During the course of discussions at the behest of the College’s Race, Diversity and Access Working Group, the need was felt for a space where BME members of the College and allies could meet for social interactions and intellectual pursuits. Accordingly, Confluence @Queen’s was set up in Week 0 of October, 2020. Confluence is a space for the ethnic minorities and allies to come together, mingle, exchange ideas, share in each other’s cultures and expand horizons. The aim is to bring about a sense of community for ethnic minorities and allies across Common Rooms, academic and non-academic staff and students, and to foster meaningful interaction among them.
Confluence envisages organising a diverse range of events. It plans to have social gatherings for the BME community and allies to interact and get to know each other in an informal setting. Each term, Confluence plans to have a seminar, a panel discussion or an informal conversation on matters of interest to the BME community. Confluence also intends to hold events celebrating the diverse cultures of the BME community.
To date, Confluence has hosted an informal online meet and greet event during Freshers’ Week to welcome new members of BME community and allies to the College. Later in October, to mark Black History Month, Confluence organised a conversation with Professor Caryl Phillips. Phillips is a multiple award-winning novelist, playwright, screenwriter, and essayist with a literary career spanning over four decades. He is an Old Member (English, 1976) and an Honorary Fellow of the College, and currently Professor of English at Yale. Born in St Kitts, his works explore the experiences of African diaspora in England, the Caribbean and the US.