Race and Ethnic Equality in UCD

Events in the USA have shone a spotlight on the continuing issue of racism and discrimination across the world. UCD issued a statement expressing our commitment to addressing racism and discrimination, and affirming our goal of creating an environment where diversity is celebrated and everyone is treated fairly.

Continue reading to find out more about what UCD is currently doing to support race equality and eliminate discrimination, and our plans for the near future, including a competition sponsored by the EDI Unit and the Race & Ethnic Equality Working Group.

Statement: UCD Commitment to Addressing Racism and Discrimination

Recent events in the United States have shocked members of our University community - staff, students and alumni of all ethnicities and backgrounds. These events highlight both the common experience of racism across different societies and an unwillingness to accept ongoing racial violence, racial harassment and inequality.  As a University committed to advancing society, we will continue to work to address discrimination to eradicate it through education, research and wider social engagement.

UCD is committed to creating an environment where diversity is celebrated and everyone is treated fairly regardless of gender, age, race, disability, ethnic origin, religion, sexual orientation, civil status, family status, membership of the travelling community or socio-economic status. We are not complacent and the University recognises the challenges it faces and has a genuine commitment to equality of opportunity for our staff and students, and to promote and maintain an inclusive work and study environment where there is mutual respect and dignity.

All members of the University Community have the right to study or work in an environment free from bullying, harassment and sexual harassment. Students, staff and visitors to UCD can report anonymously through the UCD Report and Support tool. We offer a range of supports and also mechanisms for making formal complaints.

IHREC anti-racism campaign

The Irish Human Rights and Equality Commission has launched an anti-racism campaign in Janaury 2021. The Campaign - #AllAgainstRacism aims to challenge individual and societal attitudes that lead to people from different ethnic backgrounds experiencing racism. 

Entirely non-scripted, the campaign features eleven interviews with people from different ethnic backgrounds, sharing personal perspectives on racism in Ireland, including casual racism, the role of bystanders and the systemic, historical, societal and structural barriers encountered in everyday life in Ireland.

UCD invites everyone to watch the videos and circulate to colleagues and networks, or share the message across twitter or Instagram

All Against Racism 1 from IHREC on Vimeo.

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University College Dublin is committed to the promotion of an environment for work and study which upholds the dignity and respect of the individual and which supports every individual’s right to study and/or work in an environment which is free of any form of harassment, intimidation or bullying. ‌If you need to report a racist incident occurred in UCD, you have a range of options, both formal and informal, and supports:


Race and Ethnic Equality Working Group

The Race & Ethnic Equality working group, a subgroup of the EDI , was established in June 2020 to gain a better understanding of UCD’s campus climate in relation to race and ethnic equality and to make recommendations to the EDI Multicultural Group.

Expressions of interest were sought from members of the University community from all disciplines, genders, categories of employees and diverse backgrounds. The group also has student representation. Please continue reading below for the Terms of Reference, membership list and an upcoming competition.

Since its establishment, the Race & Ethnic Equality working group has set out a number of key areas of work including:

  • Awareness raising in the area of race and ethnicity via activities such as consultation events and training
  • Developing a Race & Ethnic Equality Charter with tangible actions aimed at making UCD an equitable and respectful environment for employees and students of all races and ethnicities.

Terms of Reference

Read the Race & Ethnic Equality Working Group Terms of Reference here: Race and Ethnic Equality WG ToR.


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  • Marcellina Fogarty, Strategic Equality, Diversity and Inclusion Manager (Co-Chair)
  • Dr Linda Yang, Intercultural Development and Support Officer, Smurfit School of Business (Co-Chair)
  • Dr Michela Bertolotto, School of Computer Science (Multicultural Group)
  • Eve Brosseau, Global
  • Dr Conor Buggy, School of Public Health, Physiotherapy and Sport Science
  • Licia Carlesi (Multicultural Group, MENU, Equality, Diversity and Inclusion)
  • Thomond Coogan, Access and Lifelong Learning
  • Tom Costelloe, EDI Project Officer 
  • Ellen Carleton O’Brien, Global
  • Elaine Cregg, College of Arts and Humanities (Multicultural Group)
  • Dr Bahareh Heravi, School of Information and Communication Studies
  • Julia Janiszewska, China Joint Colleges Office (MENU)
  • Paola Carolina Martinez Pavon (Student Representative)
  • Dr Niki Nearchou, School of Psychology
  • Aghogho Okpara (Student Representative)
  • Oluromade Olusa (student Representative)
  • Dr Danielle Petherbridge, School of Phylosophy
  • Smaranda Sava, School od Medicine (Multicultural Group) 
  • Lesley Seneliso Mkoko (Student Representative)
  • Dr Penpatra Sripaiboonkji, School of Public Health, Physiotherapy and Sport Science (Multicultural Group)
  • Ryan Teevan, Registry
  • Belinda Whitby, School of Veterinary Medicine

