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Oxford University undergraduates told not being racist ‘isn’t good enough’ and they must ‘take action’

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It has emerged that undergraduates at Oxford University have been told that not being racist ‘isn’t good enough’ and they must be prepared to be active and take action on the issue. These developments have emerged from a workshop at St Hugh’s College and come amid increased scrutiny about anti-racism training across the university, which some have said does not work.

The workshop, titled ‘It’s About Race’ was not mandatory but students were ‘expected to make time’ to attend the event. The session took place last month and under the heading ‘Be an anti-racist’ on one slide, they were told: ‘Are you racist? “No” isn’t a good enough answer’. The slide went on to state: ‘We need to… stop thinking that injustice going on in the world isn’t to an extent are [sic] fault’, adding: ‘Stop being a non-racist and start being an anti-racist’.

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These developments emerge after more than 120 charities were accused of ‘wasting money’ on giving their staff ‘unconscious bias’ training despite evidence it does not work, an MP says. Parkinson’s UK, the Alzheimer’s Society and the Red Cross are among the major names taking up the ‘unconscious bias’ courses. 

The Tory MP Ben Bradley has said: ‘It comes down to a waste of money [which] really should be put toward the purpose of the charity.’ An official report last year found the training ‘had no impact’. A spokesperson for St Hugh’s has said: ‘As with all training, we are evaluating and reviewing this course’. 

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