Support for Scholar Protesters and Activists
At the Rhodes Trust we select - and will continue to select - Scholars who are impatient with the way things are and committed to Standing Up for the World. We support all of our Scholars and emphatically affirm their right to speak their minds, protest, mobilise and criticise – including their right to criticise Cecil John Rhodes and his legacy, or the Rhodes Trust itself.
No Scholar will be disadvantaged or have their scholarship removed because of principled positions, including criticising Rhodes privately or publicly. Our Scholars are exceptional, talented, and passionate people fighting to create a more just and equal world. Indeed, many important steps in the history of the Rhodes Scholarships which have made us a better and more inclusive institution and community were the result of criticisms and Scholar protests.
Within our global community of Rhodes Scholars we celebrate the achievements of the many activists who are forging positive impact in struggles against intersecting forms of social inequity, incorporating race, LGBTQIA+, disability, gender-related and other injustices. We stand in solidarity with those who act courageously to create change.
We strongly condemn anyone who subjects our Black Scholars - or any Scholar - to racist and hateful attacks. We encourage Scholars who are experiencing mistreatment to reach out for support. We are working to strengthen our practices and resources for supporting Scholars experiencing threats or harassment because they speak out on issues or are involved in activism. We will continue to be in dialogue with our Scholar community so we can listen, learn and act.