Our University’s historic links to slavery
Addressing our history is part of coming to terms with our present. We're committed to the collaborative and long-term work of repairing inequalities through our activities.
In our wide-ranging Race Matters Report (PDF, 1.15 MB) staff and students told us they wanted to know more about how the early benefactors of our University’s predecessor institutions may have derived some of their wealth from enslaved peoples of African descent.
Understanding the history behind our present
The University of Manchester and its early benefactors
The latest analysis from Dr Natalie Zacek, Senior Lecturer in American Studies and Professor Nalin Thakkar, Vice-President for Social Responsibility.
Addressing our history is part of coming to terms with our present. We acknowledge that some events that happened in the past are not acceptable by modern standards and that these events have a significant influence on contemporary realities and lived experiences of inequality and racial discrimination on campus and in wider society. These histories have deep legacies that have had a cumulative impact over time, in addition to newer forms of racism and inequality.
We therefore committed not only to acknowledging this but to the collaborative and long-term work of repairing inequalities through work in areas such as our research, student and staff recruitment, degree awarding gaps, University operations on modern slavery and our work with communities close to home and around the world.
Setting a new tone for our story
In our Race Matters Report, published following the murder of George Floyd in the US, we recognised racism continues not only in everyday life, but also in some of the history we tell about ourselves. This means that the way we relate the story of our University from now on will involve acknowledging these truths.
The report therefore set out the following objectives relating to our history:
- undertake analysis of the key connections between early benefactors of the University and the global slave trade;
- identify whether additional specialised forms of research need undertaking;
- share outcomes and seek feedback on initial research with staff, student and alumni;
- ensure connections to a wider city of Manchester review into the role of monuments and the public realm;
- consider, in light of the above, opportunities to better reflect the University’s early origins in public displays and trails.
Our plans to address the past
We are on an ongoing journey to address the legacy of slavery and give our community the chance to get involved.
Supporting our community
Resources and support for anyone who may be affected by the issues discussed on this site.