The Union Black: Britain’s Black Cultures and Steps to Anti-Racism course by Santander Universities and the Open University is a six-hour learning course, which aims to challenge racial myths and biases in Britain through the lens of Black cultures, and to develop commitment to lasting change. There is also a chance to be awarded one of 50 Santander scholarships for £500; you can find more information about the terms and description of the scholarship once you register for the course.

About the course

This course aims to provide learners with an understanding of the origins and experience of Black British history and culture, and a critical appreciation of the concepts of intersectionality and race as a social construct.

The course will celebrate, and provide personal insights into, the lived experience of Black British history and culture, by looking beyond the commonplace narratives (for example, of slavery and oppression) to positive and affirming stories of the role and impact of Black people, from Tudor times to today.

But the course goes further. Recent history makes it painfully clear that good intentions are not enough. Change requires action. Therefore, the course is intended to respect and affirm Black British history, culture and experience, while giving tools and confidence to all learners to choose to become anti-racist and to make positive change happen.

Who the course is for

The course is aimed at students, lecturers and professional services staff. It is designed to be accessible and relevant to diverse audiences, with a primary focus on undergraduate students. We expect it will be of interest to teaching and support staff, University management, and potentially a wide range of others (i.e. alumni, visiting staff).

Learning outcomes

The course is designed to enable learners to:

  • appreciate and explain the outlines of Black British history
  • understand the concepts of intersectionality and social construction of race
  • critically investigate and question narratives of race, racism, non-racist and anti-racist
  • develop confidence and agency, and practical tools and skills, to enable learners to choose to be anti-racist, challenge bias and create allyship.

Professor Rajani Naidoo, Head of the Race Equality Taskforce adds, "This is an immensely valuable course developed by colleagues with professional expertise and lived experience, which links history, culture and personal experiences to enable us to understand how racism arises and is reproduced, and how to take action to dismantle racial barriers."

Aiste Zubiniene, Equality and Diversity Officer, notes, "The course itself is really engaging and very well put together. Upon completion, I encourage staff and students to also check out our ED&I resource hub, which contains further online learning materials and useful resources such as podcasts, videos and an ED&I calendar."