As an Art History department here at the Open University, we’ve drafted a statement in response to the Black Lives Matter movement. We have taken some time to write this and we recognise this response is belated. We are releasing this message after a period of reflection as a statement of solidarity now in the context of Black History Month and as a promise of commitment to concrete action beyond this month:
The OU’s mission is to be open to people, places, methods and ideas. In the light of the murder of George Floyd and the importance of the Black Lives Matter movement both here in the UK, the US, and around the world, many of us are reflecting on and reassessing how teaching and learning at universities are implicit in the perpetuation of systemic and institutional racism.
In Art History, we know that we are not yet doing enough. We will decolonise our discipline and embrace the art, visual cultures, voices, and experiences of people of colour in the history of art. We acknowledge our privilege, and we are committed to listening, learning, and changing.