable behaviour without fear of retribution and with clear and transparent processes we can evaluate and address the problems.

We seek to raise awareness of the challenges faced by individuals from minority ethnic groups and learn from our diverse experiences, in particular at the intersection of protected characteristics, for example race and gender, or race and sexuality.

Key actions

  1. We will put in place a code of conduct which includes specific reference to racial harassment.
  2. We will ensure access to trained, confidential contacts who are sensitive to the needs of students from minority ethnic groups.
  3. We will provide guidance and training on how to challenge behaviours and active bystanding.
  4. We will monitor and regularly evaluate the scale of the problem and progress made in addressing it.


Areas of progress and projects supporting individuals to speak out include:

  • Restructuring of the Medical School Athena Swan Committee to become an EDI Committee overseeing and setting the direction of EDI work within the School, understanding intersectionality, and learning from each other as we work towards a more inclusive culture for students and staff in the School
  • Students presenting at MREM conferenceIntroduction of active bystander training for all medical students, including e-learning and groupwork with scenarios created by MedRACE students, reviewed and refreshed annually, and now also being shared more widely outside of the Medical School, and outside of the University at national and regional conferences. You can read more about this work in our MedRACE Voices blogs and in our poster created for the Advance HE EDI conference 2022 (download poster, PDF, 33.6MB). 
  • Facilitating student-led speaker events and projects
    • Black History 2020: An inspiring talk by Miss Samantha Tross, the UK's first Black female orthopaedic surgeon. As part of this MedRACE students also produced a series of slides of Black Pioneers in Healthcare, displayed in the George Davies Medical Centre
    • International Women's Day: A series of inspiring talks by colleagues within and beyond the Medical School on the theme 'Choose to Challenge'
    • Hippocampus podcast on racial harassment and inequalities in medical education

Thank you to members of the following student societies for their support with development of the revised Active Bystander training:

MedRACE students presenting poster

Back to top