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Being Black at Cambridge: Girton students speak out in BBC documentary

BBC News screenshot

This new BBC documentary followed Girton students Fabianna Dennis (Psychological & Behavioural Sciences) and Success Anyanwu (Medical Sciences) through their first year at Cambridge University in 2019-20. We applaud them for showing how the ideals of diversity, inclusion and belonging are compromised by the structures and cultures of the collegiate university. Inspired by their testimony and by the engagement of our student members, we are determined to do more to address racism in all its guises at the individual and institutional level.

The JCR President, Riva Kapoor with Temi Longe, JCR Ethnic Minorities Officer, said:

We recognise that the lives of Black people at Girton and beyond will only change if substantial and tangible action against racism is taken. In the words of Success “Words, especially in this day and age, are very cheap.” As a JCR and in liaison with College, we are devising action plans to begin to address the institutionalised, systemic nature of this issue. We are extremely grateful to Success and Fabianna for sharing their experiences with us and are committed to creating pressure for real change.

The Mistress, Professor Susan J. Smith said:

Girton’s history has been shaped by pioneering men and women standing up for what is right. Fabianna and Success are part of that tradition. Although our College was founded for inclusion, we know it is a work in progress. This programme shows how far there is to go, and we are committed to that journey.

You can view the programme on BBC iPlayer:

If you are a College member and have witnessed or experienced racial discrimination or harassment, please follow the links on this page to report concerns, or ask for help: