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Race and Ethnicity

Students from the International Study Centre walking through Durham

Here at Durham, we want to inspire and foster a community of expression and engagement. We want our community to be active in the fight against racism. Although things are changing and movements such as the Black Lives Matter have highlighted racism and provided a catalyst for change, racist and hate crime incidents still take place. Racism and division are not welcome within our University community.  

What is racism and how does it affect us? 

Racism can take many forms but includes prejudice, discrimination and hatred directed to individuals because of their colour, ethnicity or national origin. It can affect people and communities in different ways. It is only by understanding the impact our behaviours and privileges can have on others that we can ensure that everyone is treated with dignity and respect. Although things are changing, racist and hate crime incidents still take place. We are committed to tackling ignorance, intolerance and hatred so that all people are accepted without exception. 

Race Equality Charter 

Durham University signed up to the Race Equality Charter (REC) in March 2019. The Charter aims to improve the representation, progression and success of minority ethnic staff and students within higher education. It provides a framework that guides the University in identifying and evaluating institutional and cultural barriers that stand in the way of BAME staff and students. 

A REC Self-Assessment Team (SAT) comprising of students and staff members was formed to lead this important work. The REC SAT, along with other staff and students have co-developed an institutional Race Equality Action Plan with an array of initiatives and solutions for action. Durham University submitted its application for a Bronze REC accreditation in May 2022, and an award has been conferred in July 2022. 

Hate Crime 

Tackling Religious and Race-Based Hate Crime

In April 2018, the Equality, Diversity and Inclusion Unit was awarded £50,000 by the Office for Students to undertake a two-year project tackling religious and race-based hate crime. The project consists of learning through research about the experiences of members of the university community and co-producing with our students, mechanisms to increase reporting, respond to reports and offer support. 

As part of the project, we introduced Report + Support in October 2019. This online tool provides a pathway for students and staff to report incidents of hate, bullying and harassment, sexual misconduct and domestic abuse, either anonymously or with contact details. Additionally, the tool contains resources on internal and external support available to staff and students. 


Black History Month

Every October, staff and students across the University arrange activities for Black History Month (BHM). With the recent Black Lives Matter social movement and with the ongoing decolonising the curriculum initiatives, commemorating and sharing our Black communities’ stories, struggles and accomplishments — both past and present, have never been more important.

Learn more about Black History Month and view upcoming BHM events at Durham University and beyond.

Staff and students can view our Black History Month Hub for various BHM resources.


Contact Us

At Durham University we pride ourselves on providing a supportive, inclusive environment. Find out how best to contact us.