BME Network Poem Reading

Moving on I’d like to invite Jessica Wiliams She’s gonna talk about BME student experiences at the OU [applause] Hi everyone So I’m just going to talk about being a student at the OU and obviously, I am mixed race as you can all see. I’ve written a poem so you guys can understand how it felt to be growing up as a multi-ethnic human being So being a student at the OU, I’m very proud to be a BAME student and a lot of the staff, every member of staff that I have met has been very welcoming and I haven’t experienced any racism at all so far. Challenges – so far I haven’t had any challenges being a BAME student at the Open University The reason why I decided to run for chair of BAME was because I felt a lot of students, there is a big gap between BAME students. And I felt that this stems from from things such as insecurity, fear of racism, you know just society really. My skin colour has affected me a lot growing up as well as my curly hair for things such as like being followed in shops just because I am mixed race security, when I was a teenager, would follow me thinking I was going to steal just because of my skin colour Whereas my friends, or my cousins, who are white would not get followed. Things such as the news, what you see on the news they paint such a bad picture of teenagers that are black, mixed race or Asian (or BAME). They associate everyone that is from a BAME group with that person that’s done something wrong like stabbed someone or killed someone. But we’re not all like that. We are all different individuals. So now I am going to start with my poem: Me, you, him, we’re all the same, It doesn’t matter our body size, our height, or even skin shade. Our complexion or hair isn’t what makes us kind or beautiful etc It’s our soul that keeps us in touch with humanity. I am no different to any other being, We may not all look alike but it’s our soul you should be seeing. I am all those things that any other none BAME could be, I am kind, loving, smart, caring and so much more is what makes me, me. The colour of my skin or curls in my hair don’t define who I am, There is so much more to this painting the colour of my skin doesn’t mean I am a scam. We all have a past and we’ve all made mistakes, We are all capable of change so why all the hate? Just because I am mixed it doesn’t mean you should fear me, I hope one day we can all unite in peace I wish the whole world could hear me. Yes sometimes we wear trainers sometimes tracksuits and sometimes we use slang, That doesn’t mean we are going to hurt you that doesn’t mean every one of us is bad. Our colour doesn’t define us, nor does our hair, Our individual soul is truly what makes us, please someone hear. I’m not carrying a gun I’m not carrying a knife, I have no intention of taking your life. He smiles you look away and grip your bag, He goes home and cries and you don’t realise your stereotype has made him sad. The news portrays us as being all the same, But what about the ones like me that have made a positive change? What about the ones like me that are here to bring peace and volunteer their time? They don’t show the good ones only the ones that take a life. We are not all the same some of us only want to bring positive change, To feel equal in a world not feel like we are still slaves. Please someone release me from these emotional chains, Police brutality I mean even schools/institutions discriminate. I’m regrettably raising a child in a world full of hate, Was I cruel to do such a selfish thing bringing my daughter into this world of racist fate? My skin embarrasses me why is this how I was made? My family say I’m beautiful, caring, kind and unique, Yet the media says people like me are criminals and troubled youths but that really isn’t me. So that is my poem and I hope you guys got a sense of [applause] Thank you very much – so that poem was just about how I felt growing up and how I feel about bringing a child into this world and I know a lot of parents feel like that because this world becoming so cruel and there is still a lot of racism in this world. It’s not just the BAME group that feel scared and fear to bring their child up in this world. It’s white people as well. Like half of my family is white. And I know they have the same fear because the world is changing so much negatively. But if we can all do one thing positive in this world and teach our children to do one thing positive in this world, we can bring so much positive change and hopefully we can all have a beautiful future. [applause]

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