UCC takes racism and racial incidents very seriously and aims to create a campus free from such occurances.  To this end, a number of initiatives have been launched.

Since 2018, UCC has been running in-house Race Consciousness workshops and @AdvancceHE RaLet’s talk about Racece Equality training and now has online Let’s Talk About Race training available to all staff.  Complete our online Race Equality Training here.

UCC established the first Race Equality Forum in an Irish HEI in 2019 with the purpose of listening to Black, Brown and Ethnic Minority staff and students, learning from their experiences and ensuring UCC a welcoming space.  https://www.ucc.ie/en/edi/about/projects/raceequalityforum/ 

In 2022, UCC launched Speak Out on campus, a national anonymous online platform to report any and all incidents of bullying, harassment and discrimination, including racism and racial incidents.

Since its inception, many members of the Traveller Community have completed the Leadership in the Community programme with ACE, better equipping participants to provide effective leadership for their own community and within the voluntary sector. See here: https://www.ucc.ie/en/ace-dlc/ 

The Traveller Equality and Justice Project is an innovative collaborative project between the School of Law, the CCJHR and FLAC. It aims to highlight ongoing levels of discrimination experienced by Travellers in Cork and Kerry.  The TEJP has established Munster’s first Traveller-specific legal clinic, providing access to justice for Travellers who have experienced discrimination.  For more details see: https://www.ucc.ie/en/tejp/

The Glucksman Gallery's Creative Agency project aims to empower young asylum seekers, refugees and migrants to participate in imaginative projects that enable them to present their voices and views in the public realm. https://www.glucksman.org/projects/creative-agency 

And modules such as SC2066 Race, Ethnicity, Migration and Nationalism help embed this into the curriculum here in UCC.

Race Equality Forum

The Race Equality Forum came into being in 2019 with the aim of listening to and learning from the experiences of staff and student of racial and ethnic minorities.

In 2020, the current co-chair of the REF, Dr Amanullah De Sondy, held Conversations on Racism, which further highlighted these experiences in Higher Education in Ireland.

Training and Education

In 2021, after a number of iterations of live and in-person Race Consciousness workshops (in-house) and externally faciliated Race Equality Awareness sessions, online Race Equality Training was made available for all staff through Canvas.

Race Equality in the Higher Education Sector - HEA Report

Analysis commissioned by the Higher Education Authority.

Authors: Dr Marta Kempny and Dr Lucy Michael

Published October 18th 2021


Douglass Week in UCC

In early 2021, UCC was a contributer to Douglass Week, 8-14th February.   A national project, coordinated by UCC researchers, Dr Tim Groenland, Dr Caroline Schroeter and Sarah McCreedy, it was funded by a grant from the NUI.  Contributions included a specially scheduled Conversations on Racism in Ireland, hosted by Dr Amanullah De Sondy, as part of UCC's Race Equality Forum, flying the Douglass Week flag on the Quad and the composition of the Sonic Collage of Douglass in Ireland by UCC music student and sound artist, Isabel Ronan.  This engagement was continued in 2022 (see video below).

Below this is a message recorded in 2021 by President John O'Halloran, and a conversation between Douglass Week organisers, reflecting on the 2021 week's experiences.




Frederick Douglass Global Fellows

"On 29th September, [2020] the Minister for Foreign Affairs, Mr Simon Coveney T.D., announced the Frederick Douglass Global Fellowships Ireland. A partnership between the Department of Foreign Affairs and the Council on International Education Exchange (CIEE), the US’s largest study abroad program, the new Fellowships will see scholarships awarded to 10 students from US based Minority Serving Institutions (MSIs) to participate in a 4-week summer programme in Ireland in 2021. The Minister made the announcement at a seminar at Georgetown University to mark the 175th anniversary of the meeting of Frederick Douglass and Daniel O’Connell in Dublin." text from DFA website

In July 2021, these scholars were welcomed by UCC as part of their study programme: “Transformational Leadership Across Cultures.”


As institutions of higher education, aiming to create the next generation of thinkers and doers, we have a responsibility to tackle discrimination at every turn.  So what can Institutes of Higher Education do to tackle racism?

