Lord Simon Woolley Makes History As The First Black Man Appointed Head of Oxbridge College


April 8, 2021

Glass ceiling shattered!

Lord Simon Woolley is making history as the first Black man appointed head of Oxbridge College, BBC reports.


Woolley is a political and equalities activist and the founding director of the campaign group Operation Black Vote (OBV). He is the former Equality and Human Rights Commissioner and was appointed to lead the government’s Race Disparity Unity in 2018 by Prime Minister Theresa May. His work to formulate data on the correlation between ethnicity and crime, education and health, and his advocacy with Black voters, enrolling voters through OBV has made him a prime candidate for this new position. 

Woolley has been elected as principal of Cambridge University’s Homerton College, making him the first Black man ever to head any Oxbridge College and only the third Black person elected as head at any Oxford or Cambridge college. 

Dr. Louise Joy, Vice-Principal of Homerton, spoke about Woolley’s appointment, saying, “He has the vision, purposefulness, and humility to bring together students, staff, and fellows over our shared aspirations to help young people from all backgrounds feel at home at Homerton.”


Joseph Saxby, President of the Homerton Union of Students, echoed those sentiments, saying, “I’m excited to see the waves he will make and the changes that will come.”

Woolley is excited to step into his new role, saying the school’s “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.” 

Congratulations, Lord Woolley!


Photo Courtesy of Homerton College

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