OpenLearn’s Race and Ethnicity hub is a collection of free resources that explore the themes of race, racism and ethnicity across the core faculty areas within The Open University. The content has been created by experts across (and sometimes outside) the OU and pulled together by the OpenLearn team in conjunction with the OU’s academic community and the OU’s BME network. These resources help people to understand both historic and contemporary ideas of race and racism and how these ideas could inform our decisions and interactions.
It was thought in the wake of heightened concerns over black lives, after George Floyd’s murder and considering the disproportionate effect of the Coronavirus pandemic on people from a BAME background that an open educational resource should be developed that collated expertise on race and ethnicity, not only for general learning and personal interest to everyone, but also to directly inform BAME OU staff and students on topics that might affect their wellbeing and mental health. It was believed that presenting these resources on OpenLearn, a free platform hosted by The Open University, would be the ideal way to ensure these materials are accessible to everyone and to play a part in celebrating diversity, promoting racial justice and equity, learning from history, and educating ourselves and others.
Launched in November 2020 with only 48 pieces of content, the hub now has 169 pieces of free educational content including free courses, articles, opinion pieces, videos, activities and audios. This innovative hub, which functions as a microsite, supports diversity and inclusion with resources that can help to aide cultural awareness and draw attention to racism and injustice. Some hub content also sits on the OpenLearn YouTube channel so that this important resource can reach an even wider audience, globally.