USR Month

The University Social Responsibility Network (USRN) has identified the month of October as the “USR Month”. USRN member universities around the world will demonstrate and highlight their commitment to social responsibility by showcasing their social responsibility activities during this month.

Through the USR Month campaign, universities affiliated to the USRN will be able to learn from each other’s USR initiatives as well as to motivate other universities outside the USRN to strengthen their USR initiatives. Ultimately, it is hoped that there will be increased awareness of USR, propelling a USR movement in the global higher education sector.

(Video produced by: University of Pretoria)

2019 USR Month – University of Manchester

Volunteering and Social Justice Fair 2019

The University of Manchester hosted a Volunteering and Social Justice Fair on Tuesday 15 October.

The fair was bigger and better than ever with over 1,400 students attending and gave students the chance to talk to a diverse range of charities and not-for-profit organisations who were offering hundreds of volunteering opportunities.

The fair also had a ‘Quiet Time’ from 11–11:30am to allow students to browse the fair and get the information they needed in a calmer environment, should they need it.

Around 100 different volunteering organisations attended the fair from a wide range of sectors including cultural, environmental, health, sport and social inclusion, both from the wider community and within the University and Students’ Union.

Each organisation offers a different way for students to get involved in the Manchester community which allows them to meet new people and help to tackle important issues.

Students were also able to find out about the University’s Ethical Grand Challenges including the Social Justice Challenge and the Workplace Ethics Challenge, as well as ‘Step Up and Lead’ roles – all of which count towards the University’s prestigious Stellify Award.

Brilliant and Black 2019

Sounds of the kora, a West African harp, played by local musician Jali sparked the start of the University of Manchester’s Black History Month celebration event. 

Professor David Olusoga, University of Manchester academic, historian, broadcaster and keynote speaker, drew in crowds from the local community; many of whom had never set foot in the University before. He discussed the omission of Black figures from history, and the racism pedalled by politicians in the 1960’s that is reappearing in today’s anti-migration discourse. The impassioned speech galvanised attendees to understand that the responsibility lies with all of us to ensure Black history is intertwined with British history, rather than being considered a separate entity.

Various stalls in the foyer of the Students’ Union further educated attendees; the ‘NHS at 70’ team came to speak about the crucial role Black staff played in the formation of the NHS. The Staff Learning and Development Team and the BAME Staff Network encouraged visitors to get involved with initiatives at the University such as the Speak Up Stand Up campaign, empowering us all to stand up to bullying and harassment. Many guests also signed up to donate blood the very same day at the NHSBT stand.

The lively music of Jamaican singer Don Hartley closed the event in a truly celebratory way (complete with cake!).