Current anti-racism activities

The University is already working on a range of activities that tackle racism. Through these activities we look to broaden representation across the institution.

We have long been aware that more needs to be done for our racially minoritised communities. This was further highlighted in the initial research report into our history and when listening to our community about the representation of our history on campus.

Actions we are already taking include:

Engaging with the global debate

Addressing representations of our history on campus

  • Renamed the Colston Street student accommodation to Accommodation at 33.
  • Updated displays in the Wills Memorial Building to better reflect the links between the University and the transatlantic cotton trade.
  • Undertaking extensive work to decolonise and ensure representation in our collections, public art and libraries.

Providing financial and educational support

  • We support around 130 Black undergraduate and postgraduate students to study at the University via more than £1m million in scholarships through our Black Bristol Scholarship programme.
  • We employ and train current Black and racially minoritised students as advocates to work with students and staff to understand challenges faced by Black students through our Be More Empowered (BME) for Success programme.
  • We sponsor Elevate, a unique opportunity for staff from racially minoritised backgrounds and who identify as female, to meet, share, support and learn together from universities across the South West.
  • We have introduced the Union Black course to provide staff and students with an understanding of the origins and experience of Black British history and culture and a critical appreciation of the concepts of intersectionality and race as a social construct.
  • Our Being Anti-Racist: ACT (Awareness, Change, Transform) programme is designed to help participants develop a greater understanding of how each of us has a crucial role in tackling racism.
  • The University is participating in the 100 Black Women Professors Now programme, a pioneering systemic change programme developed and delivered by the Women in Higher Education Network (WHEN).

Renewing our curriculum

  • We introduced an online course on approaches to decolonising the curriculum, available for free online on the Futurelearn platform. Decolonising Education: From Theory to Practice helps staff at education institutions to get to grips with the nature of the colonial legacy on our current state of knowledge and learning practices.
  • Together with academics, students and professional staff across our university, we are taking action with the University to decolonise our own curriculum, campus and collections.
  • We have contributed to and support the innovative Cargo Classroom initiative.

Staff and students who are keen to be involved in our work are encouraged to join the 'Decolonising the Curriculum' network

Understanding our university so we can take action

  • Establishing an Anti-Racism Working Group to operationalise our institutional commitment to anti-racism, ensuring that the lived experiences of our staff and students continue to shape our approach.
  • Disaggregating our ethnicity pay gap to provide a much clearer picture of where we need to target our efforts for recruitment, career support and progression.
  • Building awareness and understanding of racism, its impact and how to address it through staff training.

Supporting our community

  • Partnering with Nilaari to provide culturally appropriate counselling services to racially minoritised staff and students.
  • Partnering with, and supporting, various groups across the City of Bristol to support community endeavours.
  • Supporting the City of Bristol's own reflections on historic statues, monuments, memorials and artworks, through the We Bristol History Commission, led by University academics.
  • Supporting the World Reimagined public art project, sponsoring and hosting a globe in the Royal Fort Gardens. This project brings to life the reality and impact of the Transatlantic Trade in Enslaved Africans and invites the public to engage with the dialogue and actions of making racial justice a reality.
  • As an active member of Bristol’s Race Equality Strategic Leaders Group, we work with other public sector city partners to improve the opportunities and experiences of racially minoritised individuals and take a proactive approach to making a difference for our communities.

What's next?

We know that tackling racism to achieve authentic transformative change will take time and dedication. The Reparative Futures programme will ensure we achieve this. The University has dedicated £10 million to this ten-year programme to permanently change our shared future.

Read more about the Reparative Futures programme.

You can also email us your feedback:

The University of Bristol is a proud member of the Universities Studying Slavery consortium.

We fail in our own mission if we are afraid to turn the lenses of scholarly inquiry onto our built landscape.

Kirt von Daacke, Universities Studying Slavery managing director
Edit this page