Corpus Christi College wishes to express its collective sorrow and outrage at the murder of Mr George Floyd in the US and its solidarity with black individuals and communities who have suffered decades of injustice, violence and systemic racism. The embedded nature of racist attitudes too often goes unchallenged; and additionally at this particular time the disproportionate impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on BAME communities is causing further anxiety, pain and anger.
We are an academic community that embraces and values people from all backgrounds and communities, and are grieved and angered by this. We wish to express our active support for black members of our College and wider community who experience this deep injustice in particular and painful ways, and fully support those who take a stand in speaking out against racism and violence.
The College does not tolerate racism in any form and is positively committed to fostering a living, working and learning environment which is safe, humane, and respectful towards all. We are determined to listen to and understand the lived experience of our black students in ways that are respectful, enabling and inclusive, and to further their aspirations for a better future. We agree with those protesting in the US, in our own country, and across the world in support of Black Lives Matter that permanent and systemic change is needed, and that this applies to educational institutions such as our own as well.
As a constituent college of the University of Oxford we are part of a wider body that is making strenuous efforts to ensure that all its staff and students are able to work and study without fear of prejudice. We support the following statement made by Dr Rebecca Surender (University Advocate for Equality & Diversity and Pro Vice-Chancellor) on behalf of the University: "The University reaffirms its unequivocal abhorrence of and opposition to racism against Black and Minority ethnic people and discrimination in all its forms. At the same time, we acknowledge that the University itself is imperfect in the way it addresses these issues. We still have work to do in creating a truly diverse and inclusive community where everyone feels respected and secure, but we are determined in our efforts to achieve this."
Further information about how the University is addressing racism and championing equality through its Race Equality Action Plan can be found on the Equality and Diversity Unit website. A letter from Oxford college heads expressing solidarity with the fight against racism and committing ourselves to active change was published in The Guardian, June 4 2020.
This statement is issued jointly by the Governing Body, JCR and MCR of Corpus Christi College. The JCR/MCR have also agreed their own statement which can be read here.