For her own part, Jenny, a member of the professional services team in the School of Politics and Economics, joined the network in 2019. Initially asked to help with the website, Jenny quickly became a member and, some 18 months on, she is now co-chair.
In that relatively short time, the network has been at the forefront of several high-profile events, including welcoming activist and musician Akala to King’s, supporting the Black Lives Matter movement in London, and hosting a packed programme of events for Black History Month.
And, with the emergence of COVID-19, the network has again found itself at the front of battles for equality – bringing attention to disparities in health outcomes, educational attainment and income, as well as highlighting the experience of Asian students targeted for abuse over the emergence of the pandemic itself.
Jenny is aware, however, that despite all that has been achieved during her time with the network, there are limits to how much can be done by a relatively small group.
“Most of us do this because we have experienced racism and it’s very personal to us. We want to make sure what we do counts but, when you think about something like racism, we can only do so much with a network of six volunteers,” said Jenny.
“It would be great if the university had something like an official institute [for equality], like the Institute for Women’s Leadership, that could be paid and work alongside the university’s diversity and inclusion team and form a ‘family’ with other people and networks at other universities.”
For the moment, though, Jenny says she is “proud” of the work the network has done and the way in which it has grown and started to engage with university leaders since she joined last year, something that gives her hope for the future.
“The way in which the network has grown and how diverse it is is something I’m incredibly proud of. The diversity of it is key and ensuring people don’t just stay in their own groups.
“I have also seen how we have been able to influence things at the university, which is great. It hasn’t just been all about negativity either. King’s is so massive and full of incredible people who, through doing all this work, I have been able to meet.”