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Oxford University Press

We helped Oxford University Press to develop guidelines on race and ethnicity representation for their global content providers in English language teaching.

The Black Lives Matter protest movement in 2020 led many organisations and businesses to re-think how they engage with questions of ethnicity, in terms of language, concepts and representation. For those who want to address inequality in new and meaningful ways, they face the challenge of how to navigate the fast-changing field of racism research. Professional guidance is needed to understand best practice across the board of racialised communities, including antisemitism, anti-Black racism, Islamophobia and Romaphobia. Our International Centre on Racism is the only research centre in Europe that aims to deliver advanced research on all racisms. For national or international organisations, it is imperative that they move beyond an elementary understanding of prejudice towards a particular community. Instead, the goal should be to deliver guidelines and best practice that delivers inclusion for all racialised communities.

Oxford University Press are working hard to do just this. They aim to give everyone the opportunity to access knowledge, regardless of their background or circumstances, and so they’re working to ensure that all aspects of their content are inclusive. As part of this drive, they approached our International Centre on Racism as leading experts to critically review their new guidelines for race and ethnicity representation within their English Language Teaching content. Drawing upon the latest research on racisms, our team supported the organisation to ensure that their new document was fit for purpose. The guidelines are applied within the specific context of global publishing, focusing upon artwork, audio, video, language and terminology, providing insightful advice around how to ensure each of these elements are inclusive. The guidelines also provide positive examples of inclusion to highlight best practice. 

The guidelines are now being used by Oxford University Press employees and external partners during the development of new content, and when reviewing existing content. Our world-leading expertise in this area provided quality assurance, enabling the organisation to have confidence in their inclusivity.