SEED (Surrey Embracing Ethnic Diversity) was formed in 2020 in response to the death of George Floyd at the hands of a police officer. A couple of members of staff wanted to create a space for staff from Black, Asian & Minority Ethnic backgrounds to share their experiences.
To date, the SEED community stands at 53 people from a range of backgrounds and roles at the University of Surrey. In addition, it is a space where professional services and academic staff meet, share and support each other, building connections and seeking cultural change.
To celebrate SEED, 1 one year one, members have shared their feelings on what it means to be part of SEED and what it means to belong:
I am happy that SEED organised Culture Week.
During the book discussion after reading “The Underground Railroad by Colson Whitehead”, one member said the book made her think about Nelson Mandela’s quote, “Part of being optimistic is keeping one’s head pointed toward the sun, one’s feet moving forward.” I am glad she reminded me about a glimpse of the sun.
It is always challenging to keep myself positive with the topic, racism, even in the University, especially after experiencing microaggression episodes on campus.
But I am trying to take a step forward with SEED, where I could find joy to share my thoughts.
Other members on belonging:
I’m often seen as and treated as an outsider, but SEED has given me a space at work to be me.
SEED is giving me a sense of belonging, new relationships, helping me to use my black political voice. So much I was not aware of before, so it’s helped me to explore ideas and make changes personally and professionally.
It’s been a learning experiences as I came from another country with mainly black people. I felt naïve to racism and my 10 years has seen me experiences racism but also allyship at times.
I’m not always viewed as an ethnic minority as I present as white but I’m not white British. I feel welcomed by the group which includes a broad and diverse community.
Want to find out how you can be an ally to SEED? Or are you from a Black, Asian & Minority Ethnic background at the University of Surrey and want to join SEED? Get in touch EDI@surrey.ac.uk