Oxford University is unequivocal in its opposition to racism and discrimination, and we are committed to addressing systemic racism within our own community.
The collegiate University already carries out a wide range of activities to tackle racism, many of which are outlined in its comprehensive action plan, developed for its application to the Race Equality Charter in 2018. Staff and students across the University have since responded to the increased focus on these issues in 2020 to take a range of further actions.
The Race Equality Task Force was announced in the Vice-Chancellor’s Oration in October 2020 as part of a commitment to accelerating action in this area. At the Oration, Professor Louise Richardson spoke of a new:
University wide task force convened to engage, to listen, to share ideas and together to make recommendations for ways that we can address the under-representation of racial minorities at all levels – especially the most senior levels – within the university.
About the Task Force
The Task Force will develop a University-wide strategy and business plan to address racial inequality within our institution, ensuring that we are actively antiracist at all levels. We will build on the existing activities across the collegiate University and will focus on identifying actions that can accelerate the transformation to remove racial discrimination.
The Task Force comprises a membership from across the collegiate University. Reporting to Council, its aims are as follows.
1. To address racial discrimination in the collegiate University removing racism wherever it is found and to ensure that staff and students from all ethnic backgrounds benefit fully from the opportunities the University affords.
2. Recognise and promote existing activities across the divisions, GLAM and central university, and colleges that successfully tackle racial inequality.
3. Provide an opportunity for staff and students across the collegiate University to draw on their own experiences, identify priority issues and contribute to the shaping of key actions.
4. Build on the University’s existing Race Equality Charter (REC) Action Plan to create a clear programme of measurable actions to accelerate the University’s race equality efforts and contribute to the next REC application.
Key activities and outputs
The Task Force will be active throughout the course of the 2020/2021 academic year, with a number of streams of activity reflecting the needs of staff and students.
It will launch in Michaelmas term. There will then be a programme of engagement with staff, students and other stakeholders during Michaelmas and Hilary terms – through workshops and forum events.
It will take in to account existing activities by completing a strategic mapping that will also identify gaps and weakness, and will develop a framework into which local activities can fit and inform. It will be focussed on ways in which actions should be prioritised and accelerated.
Together with a comprehensive report and strategy based on the Task Force’s findings, the group will present a business plan for change to Council at its strategic away day in September 2021.
These outputs will feed into the University’s next Race Equality Charter submission, which is due in 2022.
More information about the Task Force will follow in the weeks ahead. If you have any queries at this stage, please contact REtaskforce@admin.ox.ac.uk