On the anniversary of George Floyd’s tragic death, Head of University of Bristol’s School of Management reflects on the steps the School has taken to value difference in society

anniversary of George Floyd’s tragic death,“Leadership is a powerful weapon to combat racism and we must not forget that we all have a part to play”. These were the words of Professor Palie Smart, Head of the School of Management, exactly one year ago today, when the world witnessed George Floyd’s tragic death.

Valuing difference in society is something that Professor Smart continues to advocate.

“With the support of my leadership team at the University of Bristol School of Management, I’m proud to share some of the actions we have taken to facilitate positive change:

  • Dr Wayne Holland, our School Education Director, in alliance with our Bristol Institute for Teaching & Learning (BILT), initiated a review of all academic units across all programmes to establish opportunities for decolonising our curriculum, and further embed this activity as part of our annual Education Action Plan.
  • Professor Stephanie Decker and a team of academics recently led the development of a new master’s programme MSc International Business and Strategy: Global Challenges. The programme will be launched soon with plans to explicitly incorporate marginal voices and histories within the curriculum.
  • Professor Gianluca Veronesi, our Research Director, launched a PhD Studentship dedicated to promote BAME scholarship.
  • I have been advising a Social Enterprise that works to improve youth aspirations in Bristol’s ethnically diverse inner-city communities.
  • I am contributing to the British Academy of Management’s study on ‘Equality, Inclusion, Diversity and Respect in Business and Management Higher Education Institutions’.

There is a lot more to be done but the School of Management is determined to build on this progress and continue to do more to drive global and social justice issues.”