Trinity this afternoon condemned a “culture of racism” in the US in the aftermath of the death of George Floyd last week, as well as admitting that “more needs to be done” in Trinity on the issue of racism.
An email sent to all students – signed by Provost Patrick Prendergast and Clodagh Brook, College’s newly appointed associate vice-provost for equality, diversity and inclusion – said Trinity is “horrified” by the events of the last week in the US.
Prendergast and Brook promised to “take up a real debate on race and ethnicity in Trinity and, especially, to bring about real structural change” on the issue.
Brook, who will head up a new Equality Office when it launches in the autumn, said a “new and robust” strategy will be put in place for equality, diversity and inclusion, adding that “we are all responsible for making racism unacceptable in Trinity”.
The email comes just hours after Trinity College Dublin Students’ Union President Laura Beston condemned the College’s lack of response to the death of George Floyd in the US and the worldwide protests calling for an end to racism and police brutality.
In response to questions from The University Times, Catherine O’Mahony, a Trinity media relations officer, wrote in an email that the statement was drafted before Beston issued her statement.
In the email to students, Brook and Prendergast wrote that the “injustice revealed in the US this week renews our own institutional commitment to address questions of race and ethnicity in this University”.
“We know that more needs to be done to ensure the College is inclusive”, they added.
Earlier this year, Trinity moved to restructure its equality offices, after a confidential report – obtained by The University Times – raised concerns about the lack of visible information on equality, diversity and inclusion in Trinity.
It also said Trinity’s equality efforts were being “hampered by the fragmented structure” in which many key stakeholders interact with each other.