Title Publication Date Reference Report
Colleges must take a new approach to systemic racism Inside Higher Ed 9th June 2020  
Universities can and should do much more to address systemic racism Timies Higher Education 12th June 2020  
How Higher Ed can fight racism: 'Speak up when it's hard' The Chonical of Higher Education 1st June 2020  
College to implement race and ethnicity general education requirement in fall 2021 The Emory Wheel 19th May 2020  
Harvard students are teaching Harvard ho to be anit-racist Curbed 11th June 2020  
What anti-racist teachers do differently The Atlantic 17th June 2020  
Universities UK calls for urgent action on racial harassment in higher education Universities UK 24th November 2020  

Loughborough University offers range of measures in recognition of race-based Covid-19 stress and anti-Black violence (13th October 2020)

Ireland is fighting its own battle with racism, both overt and systemic.  Here are some articles and discussions on Irish racism.

Anti-Traveller Racism:

Title Publication Date Reference Report
Racism against Travellers 'embedded' in Irish Society RTÉ 10th June 2020  
Ireland's anti-Traveller hate speech is the respectable group prejudice Irish Times 9th June 2020  
Still 'significant discimination' towards Travellers Examiner 20th June 2019 Fourth Opinion on Ireland - CoE
Do Traveller lives matter? Extra.ie 6th June 2020  
Travellers urge end to racism as George Floyd buried Irish Times 9th June 2020  

INAR have published a number of articles on racism in Ireland: https://inar.ie/beyond-hate-crime-perspectives-on-racism-in-ireland/

Title Publication Date Reference Report
Racist Ireland indictment exposes ignorance wrapped in a threadbare shroud Kilkenny Now 9th June 2020 Origin and Integration (ESRI)
Why Black Studies Matter in ireland and responding to the Murder of George Floyd Hot Press 8th June 2020  
Group wants anti-racism laws in Ireland FM104 10th June 2020  
'You dirty black *****' - I don't want to say the word out loud Irish Times 4th June 2020  
I was a dark secret Extra 8th June 2020  
'It's not political.  It's about racism.  I was so angry.' Breaking News 9th June 2020  
People of colour in Ireland need allies 'not bystanders' Irish Times 18th June 2020  

Responding to racism guide: How to report racism and where to find help: On 4th April, ENAR Ireland launched their publication  ‘Responding to racism guide: How to report racism and where to find help’.

http://www.ireport.ie/: Authored by Shane O’Curry (ENAR Ireland) and Dr Lucy Michael (Ulster University), the iReport.ie Racist Incident Reporting System was launched in July 2013. It allows the people, communities, and organisations of Ireland to confidentially report racism nationwide.

The events in the United States in 2020 focussed the world's attention on racism and violence against BAME communities and individuals.  We unequivocally condemn the use of violence and stand in full solidarity with our black and minority ethnic community.

There are many conversations happening around racism.  Here are some that may be of interest.

George Floyd, Minneapolis Protests, Ahmaud Arbery & Amy Cooper | The Daily Social Distancing Show (Trevor Noah)

Teaching Ideas and Resources to Help Students Make Sense of the George Floyd Protests (The New York Times)

Q&A: How To Talk To Kids About Black Lives and Police Violence (NPR)

Op-Ed: The moment the police approached George Floyd, the wheels of injustice started (Los Angeles Times)

Op-Ed: We need to #sayhername: Happy Birthday Breonna Taylor (Entertainment)

Why aren't we all talking about Breonna Taylor? (The New York Times)

Experiencing Racism

If you have been a victim of racism, whether overt, subtle or systemic, there are resources within UCC which may be of assistance.

UCC EDI Unit: www.ucc.ie/en/edi/ The EDI Unit is happy to advise students and staff on equality-related issues.

UCC's Duty of Respect and Right to Dignity at Work Policy provides information on recourse for staff who experience harassment and bullying in the workplace as well as setting out parameters for colegial behaviour, and the Student Charter sets out expectations for students with regard to how they should be treated as well as their own behaviour towards the staff and their fellow students.

