Through our services and collections, we play a part in engaging our students and staff to challenge and broaden individuals' perspectives of what constitutes knowledge and truth.

Explore our projects and initiatives to encourage staff and students to take charge in diversifying and decolonising our libraries.

This work supports UWE Bristol’s anti-racist strategy through diversifying and decolonising our collections. It also supports and reinforces UWE Bristol’s wider inclusivity aims to embed inclusive curriculum and practices in what we do.

What are we doing within Library Services?

  • We support inclusive reading lists and collections by providing advice and guidance to College colleagues and by engaging students in these discussions.
  • We work towards diversifying and decolonising our teaching material to expose our students to different perspectives and issues while developing their critical thinking.
  • We support training and development of our staff in their understanding of decolonisation, diversity and inclusion, in addressing white privilege, seeking to eradicate awarding gaps, and calling out misguided practices.
  • We explore and share best practice at UWE Bristol and working towards eradicating awarding gaps.

Key terms


Diversity is the presence of difference. It is about "Recognising, valuing and taking account of individuals' different backgrounds, knowledge, skills and experiences to create a more productive and effective educational community." (Taken from the UWE Bristol Equality, Diversity and Inclusivity Policy)


Inclusivity, at UWE Bristol, is about "creating an institutional culture by promoting the involvement and interaction of a diverse range of staff and students in university life." (Taken from the UWE Bristol Equality, Diversity and Inclusivity Policy)


We are talking about one specific aspect of decolonisation: the decolonisation of knowledge. It is the act of actively seeking and incorporating non-Eurocentric or Westernised forms of knowledge.


“The principle, policy, or practice of acquiring full or partial political control over another country and occupying it with settlers; the principle, policy, or practice of maintaining colonies” (Oxford Dictionary, 2023) or “The control over one territory and its peoples by another, and the ideologies of superiority and racism often associated with such domination.”


“A concept to describe the social, cultural and epistemic impacts of colonialism. Coloniality refers to the ways in which colonial legacies impact cultural and social systems as well as knowledge and its production (University of Bristol, 2020).


A movement which identifies the ways in which Western modes of thought and systems of knowledge have been universalised. Decoloniality seeks to move away from this Eurocentrism by focusing on recovering ‘alternative’ or non-Eurocentric ways of knowing (University of Bristol, 2020).

Getting involved

Library Services runs several projects to help UWE Bristol in engaging with these conversations around race and racism, and decolonisation.

Make our library collection more inclusive!

This is a collaborative project between students, teaching staff and the library team to create decolonised and inclusive reading lists to better represent the identities and experiences of our student body. We are inviting everyone at UWE Bristol to suggest diverse authors who can be added to the library collection and reading lists.

Why get involved?

  • it will contribute to the University's strategy to eliminate the Black, Asian and minority ethnic awarding gap
  • it involves students as partners in co-creating their reading list
  • students who contribute have a chance to win a voucher in our monthly prize draw.

Make our library collection more inclusive!

Read, share or contribute to No More Silence

Find out more information about our award-winning publication on our No More Silence tab.

Engage with our Living Library initiative

The Living Library is an opportunity to talk to someone about their lived experiences. Find our more on our Living Library tab.

Decolonise and diversify your module reading lists

If you are a staff member engaged in teaching, you can look at our guidance on the staff intranet in the Inclusive Curriculum and Practice toolkit collection (log in required).

Reading list decolonisation guide for staff

If you are a programme or module leader, you can attend our Designing inclusive reading lists and curricula workshop.

No More Silence

The Students’ Union and the Library at UWE Bristol have been working together since 2020 to create a platform for students to share their experiences and thoughts on issues related to race and racism.

Every year we receive contributions from students and staff. For many, it is the first time they’ve shared their stories publicly. This publication opens conversations and rich exchanges between members of our community through the various reading groups we offer during the academic year, at UWE Bristol, and in the wider community. The three issues are available here to download.

close up of a woman in black and white with the words no more silence in her pupil

No More Silence zine: issue 3 (PDF)

View the 2023/24 issue which explores experiences and thoughts of UWE Bristol students and staff relating to race, racism and diversity.

No More Silence Zine volume 2 art work of two hands touching

No More Silence zine: issue 2 (PDF)

This 2022/23 issue highlights the experiences and thoughts of UWE Bristol students and staff relating to the topics of decolonisation, race, and diversity.

No More Silence Zine volume 1 art work of woman in black and white with a yellow head band

No More Silence zine: issue 1 (PDF)

This 2020/21 issue showcases uncensored personal accounts of race and inequality, from students and staff at UWE Bristol.

The Living Library

The Living Library is an opportunity to talk to someone about their lived experiences.

You borrow a person as a 'living book' for an amount of time to have a conversation about their lives and anything you'd like to ask or discuss. It's a real opportunity to make connections and meet people who you may not usually meet or have a chance to discuss important topics with. It can bridge gaps between communities and groups by allowing open discussion on difficult topics.

Events can take place online and in-person. There's often a theme or a topic for the event, although some institutions run an ongoing human/living book borrowing system.

UWE Bristol Living Library

Celebrating Excellence

Celebrating Excellence showcases inspiring stories of excellence from Black heritage professionals in the College of Health, Science and Society at UWE Bristol.

Why is this important?

People of Black heritage have contributed immensely to knowledge and societal development for centuries. Many of these contributions have been hidden, lost or ignored.

As a result, this has impacted the experiences of Black heritage communities in professional spaces and in society. The has led to a lack of representation in the academy and other professional environments, a lack of progression into senior roles and a significant awarding gap among others.

To change this we need more action and fewer words. This collection brings to life the stories of excellence and the many ways Black heritage professionals in the College of Health, Science and Society at UWE Bristol are shaping the future of their diverse fields, making their mark in society, shaping futures and what will be our collective history.

View Celebrating Excellence 2022 (PDF) 

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