Statement Against Racism and in Solidarity with Black Lives Matter

We condemn wholeheartedly the murder of George Floyd at the hands of Minnesota Police and stand in full solidarity with the global Black Lives Matter movement. We also stand in solidarity with all those who are unjustly treated on account of their race or ethnicity and support their continued fight for justice and equality.

George Floyd was not the first nor will he be the last black person to be killed or abused by the police due to the colour of their skin. His treatment is symptomatic of a society plagued with systemic and institutionalised racism, including in sectors such as the education system, health and the judiciary. We understand the hurt and anger of the protestors in the United States, and are shocked at the violence being meted out to them by law enforcement officials.

No society or institution is immune to the plague of racism. In the United Kingdom, while our police are unarmed, black and minority ethnic people are stopped and searched at an alarmingly disproportionate rate to white people. At the University of Oxford, black and minority ethnic persons are significantly under-represented in academic posts, in the student body, and in our formal curricula.

As members of a leading knowledge-creating institution that remains overwhelmingly white and privileged, we recognise a special duty to speak out and challenge injustice in wider society.

To be silent and complicit is to inevitably uphold the status quo; a status quo that remains mired in racism, colonialism, and oppression. We encourage all those with voices and freedoms to protest for and demand equal respect and dignity for all.

In solidarity,

Johann Go

MCR President, Worcester College

Ellen Flower

JCR President (2019-2020), Worcester College

Connie Claxon

JCR President (2020-2021), Worcester College