Dr Barbara Adewumi, Dr Triona Fitton, and Dr Alexander Hensby received funding from the British Sociological Association (BSA) in September 2021 to design and assemble a best practice repository to help foreground race and ethnicity within sociology. Emma Mires-Richards from the University of Kent’s library services was invited to help co-ordinate the project. With the aim to embed inclusive practice on race and ethnicity in the sociology curricula, we closely associated the project with the recommendations of the Race and Ethnicity in British Sociology report (Joseph-Salisbury et al, 2020). Guided by Student Success equality, diversity and inclusion (EDI) principles to support ‘the place of race and ethnicity in British Sociology’ the team designed and sent out a survey to collate and analyse teaching and recruitment policy and resources across British universities on behalf of the BSA.
Employing a strategic and personable approach, the team promoted the acKnowledge repository at academic conferences, formulated staggered email call-outs, sent personalised emails to those working in the field, and followed up on potential leads. The project received 77 best practice submissions including several from non-sociology disciplines. Key themes included belonging and the student experience; consultancy and training; curriculum Content and pedagogy; decolonising sociology, and recruitment and retention.
Contributions to the acKnowledge repository play a significant role in influencing and changing the discipline of Sociology to ensure it is both diverse and relevant. The range of resources showcased on the acKnowledge repository website aims to support targeted recruitment drives for prospective racially minoritised students and staff in the UK by celebrating and acknowledging work that is often not fully accredited or appreciated within their own institutions. Those who do work in this area feel passionate about their initiatives and some are motivated by lived experiences to promote equality, equity and create an inclusive learning environment. The purpose of the acKnowledge repository is to send out a clear message about the value of diversity in the learning and teaching of sociology. The repository is accessible for everyone to use and learn from and for new contributors to showcase and submit their valuable work to improve racial equity your subject.