British actress Emma Thompson has called on staff and students at a U.K. university to improve race relations after her adopted son suffered at the hands of bullies.
The Oscar-winner's 22-year-old son, Tindyebwa Agaba, a former Rwandan child soldier who she adopted in 2003, graduated from England's Exeter University in July (09) with a degree in politics.
He endured taunts from other students about his background, and Thompson was determined to address the institution in a bid to help move race relations forward.
She visited the university last week (begs02Nov09) and begged the staff and student population to help make a difference at a lecture on Thursday (05Nov09).
Thompson told the assembled crowd, "It's depressing when people think nothing is being done about it.
"Tindy had his experience and now we're having a big week of educational events to try and help it. Please understand you're already engaged, give yourself small goals. You must understand you have a staff who want this university to be the most humane, safe place it can be.
"You're not going to get hundreds of black students here overnight, but what you can do is make them more comfortable. Visitors are never the ones who come up with the solutions, it is up to you."