An OU COVID-19 Rapid Response funding scheme is supporting the creation of a Race and Ethnicity Hub to showcase research and teaching in this area.
The Race and Ethnicity Hub project, being developed in the OU’s Open Media and Informal Learning (OMIL) unit, has received £9,500 from the fund for the Hub, which will go live on the OU’s OpenLearn platform in November 2020.
One of the key areas of research within the hub will be exploring the relationship between race and health. This will draw on the recently published government paper Understanding the impact of COVID-19 on BAME groups which found that Asian and Black groups had between a 10 and 50% higher risk of death than people of white British ethnicity.
The government report states:
The Office for National Statistics has examined data and reported that those of Black African or Black Caribbean ethnicity are 1.9 times more likely to die due to COVID-19; males of Bangladeshi and Pakistani ethnicity are 1.8 times more likely to die, and females of Bangladeshi and Pakistani ethnicity are 1.6 times more likely to die. All excess deaths are compared to those of a white British ethnicity.
As a result of this evidence, the OU Race and Ethnicity Hub working group will commission research and content that can support both BAME (Black, Asian, and minority ethnic) staff and students in addition to members of the general public.
Sas Amoah, Digital Media Producer at OMIL, who applied for funding said:
“Content will be produced that broadly covers the issues that affect the health and wellbeing of people from a BAME background but with a specific focus on the disproportionate affect the coronavirus has had on BAME people.”