Christ Church has a complex relationship with the colonial past. It has educated numerous Viceroys, Governors-General and Prime Ministers, and the legacy of notable figures associated with Christ Church from the colonial period, such as John Locke (philosopher), Lord Mansfield (judge), and William Gladstone (prime minister), continues to be debated. Christ Church’s graduates have also included Sir William Dolben (MP), a leading critic of slavery and, in more recent times, the anti-racism campaigner and philosopher Sir Michael Dummett and the post-colonial theorist Professor Homi Bhabha.
Christ Church plans to explore its colonial past in much greater depth and it is clear that considerable work needs to be done to begin to come to terms with it. But we are also focusing on the future, as seen by the report we recently commissioned from Challenge Consultancy setting out a road map to foster greater racial diversity and inclusivity. Although there is still a long way to go, initiatives such as a new graduate scholarship in Law for Black, Asian and Ethnic Minority students, enhanced antibias training for all students and all staff, and a long-term project to diversify the visual environment demonstrate Christ Church’s commitment to acknowledging an often very painful past and creating a very different and much more inclusive future for its students and staff.