After more than two years of work, I am delighted to announce that the University of Essex has successfully achieved a Bronze award in the Race Equality Charter. 

Our Bronze award will be in place until November 2028, during which time we will tackle our ambitious action plan, bringing greater race equity and inclusion to every corner of our institution.

We have some clear objectives including: 

  • increasing the ethnic diversity of our professional and support staff, 
  • increasing our proportion of B.A.M.E. UK academics, 
  • increasing the proportion of B.A.M.E. staff in senior roles, 
  • closing the ethnicity degree awarding gap within the next five years,
  • improving the lived experiences of our staff and students from minoritised backgrounds.  

In making the Bronze award, the Advance HE panel not only recognised our institutional commitment to race equity but highlighted a number of good practice examples at Essex, from our initiatives to support Black researchers to the UG scholarships and bursaries we offer to minoritised students. They also highlighted our anonymised recruitment pilot and our collaboration with local groups such as One-Colchester Tackling Racism.

As our Champion for race, I am particularly proud of the work that has gone into achieving this Bronze award. It will be important to keep the momentum up over the next five years to ensure that we do not just deliver on our action plan but work to exceed it wherever possible, creating the kind of fair and equitable environment that we all want to see and ensuring that our diverse community supports each other to thrive and succeed.

I would like to thank Elaine Brown, our Director of Inclusion, our Co-Chairs Professor Lorna Fox O’Mahony, Professor Hannah Gibson and Kai Yin Low.  Other thanks go to the workstream leads who conducted the REC self-assessment process, Bhavya Jhaveri from the Inclusion Team along with the rest of the Race Equality Charter Self-Assessment Team and other contributors for their excellent work on our application and the development of our REC Action plan. I look forward to more of our community getting the chance to be involved in supporting this important work. 

After many years of being involved in race equity work, including the Tackling Racism Working Group (whose work has transitioned into the REC work), Hannah and Kai Yin have decided to step down as Co-Chairs and we thank them for their huge effort, commitment, and dedication to race equity work and wish them all the best.  A new Co-Chair will be announced soon.

Our current REC SAT is: 

  • Ai Gooch
  • Aron Hugh
  • Bhavya Jhaveri
  • Cara Booker
  • Dr Chaminda Wijethilake 
  • Elaine Brown
  • Emily Banfield 
  • Haji Yakubu
  • Jazmin Pleasance 
  • Karen Bowlby
  • Professor Ilaria Boncori 
  • Dr Jak Peake
  • Professor Lorna Fox O’Mahony (Co-Chair)
  • Professor Madeline Eacott
  • Paloma Grande-Imbernon
  • Richard Stock 
  • Precious Ogbonna
  • Professor Sanja Bahun
  • Sara Limerick 
  • Professor Winifred Eboh 

Download and read our REC action plan (.pdf)  

You can read more about our commitment to equality, diversity and inclusion in our online blogs and find out more about the Race Equality Charter on our website. Also read more about how we are committed to tackling racism

Students can find support and blogs online. Read about the Race Equality Charter on the student directory and find out about how we are tackling racism