Race Equality Task Force

Oxford University is unequivocal in its opposition to racism and discrimination, and we are committed to addressing systemic racism within our own community.

In October 2020, the Vice-Chancellor announced a new Race Equality Task Force, to advance racial equality across the collegiate University of Oxford, to ensure that all people and perspectives are valued, and that, in practice, opportunities are open to all people without racial discrimination.

Find out more about the objectives and membership of the Task Force.

Latest News

Following the University-wide consultation in Michaelmas Term 2021, which aimed to accelerate race equality in our institution, Council has now approved the final strategy and resourcing plan. Both elements will feed into the University’s Race Equality Charter (REC) submission for 2023.  

Work is ongoing to deliver a fully aligned strategy, supported by a comprehensive communications plan to engage the collegiate University, starting in Michaelmas Term.

Please continue to check these pages for news, and to get involved.

To learn more:

Task Force Members 

Find out more about the Task Force members.

Race Equality Task Force members have shared their experiences in a series of blogs. Staff and student members provide context for some of the proposals included in the consultation, and share their personal views and reasons for being involved.

Watch inspiring talks from the ‘Conversations on Race’ online series that took place in Summer 2021. External speakers share their experiences of advancing race equality in their contexts.

Anti-racism resources

Take a look at this short list of anti-racism resources, including training, podcasts, seminars, books and reports, compiled for staff and students at the University.

View a summary of ongoing actions to advance race equality at the University. For more details, see the Race Equality Charter action plan. [NB. This is the existing action plan (for the Bronze award), not the plan currently in development]


The University provides training for all staff [link to new EDI training page] to equip them with an understanding of race and racism and to help them identify practical steps to promote a diverse and inclusive workplace. This includes the highly recommended online resource Tackling race bias at work, which takes a bold look at the nature of ‘modern racism’ and its influence in the workplace.

The MPLS ED&I team have developed a training programme for staff and students in MPLS which is open to other members of the University where places are available. This includes sessions related to race equity, such as Anti-racist allyship.

Language and terminology

Read a briefing note prepared by the Race Equality Task Force with recommendations about language and terminology with respect to ‘race’.

There is separate guidance on the meaning of race-related terms at the University. [Create a page or separate document with the content from the appendix to this document, below]

Additional resources 

The Anti-Racism Ally Network is part of the BME Staff Network and aims to create a supportive community to tackle systemic racism at the University.

An important part of being an ally is to educate ourselves, so we recommend this anti-racism reading list compiled by the Bodleian Libraries. This is an evolving list of resources, with titles being added regularly.

The Centre for Teaching and Learning has launched a Racially Inclusive Teaching Toolkit to support those wishing to address this aspect of their teaching. The toolkit includes resources, guidance and tools to help teaching staff and students critically assess the diversity of perspectives reflected in both the content of the curriculum and the way it is taught.

Find out more about the Race and Resistance programme, which brings together researchers, students and activists in the history, literature and culture of anti-racist movements across the modern world. The group meets most Friday lunchtimes during term time for a variety of activities, including discussion groups, lectures and seminars, and film screenings.

The BIPOC STEM Network is an inclusive group of postgraduates, research staff, academic staff and professional/support staff who work within the University’s STEM departments and identify as Black, Indigenous, and People of Colour (BIPOC), or Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic (BAME). Click the link to sign up as a member or to join their allies network.

The BIPOC STEM Network have recently launched an Allies Book Club which meets fortnightly on a Tuesday lunchtime.

The Oxford and Colonialism website brings together the wide range of initiatives across the collegiate University engaging with its colonial past and its ongoing manifestations.

Oxford SU has a permanent Campaign for Racial Awareness and Equality, to represent, support and advocate for students of colour.

Welfare and wellbeing


We have compiled a list of useful welfare resources at the University for all staff and students including those who identify as BME.

The BME Staff Network is open to all University of Oxford staff who identify as BME. The group has an email list that acts a confidential discussion forum, and holds various meetings throughout the year, both social and work-related.

The Network’s aims are to help the University identify areas where BME staff representation could be increased, and to offer support to and enable professional success among BME staff at all levels.

External resources


The Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD) has an extensive range of EDI resources, aimed primarily at HR professionals. Their Tackling Racism in the Workplace webpages include a number of very helpful resources, such as:

The Equality and Human Rights Commission has produced a short guide to race discrimination and the legal context.

For a general guide to what it means to be an ally (not specifically an anti-racist ally) see this open source starter guide to help you become a more thoughtful and effective ally.

For a detailed list of race-related terms and their definitions, see the Advance HE Race Literacy Glossary (produced by the University of the West of Scotland).

Moving the Dial on Race: A practical guide on workplace inclusion from the Chartered Management Institute relates mainly to a private sector context, but is a readable and useful guide to creating an inclusive and safe environment, dealing with micro-aggressions, developing networks and promoting allyship. Case studies of good practice are included throughout.


Two interesting podcasts about the challenges and importance of promoting race equality at work, including having conversations about race:

Race equality: getting uncomfortable and sustaining change (Acas) – discusses why organisations should invest in change; how to ensure change is long-term rather than tokenistic; how to handle uncomfortable conversations about race.

