The President of University College Cork (UCC), Professor Patrick O'Shea has vowed that UCC will “continue to combat racism in our community and beyond”.
In a message of solidarity with the black and minority ethnic community issued on Friday, Professor O’Shea said that he was saddened and angered by the violence against George Floyd and other people of colour that has been witnessed.
“I know that members of our UCC community share these sentiments and frustrations. These events have, once again, brought our attention to structures that create and preserve racism. We are committed to dismantling and transforming them. We are not perfect, but we are driven in our resolve to work together, as a community, on these issues,” the UCC President said.
Professor O’Shea said that UCC is committed to advancing equality, diversity and inclusion amongst its staff and students, and that its Race Equality Forum is working to address the concerns of the University’s black and minority ethnic students and staff.
“We will continue to combat racism in our community and beyond. We hope that through engagement with this forum, we can work towards delivering parity and inclusion for our black and minority ethnic students and staff, and empower those within our community who are not subject to racial or ethnic inequality to become better allies,” he said.
“We must not, we cannot, we will not let these ignorant and dangerous prejudices, and the hatred, racism and violence that stem from them block our path of progress,” he added.
The UCC President added: "Equality, diversity and inclusion are at the cornerstone of UCC’s values. Support for diversity is not just a good idea; it is an essential idea. Diversity nurtures the fertile fields in which great ideas grow. Therefore, we rededicate ourselves to support those who experience prejudice, hatred and violence in their daily lives. It is time to have these difficult conversations and listen carefully to words that may leave us uncomfortable."
Earlier on Friday, a number of people marched on Patrick Street in a Black Lives Matter protest.
The unofficial march followed the cancellation of an organised Black Lives Matter protest during the week.