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College President lends his voice to stand against systemic racism

June 9, 2020

Professor Jonathan Michie has joined with other heads of house from Oxford Colleges to express how important it is that black voices be heard, and to highlight the role that education has to play in guarding against systemic racism, and promoting multiculturalism and racial equality.

In a letter to the Guardian, he and his counterparts across the University acknowledged the difficulties BAME students are currently facing as a result of the unfolding crisis in the US and the disproportionate impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on BAME communities.

As Oxford’s largest and most international college, Kellogg has always worked to promote cultural diversity and inclusivity, and acknowledged the role that education plays in promoting fairness and justice within society.

The full text of the letter published in the Guardian reads:

The events in the US dramatise the consequences of allowing deeply embedded racist attitudes to be subject to too little challenge. Conscious and unconscious racial bias, and inaction in addressing them, remain prevalent across many institutions.

We write in a personal capacity as heads of Oxford colleges to reassert our belief in the need to promote, protect and advance equal dignity and respect, diversity of thought, good race relations, tolerance and multiculturalism in our institutions and the world.

We acknowledge the role that education can play in building racial equality and fair inclusion of black voices and perspectives in society. We recognise and regret that, for black members of our community, the unfolding crisis, together with the disproportionate impact of the pandemic on their communities, has caused them particular anxiety, anger and pain.

We stand with them during these difficult moments with hope that, through the global mobilisation of many against these injustices, through education, discussion, and peaceful protest, we may work together towards a world free of systemic racism and discrimination.

Will Hutton Hertford College, Alan Rusbridger Lady Margaret Hall, John Bowers Brasenose College, Tim Hitchens Wolfson College, Judith Buchanan St Peter’s College, Maggie Snowling St John’s College, Denise Lievesley Green Templeton College, Helen Mountfield QC Mansfield College, Miles Young New College, Katherine Willis St Edmund Hall, Lionel Tarassenko Parks College, Neil Mendoza Oriel College, Irene Tracey Merton College, Michael Lloyd Wycliffe Hall, Robert Ellis Regent’s Park College, Jonathan Michie Kellogg College, Richard Cooper St Benet’s Hall, Nick Brown Linacre College, David Clary Magdalen College, Robin Ward St Stephen’s House, Helen King St Anne’s College, Nigel Shadbolt Jesus College, Jonathan Phillips Keble College, Kersti Börjas St Catherine’s College, Claire Craig Queen’s College, Martyn Percy Christ Church, Helen Moore Corpus Christi College, Lynne Brindley Pembroke College, Carole Souter St Cross College, David Goodill Blackfriars Hall, Gordon Duff St Hilda’s College, Jane Shaw Harris Manchester College, Rick Trainor Exeter College, Helen Ghosh Balliol College, Ivor Crewe University College, Elish Angiolini St Hugh’s College, Ken McDonald QC Wadham College, Roger Goodman St Antony’s College, Hilary Boulding Trinity College, Kate Tunstall Worcester College, Elizabeth Kiss Rhodes House, Jan Royall Somerville College, John Vickers All Souls, Andrew Dilnot Nuffield College, Nicholas Austin Campion Hall, Henry Woudhuysen Lincoln College