1: A belief that race is a fundamental determinant of human traits and capacities and that racial differences produce an inherent superiority of a particular race. 

2: The systemic oppression of a racial group to the social, economic, and political advantage of another. 

At its simplest, racism is someone or something (e.g. a University) discriminating against someone because of the colour of their skin or because of their race. 

Racism can be overt – using words and actions that are explicitly unacceptable; membership of racist groups, being specifically targeted because of the colour of skin (i.e. being spat at and called names), racist graffiti etc., however most racism is covert - subtle and less obvious. Microaggression is an example of this (see section below). Covert racism also includes unconscious bias, gaslighting, stereotyping, racial profiling of applicants, being ignored.

Racism is illegal in ALL its forms.  

Systemic and institutional racism functions through institutional structures and social systems. Structural racism is legitimatized by historical contexts such as slavery and colonization. Educational institutions and systems of education (including universities) are a product of systemic racism.    Racism manifests itself in every part of our society. Racism influences who holds the majority of the wealth, who is employed in certain jobs, who succeeds at all levels of education (including at the University of Salford), what our criminal justice system looks like, who is in overcrowded housing, who gets pulled over by the police and security guards, and who suffers from health inequalities.

Racism intersects with other forms of social inequality (such as oppression due to gender, class, caste, faith, sexuality, dis-ability, age).  Racism never functions independently of other factors of oppression.  
Because we are all born and socialized in a racist world, we all need to examine how we may have internalized racist thinking and actions. This takes sustained effort, constructive challenge of ourselves and each other, taking responsibility on an individual, collective and institutional level to increase awareness of how racism works and how to become anti-racist.  

The University has pledged to become an anti-racist University. After the murder of George Floyd in the United States in May 2020 our Vice Chancellor issued a pledge for us to work together towards being an anti-racist organisation. You can read this pledge here.

The Student Union was also quick to react to the killing of George Floyd in May 2020 by putting out a statement soon after the event.  

This work is framed through the university’s Race Equality Charter submission.  .  Launched in January 2016, the Race Equality Charter aims to improve the representation, progression and success of minority ethnic colleagues and students within higher education.  It provides a framework for us to work to identify and reflect on institutional and cultural barriers standing in the way of minority ethnic colleagues and students. 
Our ambition is to apply for the Bronze Award in 2021.  This charter will draw on, and expand on, an already large array of activity taking place across the University supporting students and colleagues.  Your contribution is key to the success of this work.  The only way we can start to break down these barriers is by working together, all of us. 
All racism is unacceptable, and all racism needs to be reported using Report & Support, so, action can be taken (see sections below).