Race, Ethnicity & Equality

In 2017 the Royal Historical Society established a Race, Ethnicity & Equality (REE) Working Group.

  • During our 150th anniversary year in 2018, we published a landmark report on Race, Ethnicity and Equality in UK History. This report evidenced the scale of under-representation, the extent of workplace racism, and the limitations of History curricula. Read the publication press release and full survey data.
  • In December 2019, we published a Roadmap for Change Update. This new report fulfils our commitment to record progress a year on from the initial report. It summarises how individuals, universities, learned societies and other institutions, including the Royal Historical Society, have responded to the 2018 report and its findings.
  • In November 2020, we published Roadmap for Change Update II. The report surveys the race, ethnicity and equality initiatives undertaken over the past year by the historical community in the UK. Its purview includes departments, faculties and schools, along with heritage organisations and learned societies, as well as the RHS itself.


The Working Group

The REE Working Group continues to meet, and for 2019-2021 has been strengthened by the appointment of a Past & Present postdoctoral research fellow.  With the Society’s support, the group works to:

  • identify barriers to racial equality and diversity in the discipline of History;
  • facilitate curriculum reform that diversifies and decolonises undergraduate and taught postgraduate History programme content, as well as teaching practice;
  • tackle workplace racism and support inclusive learning environments in UK university History departments;
  • address the under-representation of historians of colour, both students and staff, in higher education;
  • encourage and, where appropriate, facilitate and support work towards greater racial equality, diversity and inclusivity in earlier tiers of education, and in other cultural institutions and aligned disciplines;
  • identify strands of activity in which adopting an international perspective on race offers new avenues for the promotion of race equality in History.

The publication of the 2018 report sparked considerable public debate, and we are delighted that it has been the subject of meetings and discussions at History departments across the UK.


Contacting the RHS about the Race, Ethnicity and Equality reports

  • If you would like to give us feedback about an event or initiative that you have organised in response to the RHS Race, Ethnicity and Equality reports, please download, complete and return this form.
  • If you are interested in hosting a future event you can download the Royal Historical Society’s Race, Ethnicity & Equality event form here.

In addition to contributing to these events and sharing best practice, the REE Working Group is developing new resources for historians engaged in race equality work.


Current RHS Race, Ethnicity & Equality Working Group Members

Dr Sadiah Qureshi (University of Birmingham) – Co-chair
Dr Jonathan Saha (Durham University) – Co-chair

Dr Shahmima Akhtar (RHUL)
Dr Adam Budd (University of Edinburgh)
Dr Diya Gupta (RHS / IHR)
Professor Margot Finn (RHS President / UCL)
Professor Laura Gowing (KCL)
Professor Heidi Safia Mirza (Goldsmiths)
Dr Meleisa Ono-George (University of Warwick)
Professor David Olusoga (University of Manchester)
Professor Olivette Otele (University of Bristol)
Dr Kennetta Hammond Perry (DMU)
Mr John Siblon (City and Islington College)
Dr Patrick Vernon
Dr Rob Waters (QMUL)