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  • 1 score
    17 voters

    No More Liberation Month! *For all the right reasons*

    • Equality
    What might seem like an outlandish idea has actually been adopted by many Students' Unions and Universities have taken on - and for all the right reasons! The notion of Liberation months being tokenistic is a growing concern for many and it stems from the misrepresentation and the notion that minority students are only represented for one month and then forgotten or not represented at all. I want to see wider discussion on this and see what Derby students want, so please comment!
Owen Marques
12:11pm on 18 Feb 22 The solution to this would be to represent the wider student community throughout the year and not restrict it to one month, embedding the extensive culture that many students bring with them into the university life. Let me know what you think!
Owen Marques
1:45pm on 18 Feb 22 There have been so many conversations that I have had with many students around the fact that "I am not black for only this month" "I am not gay only for this month" "I am not disabled only for this month" etc. All of which are extremely valid points and highlights the fact that you may not feel represented for the entire year, and the liberation months may play a big part in this restrictiveness.
Charlotte Curd
10:16am on 19 Mar 22 Hey Owen, yes I do agree that this has become more tokensitic than genuinely progressive, however I would worry about how we would be seen as a Union if we didn't show participation in these liberation months. I personally don't find them helpful, despite being in 3 of the liberation month 'categories' myself. However, I think for PR reasons I think it would be a tricky road to navigate if we no longer showed public support of these. I would be interested to know other people's thoughts though.
Timothy Horswell
10:20am on 9 May 22 While I agree that having a month for this and a month for that may be seen as tokenism, unless and until we successfully raise awareness all year round of the struggles faced by those who face additional barriers - whether that is to do with ethnicity, sexual orientation, sex and gender, or any other characteristic - then these "liberation months" can be vital for those facing these disadvantages to feel represented and visible. While it is true that my disability doesn't magically disappear for 11 months of the year, and others aren't black for only one month etc the danger with not highlighting these months is that there are so many different disadvantages that people may face that without these themed months, the fact that many face additional barriers may be overlooked and forgotten about by those who don't realise how much they benefit from male privilege, white privilege, cisgender privilege, etc.
Owen Marques
2:01pm on 10 May 22 Hi Charlotte and Timothy, Thank you so much for your input! It is truly valuable and I couldn't agree more with the points you have made, I suppose it's more around having a healthy balance of representation throughout the year whilst recognising the importance of these liberation months in supporting the underrepresented student communities. As always I work with the students to approach these liberation months in a less tokenistic way and really give a voice to these students.