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Creation of the Hub

The idea for the Black Advisory Hub emerged from a student-led project in the first cycle of the APP Participatory Action Research Project. The team of student co-researchers presented the proposal at a forum in late February 2020 to a range of senior staff including Senior Pro-Vice-Chancellor for Education, Prof. Graham Virgo.

Following this proposal, and in discussion with the Vice-Chancellor, Senior Pro-Vice-Chancellor for Education, African-Caribbean Society and BME Campaign, a review was undertaken in consultation with relevant stakeholders about the scope, remit and costs of a Black Advisory Hub. This occurred in the latter half of 2020 by Dr Sharon Walker, then a PhD student in the Faculty of Education, in collaboration with the Cambridge Centre for Teaching & Learning, and identified three stages of development for the Hub:

Phase 1 ('Bronze')

December 2020 - April 2021: The launch of a student-facing online version of the Black Advisory Hub, co-created by a team of current Cambridge students and project associates.

Phase 2 ('Silver')

May 2021 - August 2025: Ongoing work to maintain and extend the online resources following the launch of the online Hub, to induct new first-year students at the start of the academic year, and to engage with staff development opportunities. This work will be supported by the establishment of a steering group made up of student and staff stakeholders.

Phase 3 ('Gold')

2023 - 2025: Envisaged to extend activities developed in the Bronze and Silver stages to contribute to the development of sustainable and meaningful whole-University institutional initiatives to address race and inclusivity across the collegiate University.


Funding the Hub

The first year of development of the Black Advisory Hub was funded by the Alexander Crummell Fund and then-Vice-Chancellor, Prof. Stephen Toope. The Alexander Crummell Fund, named in honour of the first Black student to matriculate and graduate from Cambridge, was established in 2020 by Prof. Henry Louis Gates Jr and fellow alumni to support anti-racism work at the University.

Watch Professors Henry Louis Gates Jr and Stephen J Toope speaking at the inaugural Gloria Carpenter Lecture.

"I wanted to honour the first African American graduate of Cambridge University. This is a way of paying homage to the ancestors... a way, as they say, of paying it forward."

- Professor Henry Louis Gates Jr (Clare 1973)