Liberation learning group

Following the Black Lives Matter protests in 2020, we committed to start holding regular learning groups (mostly monthly) for our team to discuss race equity issues, increase our collective understanding and better inform our work.

From January 2022 these were widened to include other areas too, seen through an intersectional lens. In the wake of increased violence in Israel/Palestine from October 2023, this page also now includes further resources that explore the Palestinian struggle for justice and self-determination, with a focus on how this struggle interconnects with issues of climate and ecological justice and decolonisation.

We use the term "liberation" to refer to freedom from the oppression people face because of their identities, taken from NUS' liberation work. This group is also part of SOS-UK's work towards its third core aim to make sustainability more inclusive, so it is for everyone.

How we run a group

Each staff member takes it in turns to research an issue, send some materials in advance to the rest of the team and then host a session for the group to discuss.

Facilitators should find 3 core resources to suit different learning styles (e.g. articles, videos, audio clips). This should be max. 30 mins' worth and sent out to the team at least a week in advance.

There are no set questions to be asked of the group, but some examples could include what was learnt, what wasn't understood and how any learnings could be applied to the organisation. Where appropriate, smaller break-out groups could be used e.g. for some sensitive discussions.

Facilitators do not need to be an expert in the area!

Activism & Race

This covers activism and voluntary organisations within the UK and does not cover the risks associated with protesting in other countries or the importance of climate justice.

Within the resource list here, the key resources are in bold and there are summary sections and key facts included.

Assimilation/integration & race

...and the model minority/good immigrant myth.


  1. You Clap for Me Now: the coronavirus poem on racism and immigration in Britain:  
  2. Our obsession with 'good immigrants' breeds intolerance | Nikesh Shukla:  
  3. Assimilation Is Colonization | Nga Vương-Sandoval  


  1. Emma Raducanu victory sparks debate over multiculturalism in the UK
  2. We have to avoid 'integration' becoming another form of racism | Afua Hirsch
  3. The Bias of ‘Professionalism’ Standards (SSIR)
  4. Racism and the UK’s immigration system – Maya Goodfellow  
  5. The Casey Review: a review into opportunity and integration, was released in 2016 and was criticised for how much it focused on Muslims. Opinion pieces about it: first and second
  6. Promoting ‘fundamental British values’ in schools: a critical race perspective
  7. Being a good, quiet and assimilated 'model minority' is making me angry | Masako Fukui
  8. ‘Southgate’s team represents real England’: Three Lions unite country


  1. The Good Immigrant - Nikesh Shukla:  
  2. Brit(ish): On Race, Identity and Belonging - Afua Hirsch:

Black History Month 2021

1. Book - Black Teacher by Beryl Gilroy

Beryl Answick (later Gilroy) moved to London 1951 to study psychology and later found it difficult to enter the teaching profession, being one of few teachers from the Caribbean in England in the 1950s. She found her first teaching job in Bethnal Green and later was appointed head of a primary school, becoming the first black women head in the country (there’s a mural planned for West Hampstead Primary School in future). This account, originally released in 1976, charts racial tension, changing education policy, widespread suspicion and her brilliant approach to teaching.

2. Music - 2 Sim by Duval Timothy

A track titled ‘2 Sim’, the title track from an EP by pianist Duval Timothy, released in 2018. The video’s directed by Duval Timothy and recorded in Sierra Leone. Alongside the instrumentation, voices reflect on migration and identity. One narrator talks about moving from Sierra Leone to the UK and starting primary school “I thought it was sand and blue sky...I got the shock of my life...cold as hell”. Another narrator talks about an intergenerational divide with his Nigerian parents, living in London and growing to understand his parents' experience. Sport is referenced as a shared culture and way to connect.

3. Birdwatching and community group - Flock Together

Flock Together is a “monthly birdwatching support club combating under-representation of people of colour in nature”, created by Nadeem Perera and Ollie Olanipekun. As well as an interest in birds, the group aims to facilitate a healing process for people of ethnic minority backgrounds. It is a response to the fact that 98.1% of Black people in England and Wales live in urban areas and a belief “we are all of this thing called nature”.

4. Art - Black Experience, solo exhibition by Sunil Gupta (2021, Hales Gallery)

Photographs originally commissioned in 1986 for Reflections of the Black Experience at Brixton Art Gallery. Gupta was born in India in 1953 and moved to London in 1977, and his work is dedicated to themes of race, migration and political commentary. The exhibition description in the link below describes the Black Arts Movement, Gupta’s involvement with the Greater London Council and the Association of Black Photographers (set up in 1988).



  1. Colorism vs. Racism: What’s the Difference? -  
  1. Colourism – how shade bias perpetuates prejudice against people with dark skin -  
  1. Black Lives Matter Gets Indians Talking About Skin Lightening And Colorism -  
  1. The nastiness of the colourism debate -  


  1. British film No Shade tackles colourism and dating (2mins) -  
  1. Colourism through the eyes of a teen (2mins, half-way down the article) -  

Food & farming and race

Stats to consider:

  • Industrial agriculture contributes to 23% of total greenhouse gas emissions. Methane from animal agriculture has an effect on global warming 28 times higher than Carbon Dioxide.
  • Agriculture causes issues of desertification, deforestation and soil degradation: 75% of the Amazon deforestation is associated with livestock production; 60% of deforestation of the Indonesian rainforest is traced back to palm oil production.
  • In developing countries, the agriculture sectors (crops and livestock, fisheries and aquaculture and forestry) absorb 26% of the total damage and losses from climate-related disasters. These impacts aggravate food insecurity and intensify migration around the world.
  • It is estimated that Black and ethnic minorities in the UK are 1.5 times at risk of food insecurity as White-British.
  • Historically, biopiracy* has been linked to colonialism, with formerly colonised countries having many of their resources forcibly removed. Pepper, sugar, coffee, or quinine did, and still do, have significant impact on the world economies. All of them have a colonial past

*Biopiracy is the unethical or unlawful appropriation or commercial exploitation of biological materials (such as medicinal plant extracts) that are native to a particular country or territory without providing fair financial compensation to the people or government of that country or territory.


  1. YouTube Video: Soul Fire Farm (~11 mins) - How This Activist Farmer Fights Racism Through Food | TODAY Original
  2. Podcast (~17 mins from 2.20 min – 19.30 min): 52: Oxford Real Farming Conference, social justice & land, new forms of land ownership by Farmerama Radio
  3. Article (~5 minutes): Shining a Light on Racial Inequality and Food Insecurity — Bankuet ®
  4. YouTube Video (~5 mins): Vandana Shiva – No Patents on Seeds!
  5. Article (~5 mins): Dark Emu's infinite potential: 'Our kids have grown up in a fog about the history of the land'

For further reading and research, see page 2 and onwards of the full guide here.

Holocaust denial, distortion and antisemitism

International Holocaust Remembrance Day is on 27th January, this is a day to pay tribute to the memory of the victims of the Holocaust and reaffirms our commitment to counter antisemitism, racism, and other forms of intolerance that may lead to group-targeted violence. The date marks the anniversary of the liberation of the Nazi Concentration and Extermination Camp of Auschwitz-Birkenau by Soviet troops on 27th January 1945.

The Jerusalem Declaration on Antisemitism provides one helpful definition of antisemitism

Video: The International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA) - Holocaust Distortion: A Growing Threat (12 mins)

Video: What is Antisemitism? Community Security Trust (2 mins)

Report: Antisemitic incidents in universities: Community Security Trust report

  • CST recorded 123 incidents over the two academic years covering 2018 to 2020
  • They said the statistics reflect a national trend with incidents increasing in recent years: 1,375 incidents in 2016, 1,420 in 2017, 1,690 in 2018 and 1,813 in 2019
  • Social and political factors, including the political debates around the EU referendum in 2016 and allegations of antisemitism in the Labour Party, were “likely to have contributed, directly and indirectly, to the sustained high levels of antisemitic incidents recorded nationally by CST since 2016”.

