Lord Simon Woolley appointed as first Black head of Homerton College

He is only the third Black person and the first Black man to be elected as head of a college at the University of Oxford or the University of Cambridge. 

Black History

Lord Simon Woolley has been appointed as the next Pricipal of Homerton College. (Photo Credit: Homerton College)

Lord Simon Woolley has become the first Black man elected as the head of an Oxbridge College. 

Oxbridge is a combination of the various schools that make up the United Kingdom’s University of Oxford and the University of Cambridge. 

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Lord Simon Woolley is the founding director of Operation Black Vote, BBC reported. The organization seeks to ensure racial justice and equality throughout the United Kingdom. 

The former Equality and Human Rights Commissioner will be the next principal of Cambridge University’s Homerton College. 

He will take the place of the current Principal of the College on October 1, 2021. 

Woolley, who the Queen knighted in 2019, has an honorary doctorate from the University of Westminster and is a nationally recognized newspaper contributor on topics of equality, diversity and social justice. 

He is only the third Black person and the first Black man to be elected as head of a college at Oxford or Cambridge. 

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In 2018, Wolley served on the government’s Race Disparity Unit responsible for collecting, analyzing, and publishing data on how crime, education, and health are impacted by ethnicity. 

 Lord Woolley said his appointment is historic

“What a truly great honour to be appointed the next Principal of Homerton College. Its history, from its origins in the East end of London, and its values of inclusion, dynamism and integrity, along with its vision to be a beacon of hope and academic excellence, make this a must-have role. It’s a great privilege to follow in the footsteps of Professor Geoff Ward, and I hope I can balance the College’s friendliness and warmth with ambition, as he has done so well. I’m excited to get to know the staff and students in Homerton and the wider University of Cambridge, and I’m excited for the next part of Homerton’s journey.”