What is UCD currently doing to support race equality and eliminate discrimination?

As part of the University’s Equality, Diversity and Inclusion policy and strategy, UCD is undertaking a wide range of initiatives that support and promote equality and diversity broadly, and some of which are specific to ethnicity and race as follows: 

  • Establishment in 2018 of the EDI Multicultural sub-group to support the integration of employees from across the globe with specific priorities around promoting multiculturalism and progressing initiatives around race/ethnicity, faiths and religions and languages.
  • The Multicultural Employee Network of UCD (MENU) was launched in 2018 to provide a network for employees from different cultures and support the integration of employees from all backgrounds.
  • The Institutional Athena SWAN application to be submitted in June 2020 contains a number of actions to progress the University’s work in relation to ethnicity
  • The Dignity and Respect policy is currently being reviewed to ensure that there is a high level of awareness as to the supports available for those experiencing bullying, harassment or sexual harassment, as well as the range of options for informal and formal resolution of complaints across the University’s 10 equality grounds, and to develop a culture where bullying, harassment and sexual harassment is not tolerated. This review also includes recommendations on enhanced monitoring and more transparent reporting and publication of statics relating to complaints to provide a greater understanding of the culture in UCD.
  • A Report and Support tool was launched in January 2020 to enable people to report anonymous incidents of bullying, harassment and sexual harassment and which also signposts people to information in relation to the supports and options for resolution.
  • The University for ALL initiative led by Access and Lifelong Learning focuses on increasing inclusion in policies, strategies and the higher education experience of students offering access routes and support for students from a range of underrepresented backgrounds. 
  • Guidance on Access to the UCD Community for Refugees, Asylum Seekers, those with Leave to Remain and those with Subsidiary Protection (2017), has attracted more than 50 students from the groups addressed by the policy with scholarship funding, and UCD was recognised as a University of Sanctuary in 2018. 
  • UCD participates in national networks addressing the full range of EDI issues, including the Irish Universities Association Vice Presidents for EDI Group and the National Athena Swan Committee and its Intersectionality Sub-Committee. 
  • Fáilte Refugees is a student-led campaign, established in 2016, to welcome refugees and asylum seekers to Ireland. The group was established in UCD but has since branched out to include NUI Galway, TCD, DCU, TU Dublin and UCC.
    The campaign has four goals:
    1. To increase awareness of the global migration crisis,
    2. To empower the students of Ireland to be agents of change,
    3. To motivate the people of Ireland to support the Irish Government to stand by its commitment of accepting at least 4000 refugees and
    4. To welcome refugees and asylum seekers into every community in Ireland and support their integration into Irish society.
    The student groups run various events and activities throughout the academic year, in order to work towards the goals above. They support and work with community-based organisations who align with these goals. More information can be found at failterefugees.ie

In its mission to advance learning, research knowledge and public engagement UCD offers a number of educational programmes and modules which seek to advance critical understanding of race and related issues:

  • A graduate programme on Race, Migration and Decolonisation is offered by UCD School of Sociology.
  • Modules on race and related issues, including migration, are offered in UCD School of Education, UCD School of History, Sociology, UCD School of Social Policy, Social Work and Social Justice, UCD Sutherland School of Law.
  • UCD introduced an undergraduate module on “Black Studies and Critical Race Perspectives in Education” in 2018, the first of its kind in Ireland.
  • Research at UCD includes projects on the Direct Provision system in Ireland, Racism in Ireland, Access to Education for Refugees and European and Global Migration.
  • The EDI Research and Curriculum sub-group is coordinating existing efforts to de-colonise the curriculum and progressing a project at institutional level in relation to this.


We are delighted to announce that Antonio Soler is on the EMpower Ethnic Minority Future Leaders Role Model List 2021. View the list here

Congratulations Antonio!

