From the President: commitment to equality

To all members of Trinity’s community,

At a time when Trinity’s community is scattered across the world as a result of the COVID-19 virus, it is a cause of great sadness that we are not able to reach out to each other in person, face to face, to support each other at a time when many of our community of staff, students and alumni of all backgrounds feel great anguish in response to the death of George Floyd. As a close community, our instinct is to come together to offer comfort, solace and solidarity when any members of our community feel threatened.

For black members of our community, it is particularly important that we speak out and reaffirm our rejection of racism of any kind. Words feel inadequate at a time when we want to express ourselves in person and reach out to each other to offer comfort; but at a time of geographic separation, words are important.

We regularly speak and write about our aspiration for Trinity to be a welcoming and inclusive place in which all our members feel valued; we seek to engage with respect for each individual; we view our diversity in all its manifestations as a strength and something to be celebrated and cherished. We still have work to do and we are committed to it. We will not tolerate racism in any of its manifestations and we will continue to challenge ourselves and others whenever we encounter it.

Yesterday, all the heads of Oxford colleges came together as signatories to a letter which was published by Guardian media today. Please take a short time to read it.

This comes with my warmest wishes to all members of Trinity,

Hilary Boulding

President, Trinity College

Letter to the Guardian from the Heads of House of Oxford Colleges

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
Sir Tim Hitchens, Wolfson College
Judith Buchanan, St Peters College
Maggie Snowling, St Johns College
Denise Lievesley, Green Templeton College
Helen Mountfield, Mansfield College
Miles Young, New College
Kathy 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
Sir David Clary, Magdalen College
Robin Ward, St Stephen’s House
Helen King, St Anne’s College
Sir Nigel Shadbolt, Jesus College
Sir Jonathan Phillips, Keble College
Kersti Börjas, St Catherine’s College
Claire Craig, Queen’s College
Martyn Percy, Christ Church
Helen Moore, Corpus Christi College
Dame Lynne Brindley, Pembroke College
Carole Souter, St Cross College
David Goodill, Blackfriars Hall
Sir Gordon Duff, St Hilda’s College
Jane Shaw, Harris Manchester College
Sir Rick Trainor, Exeter College
Dame Helen Ghosh, Balliol College
Sir Ivor Crewe, University College
Dame Elish Angiolini, St Hugh’s College
Roger Goodman, St Antony’s College
Dame Hilary Boulding, Trinity College
Kate Tunstall, Worcester College
Elizabeth Kiss, Rhodes House
Baroness Royall of Blaisdon, Somerville College
Sir John Vickers, All Souls
Sir Andrew Dilnot, Nuffield College
Nicholas Austin, Campion Hall
Henry Woudhuysen, Lincoln College