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Dr Nicola Rollock

She will advise the Vice-Chancellor on issues of race, racism and equity.

Dr Nicola Rollock is an academic, consultant and public speaker specialising in racial justice in education and the workplace.  

Her research on the career experiences of UK Black female professors is the first study of its kind and led to her commissioning and curating the portrait exhibition Phenomenal Women currently on show at London’s Southbank Centre.

Dr Rollock is Reader in Equity & Education at Goldsmiths University. She is Specialist Adviser to the Home Affairs Select Committee’s Macpherson 21 Years On inquiry, a member of the Wellcome Trust's Diversity & Inclusion Steering Group, and of the British Science Association's Equality, Diversity & Inclusion Advisory Group.

Earlier this year, she appeared in the highly acclaimed two-part Channel 4 documentary, “The school that tried to end racism”.

She has contributed to numerous books and journals, and is the lead author of the award-winning The Colour of Class: The educational strategies of the Black middle classes (Routledge, 2015). Her new book The Racial Code will be published by Allen Lane in 2021.

Dr Rollock won the 2016 PRECIOUS Award for Outstanding Woman in Professional Services for her contributions to race equality. In December 2019, she was named by Times Higher Education as one of eleven scholars globally shaping public debate in higher education and, in October this year, was nominated by Baroness Doreen Lawrence for inclusion in the Duke and Duchess of Sussex’s list of Next Generation Trailblazers recognised for “challenging prejudice and contributions to British society”.

Dr Rollock will work with staff and students across the University, and especially with the Equality and Diversity team and the Race and Inclusion Champions, to help develop initiatives and policies to support the improvement of racial justice.

The Vice-Chancellor, Professor Stephen J Toope, said of Dr Rollock’s appointment:

“I am hugely impressed by Nicola’s vision and determination. Cambridge is taking decisive steps in the right direction on issues of race and racial equality, but we have a lot of work to do. Nicola will not only help us bolster and build upon some of the excellent work already in place, but will assist us in identifying and implementing the best practices to embed equality, diversity and openness in our University processes.”

Dr Rollock said: ”I am looking forward to working alongside colleagues and students at Cambridge to help improve the experiences and outcomes of racially minoritised groups. In some cases this will mean challenging and changing existing practice but the central aim will always be to create a space where all can thrive irrespective of their racial identity.”

She begins her three-year appointment on 27 October.

Read more about race equality at Cambridge