Antonio is a member of UCD LGBT+ Staff Network, the Multicultural Employee Network (MENU) and the EDI network at University College Dublin – Ireland’s largest and most diverse university. By participating in these committees, he provides ethnic minority representation at meetings where decisions relating to diversity and inclusion are made. The strategies Antonio has developed include building an internal communication plan for the College, with a section dedicated exclusively to showcasing events, news and outstanding contributions relating to DE&I. Antonio has also worked to highlight the importance of celebrating events such as International Women’s Day and Pride within the College. Alongside his achievements at UCD Dublin, Antonio has been awarded the Johns Hopkins Carey Business School Fellowship for his professional achievements and his work highlighting matters related to EDI, in particular, the contributions of LGBT+ staff to the workplace.

Upcoming Initiatives

Race and Ethnic Diversity Working Group

*The competition is now closed and winners have been notified. Keep an eye out for an ucpoming ant-racism campaign in 2021*

The Race and Ethnic Equality Working Group are running a competition for a short statement to promote race and ethnic equality and the elimination of discrimination in this area (one or two lines max.), which will be displayed in UCD as part of an awareness-raising initiative.

If you would like to get involved and be in with a chance to win a €150 One4All voucher, please email your suggestion by 9 December 2020.

  • Ideas must be emailed to edi@ucd.ie by 5pm 9 December 2020
  • The Race and Ethnic Equality Working Group will choose 2 winners (one employee and one student)
  • Winners be notified by the EDI Unit after the 9 December 2020
  • The short statement may be used both for displays on UCD Campus (both Belfield and Blackrock) and electronically (e.g. in email signatures, on the EDI website and on social media)


Understanding the diversity make-up of our University community and obtaining the views of diverse employees and students is essential to inform and drive initiatives and policy development in the area of EDI. To this end, we have been progressing initiatives such as:

  • A new Data system will be launched in June 2020 which will enable UCD to gather quantitative data regarding the diverse make-up of the University community including ethnicity/race
  • UCD issued a University-wide “Working from Home” survey in June 2020, which will be disaggregated by ethnicity to understand the challenges faced by people from minority ethnic backgrounds during COVID-19
  • UCD issues an EDI Survey every two years and data emerging from this survey is disaggregated by ethnicity and analysed to support policy development and initiatives

The University will continue to build on the above activities and identify new initiatives and actions that will deliver on the commitments made by the University to support inclusion and address discrimination. More details will be shared in the future about upcoming training and events.

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Information and Resources 

Below is a list of books, documentaries and articles for those who are interested in finding out more about anti-racism or want to support black authors and creators.


  • Kalwant Bhopal White Privilege: the Myth of a Post Racial Society  (Policy Press, 2018)
  • Kalwant Bhopal  The Experiences of Black and Minority Ethnic Academics: A Comparative Study of the Unequal Academy  (Routledge, 2015)
  • Sara Ahmed On Being Included: Racism and Diversity in Institutional Life  (Duke University Press, 2012)
  • Ebun Joseph  Critical Race Theory and Inequality in the Labour Market: Racial Stratification in Ireland (Manchester University Press, 2020)
  • Richard Delgado, Jean Stefanic and Angela Harris Critical Race Theory: An Introduction (NYU Press, 3rd ed, 2017)
  • Robin DiAngelo White Fragility (Penguin Books, 2019)
  • Layla Saad and Robin DiAngelo Me and White Supremacy: How to Recognise Your Privilege, Combat Racism and Change the World (Quercus, 2020). 
  • Ibram X Kendi How to Be and Antiracist Vintage, 2019)
  • Ibram X Kendi Stamped from the Beginning: The Definitive History of Racist Ideas in America (Vintage, 2017)
  • Reni Eddo-Lodge Why I'm No Longer Talking to White People About Race (Bloomsbury, 2017)
  • Emma Dabiri Don't Touch My Hair (Penguin, 2020)
  • Americanah, by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
  • The Hate U Give, by Angue Thomas
  • Don’t Call Us Dead, by Danez Smith
  • I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings, by Maya Angelou
  • An American Marriage, by Tayari Jones

Best Books by Black Female Authors

Great Books by Black Authors

Documentaries and Movies:

  • 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 

Great Movies by Black American Directors