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Black Advisory Hub


The Black Advisory Hub has been established to help build a diverse and inclusive community for all students and staff members at the University of Cambridge as part of institutional action to improve Black students' outcomes at Cambridge.

Creation of the Hub

The idea for the Black Advisory Hub emerged from one of several student-led projects in the first cycle of the APP Participatory Action Research Project. The team of student co-researchers presented the proposal in a forum in late February 2020 to a range of senior staff, including Senior Pro-Vice-Chancellor for Education, Prof. Graham Virgo. One of the students wrote up the group’s proposal in a newsletter article.

Following this proposal, and in discussion with the Vice-Chancellor, the Senior Pro-Vice-Chancellor for Education, the African-Caribbean Society and the BME Campaign, it was agreed that a review would be undertaken in consultation with relevant stakeholders about the scope, remit and costs of a Black Advisory Hub. This consulatation was undertaken in the last half of 2020 by Dr Sharon Walker, then a PhD student in the Faculty of Education at the University of Cambridge, in collaboration with the Cambridge Centre for Teaching and Learning.

The scoping report identified three stages of the development of the Hub:

Phase 1 ( 'Bronze')

December 2020 - April 2021

This phase involves 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

This phase follows the launch of the online Black Advisory Hub, and involves ongoing work to maintain and extend the online resources, 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 an advisory group made up of student and staff stakeholders.

Following the official launch of the Hub in May 2021, a further student article in Varsity outlined its role and purpose in the Cambridge context: The Black Advisory Hub: New, needed and never finished.

Phase 3 ('Gold')

2023 - 2025

This phase is 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.


The Hub Now

We are currently in Phase 2 of the development of the Black Advisory Hub, working to extend the online resources and engage with staff development opportunities. This year saw our second induction programme for incoming students, both undergraduate and postgraduate, and we were delighted to be able to host an in-person meetup as well as an online induction before students arrived in Cambridge.



The first year of development of the Black Advisory Hub was funded by the Alexander Crummell Fund and the Vice-Chancellor, Prof. Stephen Toope. In 2020, Professor Henry Louis Gates Jr and fellow alumni initiated the Alexander Crummell Fund, named in honour of the first Black student to matriculate and graduate from Cambridge.

Joined by dozens of like-minded donors, Professor Gates’ idea has developed into a new source of support for Cambridge’s efforts to tackle issues of systemic racism. An endowed fund, the Alexander Crummell Fund (ACF) will provide ongoing support for anti-racism work at the University. 

“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.”

Profesor Henry Louis Gates Jr (Clare 1973)

Watch Professor Henry Louis Gates Jr. and Vice-Chancellor Stephen J Toope in the inaugural Gloria Carpenter Lecture here