Rhodes Scholars are women and men drawn from diverse backgrounds in many countries. They are leaders in extra-curricular activities, committed to promoting the public good. In Oxford, as well as focusing on their studies and related academic and professional activities, Rhodes Scholars are active in their colleges, departments, University clubs and societies, and their local, national, and international communities. Many take part in sporting, musical, theatrical, political, religious, and other activities. They are also deeply engaged in community service activities in Oxford and around the world, and the advocacy of causes they believe important for the world’s future.
The photo gallery below illustrates a selection of Rhodes Scholar activities:
Current Scholars in Oxford organise many groups and activities themselves, including those featured below. The listing of a group does not reflect a formal endorsement by the Rhodes Trust, nor do any opinions stated by them necessarily reflect those held by the Trust. They are independent groups, but are expected to demonstrate a sense of inclusivity and the scope for dialogue, debate and a diversity of views.
The Global Scholars Group (GSG) aims to promote responsible citizenship among international scholars by generating ideas and action aimed at addressing the world’s most pressing challenges. It achieves this goal primarily through the annual Global Scholars Symposium (GSS). GSS seeks to generate dialogue between prominent world leaders and bright scholars, and is hosted in Oxford and Cambridge in alternative years. GSS 2016 was held at Rhodes House in May, and the upcoming GSS will be held in Cambridge in the spring term. GSG believes that the largest and most persistent global issues require a commitment to work across disciplines and generations to connect current expertise with ideas for tomorrow. For more information, please visit global scholars.co.uk.
Contact: Please contact Alice Wang (firstname.lastname@example.org) for general enquiries
The Black Association of Rhodes Scholars (BARS) is committed to creating an environment that encourages a diversity of perspectives, identities, and experiences, in which we facilitate dialogue about issues concerning Black peoples around the world. We aim to foster unity among Black Rhodes Scholars, both past and present. Also, we aspire to impact the Oxford community at large through service, advocacy and effective representation on University commissions that promote racial awareness, equality and diversity. We host a welcome event at the start of each academic year, meet termly for themed discussions, and every October, host events that celebrate the history and traditions of Black peoples for Black History Month. Past events include lectures on black leadership in the 21st century by Ghanaian President John Kufuor and entrepreneur Mo Ibrahim, and a Black women’s forum. All are welcome to join the organisation or attend events.
Contact: Rachel Harmon or Robert Fisher on email@example.com
Rhodes Women is a group which aims to create a space for dialogue about gender in the Rhodes community, as well as in the larger context of the Oxford experience. Conversations and debates are an important part of what this group is about. Additionally, Rhodes Women attempts to include everything from reading groups and lectures to informal film screenings and meet-ups that give us a chance to share our insights and experiences.
We are a community of self-identifying LGBTQ scholars and partners here to help foster a space for the safe and comfortable expression of your gay, lesbian, bi, trans or other queer identity. Some other objectives include building awareness of LGTBQ people and causes between cultures, to discuss queer theory, and to have a good ol' time together.
The Scholar Library was started in the spring of 2015 with the aim of forming a collection of books that held significance to current and past Scholars. The collection is curated by the Scholars themselves, and these books have found a permanent place in Rhodes House. Today, the Scholar Library contains a wealth of books available for loan, including fiction, non-fiction and poetry. These efforts have expanded to the global community of Scholars, so as to incorporate a wide range of perspectives; the Library is a place to challenge and be challenged by the opinions and creativity of others. Contact : if you’re interested in joining a cohort of volunteer librarians, please get in touch with Bernard Soubry (firstname.lastname@example.org) or Sanya Samtani (email@example.com).
Redress Rhodes is a group of Scholars dedicated to developing a more critical, honest, and inclusive reflection of the legacy of Cecil John Rhodes and a clearer understanding of how it relates to the image, mission, and purpose of the Scholarships. We believe that an appreciation of this legacy is an essential element of what it means to be a Rhodes Scholar, and that more awareness regarding this legacy would both benefit scholars and the reception of the Scholarship in a global context. Redress Rhodes is working in partnership with the Warden and Rhodes House on a variety of issues, including improving the institutional history of the Trust and on prioritising fundraising for the African scholarships. Our engagement with the Trust in the past has led to crafting a collaborative toast to raise at the Going Down dinner in 2015 (instead of raising an unqualified toast to the Founder), and creating avenues for Scholars going down, to divert their leavers donations to sustaining and expanding the Scholarships in African constituencies. Many Scholars who feel that reparative justice should be a more central theme of the Rhodes community chose to exercise this option.
