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Union Black: a free, online course for University students

UK university students and staff are invited to enrol on Union Black: Britain’s black cultures and steps to anti-racism, a short online course by Santander Universities, in partnership with The Open University.

Designed by The Open University, the course is intended to support students and staff to increase their understanding of Black British history, race, and racism, and how individuals can make a positive difference. During the course, you will take part in activities to explore labels and identities, non-racism vs. anti-racism, identifying microaggressions, and develop commitments to lasting change.

The course is open until 2 May 2022 via the Santander Scholarship Platform and is self-guided, so you can learn at your own pace. On every step of the course you can meet other learners, share your ideas and join in with active discussions in the comments.

All students who complete the course by 2 May will also be in with the chance of being awarded one of 50 Santander development grants of £500 each to support their studies and be invited to take part in a live thought leadership event in London with high profile ambassadors.

What topics will the course cover?

  • Understand the construction of race in the context of ‘blackness’, the legacy of problems from stereotypes, microaggressions and racism.
  • Explore how stereotypes and myths embedded in our culture can create a single narrative that reinforces racial prejudices.
  • Discuss the difference between non-racism and anti-racism, and learn the importance of anti-racism.
  • Develop your understanding of intersectionality and the effect of race.
  • Explore what is meant by whiteness, fragility and privilege.
  • Reflect on your own biases and some of the barriers that you may need to overcome to become an agent for change.
  • Learn how to commit to change on your anti-racism journey.

How do I enrol on the course?

1) Click the ‘enrol’ button on the Union Black course page.

2) Sign up to the Santander Scholarship Platform by completing a short registration form.

3) Once registered you will receive an email with a link to the course on FutureLearn. Click on this link and you will be able to start the course immediately.

For more information, check out the Union Black course page, or email


Alice Maguire • 21 March 2022

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