We, the Sabbatical Officer team, want to make incoming and returning students aware that Goldsmiths, specifically the Sociology department, is making Dr Fauzia Ahmad, one of the few British Muslim woman lecturing at Goldsmiths, redundant by the end of the month.
She has been at Goldsmiths for 3 years and is internationally recognised for her research with British Muslim women. She is also one of the rare individuals in our institution who is born and raised in Lewisham, a true link to our local community. Fauzia will be left without a job during a pandemic and at a time of a sector wide hiring freeze. This is another example of the erasure and systemic violence Black + PoC academics have to endure. While we understand the financial position the college finds itself in, it’s imperative this institution does not lose the richness that exists.
As Dr Fauzia Ahmad stated in her letter to the Warden, Frances Corner:
‘For Goldsmiths to then attempt to present itself as an institution that values diversity and inclusion while the BME student attainment gap remains wider than the national average, and while it is making Muslim and BME academics with expertise in these fields redundant, and not prioritising race and faith equality on campus is disingenuous. I say this as someone who still wants to believe in the Goldsmiths legacy of racial justice, not as virtue signalling, performative act, but as a reality.’
We are in a moment where the institution is acknowledging the importance of doing more for marginalised students. And yet, we see that one of our new muslim and WOC lecturers, who is loved by students and has worked hard to ensure that marginalised students are empowered and reach their full potential, will not be having her contract renewed. We ask the Sociology department, we ask Goldsmiths, to rethink its decision. Because for Muslim students, for the whole of the Goldsmiths community, we will be losing someone who not only provides academic excellence, but someone who provides a kindred spirit and point of recognition in a space which is all too often isolating and exclusionary. We stand in full solidarity with Dr Fauzia Ahmad and all precarious workers!
We urge you to contact the Head of Sociology, Professor Daniel Neyland firstname.lastname@example.org as well as the Warden, Frances Corner email@example.com, to urge them to reverse this decision, and if they do not, to ask how they can stand by and watch it happen.
In full solidarity and power,
Sara, Niquella, Lauren and Fowsia
Goldsmiths Students’ Union Sabbatical Officer Team