Dr Yassin Brunger, Lecturer in Human Rights in the School of Law, Co-Chair of iRise staff network and Co-Director of the Gender Justice and Society Network reflects on tackling racial and gender injustice through the work of iRise and the Gender Network:
I am a Lecturer in Human Rights in the School of Law. I am also Co-Director of the Gender Justice and Society Network and Co-Chair of iRise, the Black, Asian, Minority Ethnic and International staff network. I joined the Queen’s in 2016 and assumed my roles within the Gender Network and iRise in 2017 and 2019 respectively.
During the Pandemic, online teaching and pastoral support have been my primary roles. I am continually inspired by bell hooks, in encouraging my students to embrace free, creative reflection and critical thought both in and outside the virtual classroom. Undoubtedly my most challenging role has been tackling racial and gender injustice through the work of iRise and the Gender Network. COVID-19 and the Black Lives Matter movement have called attention to the racialised and gendered realities of life within Queen's.
Racial inequity remains an urgent challenge within Queen’s. I continue to be hopeful, that transformative changes are forthcoming. In particular, the need for sustainable, holistic and institution-wide changes. The Gender Network is a foundation of positivity and joy. I admired the team and want to point to the inspiring #MyFeminism campaign designed by the students. Check it out!
Covid-19 has shown that time has to come to reimagine a new normal. The pandemic has exposed profound intersecting and systemic inequalities. A return back to the status quo is to ignore all the lessons offered to us. As Maya Angelou reminds us: ‘Do the best you can until you know better. Then when you know better do better.’
How to join iRise
iRise is an acronym for:
Inclusivity for all
Equality of opportunity
The network's purpose is to promote the University as a welcoming place to work for BAME and International members of staff, providing a forum for networking and a means of peer support and representing the interests of BAME and International staff to the University.
The network also supports a range of training and development opportunities, run a social programme, communicates information and updates to BAME and International colleagues and liaises with other staff networks and student societies.
Alternatively, follow iRise on Twitter @QUBiRise for information on upcoming events and other activity.