Further reading

Videos: Holocaust survivor testimony

Instagram account @jewishoncampus

Video: Antisemitism, intersectionality and Wokeness (14 mins)

Video: Record rise in antisemitism in UK in 2021 (15 mins)

Online course: Antisemitism: From its origins to the present

Israel & Palestine


Guardian article detailing the climate impacts of Israel's military onslought in Gaza:

Naomi Klein article about the silencing of Jewish voices for Palestine:

Article detailing the links between the banks financing the Rosebank oil field and Israel:

'We won't stop speaking out about Gaza's suffering - there is no climate justice without human rights' - Greta Thunberg and Fridays for Future Sweden

'Palestine is a climate justice issue' Abeer Butmeh, Coordinator of the Palestine Environmental NGOs Network

BDS Movement Resources on the Greenwashing of Israeli Apartheid

Palestine/Israel 101:

Palestine is a climate justice issue – Israeli apartheid is not ‘green’ -

Israel outlawing six Palestinian human rights organisations -

Zoom, Facebook and Youtube censoring Palestinians:

Article about the destruction of Palestinian olive trees as part of Israel's occupation:

Infographics / videos

Visualizing Palestine 101:

Instagram post by Zamzam Ibrahim, co-founder of SOS-UK, 'Letter to the Global Climate Movement':

Instagram post about the destruction of Gaza's universities:

Reel from Energy Embargo for Palestine on the links between fossil fuels and Palestinian oppression:

Ithaca Energy links to Israel:

Adani sale of weapons to Israel:

Al Jazeera Video exploring Israel's designation as an apartheid state

Israeli Palestinian conflict explained: an animated introduction (6 mins):

The socio-ecological toll of militarism:

From Rosebank to the West Bank, here's what you need to know about Ithaca Energy:


Palestine Solidarity Campaign (PSC):

Na'amod: British Jews Against Occupation:

BDS Movement:

Independent Jewish Voices:

Jewish Voice for Peace:

Further resources

You can donate to Medical Aid for Palestinians' emergency appeal here:

Tipping Point monthly trainings on climate justice and Palestine:

Apartheid Off Campus campaign:

Climate apartheid in Palestine:

Videos - Introduction to International Humanitarian Law in the Palestinian Context:

Facing the Nakba (“Catastrophe” in Arabic), a seven-session curriculum:

Principles for dismantling antisemitism:

Overpopulation and race

Stats to consider:

  • World's richest 1% cause double CO2 emissions of poorest 50% (Oxfam, 2020)
  • The world’s 2,153 billionaires have more wealth than the 4.6 billion people who make up 60 percent of the planet’s population (Oxfam, 2020)
  • The 22 richest men in the world have more wealth than all the women in Africa (Oxfam 2020)
  • 70% of all flights by UK residents are taken by just 15% of the population (Possible, 2019)


  1. Podcast (30 minutes)

  2. Twitter thread

  3. YouTube video on Myth origins (2 minutes)

  4. Article 1: Short intro to this topic - How racist myths built the population growth bogey man

  5. Article 2: 5 myths about Population Control in India busted

  6. Article 3: Population panic lets rich people off the hook for the climate crisis they are fuelling

  7. Article 4: (long read):

Philanthropy and race

  1. ARTICLE (long): ‘How Philanthropy benefits the super-rich’: (long read)

  2. ARTICLE (short): The Racial Funding Gap Can’t Continue in the Pandemic:

  3. YOUTUBE CONVERSATION: Philanthropy and White Supremacy: A Conversation with Pamela Shifman & Vanessa Daniel: (start 3mins45secs in).

  4. PODCAST: Rose Longhurst on participatory grant-making and the future of philanthropy:

  5. PODCAST: Fozia Irfan on Decolonising Philanthropy:

Racial language and communication

  1. Is It Time to Scrap the Term BAME? | Good Morning Britain (11 mins) -
  2. Akala addressing N word (Oxford Union address) (3 mins) - - original YouTube link is
  3. Immortal Technique Gets Real About the N-Word (8 mins) - - original YouTube link is


  1. Kendrick Lamar stops white fan using N-word on stage at concert -
  2. Spike Lee breaks down the explosive Do the Right Thing scene between Mookie and Pino -
  3. Racial Slurs and Racially Charged Language, University of Cambridge's Faculty of English -
  4. The Bias of ‘Professionalism’ Standards -


  1. Kendrick Lamar - M.A.A.D. City (Feat. MC eiht) -


  1. The History of White People by Nell Irvin Painter

The Troubles (Northern Ireland)