NUS Scotland Black Students' campaign exists to promote, defend and extend the rights of students of African, Asian, Arab and Caribbean descent who study at college or university in Scotland. Each year we host NUS Scotland Black Students' Conference to elect NUS Scotland Black Students' Officer and to debate policy.
This year the Conference took place at the Norton Park Conference Centre in Edinburgh on Friday 7 April. Students travelled from as far as Shetland to take part in the day.
Shuwanna Aaron, NUS Scotland Black Students' Officer opened the Conference by welcoming the delegates and hosting a creative workshop about 'understanding liberation'.
Titi Farukuoye a student at the University of Strathclyde was unanimously elected to the volunteer position of NUS Scotland Black Students' Officer 2017/18. Further elections for NUS Scotland Black Students' Committee and NUS Scotland Black Students' Steering Committee took place, with the results to be announced following the Conference.
Delegates passed policy to challenge racism and facism by campaigning against the far right and by celebrating multiculturalism. Further policy to support Black international students, to campaign against the attainment gap passed and the Conference also made commitments to showing solidarity with Black Lives Matter in Israel and to support students' associations seeking to use BDS as a peaceful means of solidarity.
Malia Bouattia, NUS UK President addressed the Conference virtually from the Black Leaders Conference taking place in Wales. NUS UK Black Students' Officer, Aadam Muuse and NUS UK Black Students' Committee member Barbra Ntumy presented the work that the campaign has been doing across the UK. Delegates also heard from a panel of students about their work to tackle anti racism and anti fascism on their campus.
The last panel of the day highlighted the reality of Black history and what it is like to live in Scotland today as a Black student. This brought together the #ReclaimBlackStories work which has been a focus for NUS Scotland Black Students' campaign throughout the year, hosting photo-biographic exhibitions on college and university campuses, at NUS Scotland events and online.