Contact: David Adler (firstname.lastname@example.org).
The science group aims to foster dialogue both among scientists and between scientists and scholars working in other fields. We host events that include talks, panels, debates, and pub nights, all with a soft focus on the relationships between science and society.
Want to address climate change from within the Rhodes community? Join our newly-formed group as we organise climate-oriented events, including discussions in Michaelmas term at Rhodes House and a Climate Forum during the spring . We’re still defining our purpose and deciding how we can most effectively act, so we are eager for input on how to proceed. Other current projects include researching previous community-based efforts for addressing climate change and building a network among Scholars globally. Our focus is multidisciplinary, so individuals from all backgrounds are welcome.
Contact: Rebecca Byrnes (email@example.com)
The members of Rhodes Christian Fellowship (RCF) meet regularly to encourage each other on our walks with God, whether we have been Christians for a long time, are just beginning or are simply interested in the faith. RCF is not limited to Rhodes Scholars; we warmly welcome any Oxford post-graduate students as well as their partners. During term time, we gather together each week to pray and study a passage of the Bible. We also have regular social events such as potlucks, movie evenings and board game nights. The members of RCF come from many different Christian traditions; we deeply value the different perspectives scholars bring and enjoy learning from each other. Contact: Sarah Westwood (firstname.lastname@example.org)
The Rhodes Scholars' Southern Africa Forum (RSSAF) is a scholar-led organisation dedicated to enacting positive change in Southern Africa. RSSAF's mission is threefold; to increase awareness of social, political and economic issues in Southern Africa; to raise and distribute funds to support small-scale community development initiatives, and to stimulate discussion and seek to engage with the historical relationship between the Scholarship and the region.
At the core of our work is our grants programme which supports at least 6 organisations annually. Recently funded projects have included the support of a project run by a youth organisation focused on 'keeping girls safe in school' in Malawi, and a community based organisation for promoting sanitation and hygiene in a rural primary school in Kenya. We furthermore provide remote strategic consultancy services to non-profit organisations in Sub-Saharan Africa with support from Consultancy organisations, in the past year we received support from McKinsey and Bridgespan.
Our events are long-celebrated traditions within the Rhodes community and include our 'Welcome Day Auction' in Michaelmas, 'Promises Auction', and 'Rhodies and Friends Recital' in Trinity.
The Rhodes China Forum is a fully inclusive organisation dedicated to learning about China. We believe that as the world's most populous state and second largest economy, China is an exciting and critical topic – geopolitically, economically, and culturally – for any international leader, particularly in the 21st Century. We have conducted academic and cultural exchanges to China, hosted debates on contemporary issues, held speeches by China experts, hosted Chinese delegations, discussed its deep history and literature, and highlighted Scholars' research and experience. We are building a network of Scholars engaged with China, and connecting with academic, business, social, and political groups in China. See www.rhodeschinaforum.com
Contact: Logan Graham (email@example.com).
The Rhodes Book Club meets approximately twice a term to discuss works of contemporary fiction in a relaxed setting. Our goal is to read great books, provide a forum for stimulating conversations, and remind you how wonderful books can be outside of class. No literary experience necessary, and recommendations always welcome! Contact: Jane Darby Menton.
We play games in Trinity and through the summer, both against Oxford teams and teams from around the county. It's a casual, fun group that attempts to cater for people of all skill levels, where possible.
Contacts: Jacob Taylor (firstname.lastname@example.org).
Come sing with us! We meet once a week to practice tunes to warm the heart and stir the spirit--and to prepare for performances at Rhodes House events! Entering its fourth year, the chorus welcomes amateurs and near-professionals, and the community especially appreciates the well trained voices who help those of us tone-deaf singers quietly tag along on stage. Yes indeed, all talent levels are welcome! Last year we performed at the American Thanksgiving, Christmas Dinner, a scattering of Meet'n'Mingles, and the Going Down Dinner. We aim to do the same this year, tackling songs from a wide variety of backgrounds, from the Rhodes constituencies and beyond! Whether you'd like to work on vocal projection for future political aspirations you're pretending not to have--or if you simply like to sing, come along! It'll be fun, you'll be charming, everyone claps for us because they're nice. It's wonderful. And we sing! Contact: Devin Grant (email@example.com).