Biological Sciences

Racist and Homophobic attack on the University African and Caribbean Society LGBT+

The horrible, twisted and cowardly racist and homophobic attack on a student-led Zoom meeting last Sunday shows how deep systemic racism and homophobia affect valuable members of our community without warning.

The staff and students in this university recognise the severity of these attacks on our black and LGBTQ+ community members, and are working for a more equal university and for it to be a safe space. 

From my perspective as Head of School I am writing to express my abhorrence of these events but also my support for the black and LGBTQ+ students and staff affected by this.

In the School of Biological Sciences we are committed to open dialogue about inclusivity, equality, and respect, and encouraging those affected to use support services. 

School Support Services 

BTO support for undergraduate and postgraduate taught students 

Graduate School - PhD and Masters by Research Students -  

LGBT+ Bio social group for School staff and students -   

University and Wider Support Services 

University support services 

Chaplaincy Listening Service

LGBT+ Health and Wellbeing

Saheliya - Mental Health Support for BAME women in Edinburgh

Community Allies

Finally, I would also encourage those who are not directly affected to reflect on how they can be better allies in our community. 

This has happened to our community, and that means we should act - all of us. Here are some links to articles on the importance of allyship.

How to be an Intersectional Ally in Higher Education

The Work of Allyship

The psychology of being a better ally in the office – and beyond

Practical Advice

We can minimise the chance of this happening to our meetings by following best security guidelines:

Zoom: These new features will prevent trolls and meeting-crashers

University's Zoom guidelines


Thank you,

David Gray (Head of School) and Sinead Collins (School of Biological Sciences - Director of Equality Diversity and Inclusion)