Students and staff seeking to make a formal complaint about an equality-related issue have a range of supports, which include (as relevant):

UCC Student Advisor and Ombudsman: https://www.ucc.ie/en/studentombudsman/

UCC Campus Watch: https://www.ucc.ie/en/studentexperience/campuswatch/

UCC Human Resources Business Manager (relevant to your University Area): https://www.ucc.ie/en/hr/people/

UCC Staff Ombudsman: https://www.ucc.ie/en/staffombudsman/

Other Supports for Staff

Employee Assistance Programme: https://www.ucc.ie/en/hr/eap/

Irish Federation of University Teachers (IFUT, UCC): Email chair.ucc@ifut.ie

Services Industrial Professional and Technical Union (SIPTU, UCC): Email g.hurley@ucc.ie

UCC Researcher Staff Association: https://www.ucc.ie/en/rsa/

Other Supports for Students

First Year Experience Co-Ordinator: https://www.ucc.ie/en/study/undergrad/orientation/first-year/

First Year Student Peer Support: https://www.ucc.ie/en/pass/

Student Counselling and Development: https://www.ucc.ie/en/studentcounselling/

Student Health Centre: https://www.ucc.ie/en/studenthealth/

Student Union Welfare Officer: welfare@uccsu.ie

UCC Niteline Listening service Mon-Thurs 9pm-1am: 1800 32 32 42 or Chat https://www.ucc.ie/en/pass/niteline/

If you have been subjected to racism or have witnessed a racist attack, the Irish Network Against Racism has set up iReport.ie a confidential Racist Incident Reporting System, which:

  • enables people who experience or witness racism and/or those supporting them to do something about it and break the silence.
  • provides a national, confidential and user-friendly way to report racism from any online device.
  • is used for monitoring racism in Ireland.
  • provides evidence and data on racism in Ireland.
  • is a resource to counter an increase in racism and hardening of racist attitudes.
  • responds to the need to focus the discussion on finding solutions to racism.

This is an important data-gathering inititiative, and we encourage everyone to make use of it.

Responding to racism guide: How to report racism and where to find help: On 4th April, ENAR Ireland launched their publication  ‘Responding to racism guide: How to report racism and where to find help’.

http://www.ireport.ie/: Authored by Shane O’Curry (ENAR Ireland) and Dr Lucy Michael (Ulster University), the iReport.ie Racist Incident Reporting System was launched in July 2013.

This article has some good suggestions what the ordinary person in the street can do to combat racism: How to be an Active Bystander when you see Casual Racism in the New York Times (October 29th 2020) by Ruth Terry.

Recognising that white people often find it difficult to talk about race, here are a selection of resources and links that may assist:

Shad Khan writes op-ed addressing racism, systemic inequality (NFL)

Op-Ed: Here's a step you can take to help end racism - learn to talk about it (Los Angeles Times)

Op-Ed: White teachers need to check their racism before teaching it (Speak Up - Rossier online)

And here is a selection taken from Anti-racism resources for white people, as compiled by Sarah Sophie Flicker, Alyssa Klein in May 2020 (full list at link):




The Conscious Kid: follow them on Instagram and consider signing up for their Patreon

Articles to read:



Films and TV series:

  • 13th (Ava DuVernay) — Netflix
  • American Son (Kenny Leon) — Netflix
  • Dear White People (Justin Simien) — Netflix
  • King In The Wilderness  — HBO
  • See You Yesterday (Stefon Bristol) — Netflix
  • Selma (Ava DuVernay) — Available to rent
  • The Black Panthers: Vanguard of the Revolution — Available to rent
  • The Hate U Give (George Tillman Jr.) — Hulu with Cinemax
  • When They See Us (Ava DuVernay) — Netflix 

More anti-racism resources:



A microagression is defined as being a statement, action, or incident regarded as an instance of indirect, subtle, or unintentional discrimination against members of a marginalized group such as a racial or ethnic minority.  The term was coined by professor Chester M. Pierce in 1970 to describe insults and dismissals which non-black Americans were witnessed inflicting on African Americans but is now applied to the casual degradation of any socially marginalised group.

Some publications on microagressions including examples and suggestions of how to respond are:

Examples of microagressions

Microagressions are a big deal...

Dear anti-racist allies: here's how to respond to microagressions

How to respond to microagressions

Equality, Diversity & Inclusion Unit

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