Why are the topics of race and racism so difficult to talk about? Prof. Binna Kandola OBE, of Pearn Kandola, looks at the emotions raised when discussing race, the reactions to such discussions, and how we can go about having more meaningful dialogue in the future.


Pearn Kandola regularly host webinars on a range of EDI topics, that are always practical and grounded in research, providing a helpful overview both for EDI staff and other colleagues in your departments or colleges. Their recent webinar series on race include:

Scroll down to see an overview of the content of each webinar.


The Runnymede Trust’s Race Matters blog aims to bring new perspectives, backed up by evidence and personal experience, on all matters to do with race.

Academic literature

There is a wealth of scholarship on race-related issues. We have compiled a short list of peer-reviewed articles that may be of interest to staff and students at the University:


'White English Ethnicities': racism, anti-racism and student perspectives

Nayak, Anoop

United Kingdom: Taylor & Francis Group

Race, ethnicity and education, 1999, Vol.2 (2), p.177-202


We Need to Talk about Race

Harries, Bethan

London, England: SAGE Publications

Sociology (Oxford), 2014, Vol.48 (6), p.1107-1122


Is ethnic prejudice declining in Britain? Change in social distance attitudes among ethnic majority and minority Britons

Storm, Ingrid; Sobolewska, Maria; Ford, Robert


The British journal of sociology, 2017, Vol.68 (3), p.410-434


The interacting dynamics of institutional racism in higher education

Pilkington, Andrew

ABINGDON: Routledge

Race, ethnicity and education, 2013, Vol.16 (2), p.225-245


Competing inequalities: gender versus race in higher education institutions in the UK

Bhopal, Kalwant; Henderson, Holly

ABINGDON: Routledge

Educational review (Birmingham), 2021, Vol.73 (2), p.153-169


No one can see me cry: understanding mental health issues for Black and minority ethnic staff in higher education

Arday, Jason

Dordrecht: Springer Netherlands

Higher education, 2021, Vol.83 (1), p.79-102


Ethnicity, Race and Inequality in the UK: State of the Nation

Alexander, Claire; Byrne, Bridget

2020 | The Policy Press


'White English Ethnicities': racism, anti-racism and student perspectives

Nayak, Anoop

United Kingdom: Taylor & Francis Group

Race, ethnicity and education, 1999, Vol.2 (2), p.177-202


What Do We Know About Black and Minority Ethnic (BAME) Participation in UKHigher Education?

Arday, Jason; Branchu, Charlotte; Boliver, Vikki | Cole, Bankole ; Craig, Gary ; Ali, Nasreen

Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press

Social policy and society: a journal of the Social Policy Association, 2022, Vol.21 (1), p.12-25


The British Sociological Association Race and Ethnicity Study Group Conference 'Mapping the Field: Contemporary Theories of Race, Racism and Ethnicity'

Andrews, Kehinde; Bassel, Leah; Winter, Aaron

ABINGDON: Routledge

Ethnic and racial studies, 2014, Vol.37 (10), p.1862-1868



Akhtar, Shahmima

Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press

Transactions of the Royal Historical Society, 2021, Vol.31, p.115-122


Race in post-racial Europe : an intersectional analysis

Boulila, Stefanie C., author

[2019] | London; New York: Rowman & Littlefield International | ix, 181 pages ; 24 cm


The origins of racism in the West

Eliav-Feldon, Miriam, 1946- | Isaac, Benjamin H | Ziegler, Joseph, 1959-

2009 | Cambridge: Cambridge University Press | xiv, 333 p. : ill. ; 24 cm


Students’ understanding and support for anti‐racism in universities

Jankowski, Glen S.

England: Wiley Subscription Services, Inc

British journal of social psychology, 2022, Vol.61 (1), p.322-344


Race, education and educational leadership in England : an integrated analysis [electronic resource]

Miller, Paul, editor | Callender, Christine, editor


For whose benefit? Black and Minority Ethnic training programmes in higher education institutions in England, UK

Bhopal, Kalwant


British educational research journal, 2020, Vol.46 (3), p.500-515


Is race still relevant? Student perceptions and experiences of racism in higher education 

Wong, Billy; Elmorally, Reham; Copsey-Blake, Meggie ; Highwood, Ellie ; Singarayer, Joy

ABINGDON: Routledge

Cambridge journal of education, 2021, Vol.51 (3), p.359-375


The interacting dynamics of institutional racism in higher education,

Pilkington, Andrew

ABINGDON: Routledge

Race, ethnicity and education, 2013, Vol.16 (2), p.225-245


'Getting in, getting on, getting out': Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic staff in UKhigher education

Mahony, Pat; Weiner, Gaby

ABINGDON: Routledge

Race, ethnicity and education, 2020, Vol.23 (6), p.841-857


The Routledge companion to philosophy of race [electronic resource]

Alcoff, Linda Martín, editor | Anderson, Luvell, editor | Taylor, Paul C. (Paul Christopher), 1967- editor

2018 | First edition | New York: Routledge | 1 online resource (xvii, 401 pages)


The Oxford handbook of philosophy and race [electronic resource]

Zack, Naomi, 1944- editor

2017 | New York: Oxford University Press | 1 online resource

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