This year has been marked by the horrific murder of George Floyd and the disproportionate number of black lives lost due to COVID-19. These tragedies have moved people to protest for change and to challenge the structures that made them a reality. While society must take stock of the level of racism that persists to date, universities are particularly required to do so under the Public Sector Equality Duty.
Therefore, during this panel discussion, we will be reflecting on how far the Higher Education sector has come in addressing racial inequalities and consider how much further it still needs to travel to make sure our institutions are a truly equal space.
Dr Foluke Ifejola Adebisi is a Senior Lecturer at the Law School, University of Bristol whose scholarship focuses on decolonial thought in legal education. Her decolonial scholarship, which is pedagogical as well as jurisprudential, examines what happens at the intersection of legal education, law, society and a history of changing ideas of what it means to be human. Foluke is particularly interested in academic concerns that arise from ensuring equality, inclusion and diversity within teaching practice in law and how these intersect with environmental degradation, massive global inequality and the potential for imagining an egalitarian future for humanity. She is also the founder of Forever Africa Conference and Events (FACE), a Pan-African interdisciplinary conference hosted in Bristol. She blogs about her scholarship, pedagogy and interrelated ideas on her website ‘Foluke’s African Skies’.
Professor Iyiola Solanke is the Chair of European Union Law and Social Justice within the University of Leeds Law School. She is a former Visiting Professor at the Harvard University School of Public Health and Fernand Braudel Fellow at the European University Institute. She is the author of ‘EU Law’ (Pearson 2015), ‘Making Anti-Racial Discrimination Law’ (Routledge 2011) and ‘Discrimination as Stigma - A Theory of Anti-Discrimination Law’ (Hart 2017) as well as many articles in peer-reviewed journals. Professor Solanke is an Academic Bencher of the Inner Temple and founder of the Black Female Professors Forum, which promotes the visibility and progress of Black women in academia. She recently chaired the Inquiry into the History of Eugenics at UCL.
Dr Machilu Zimba is a Policy Advisor (Race Equality, Religion and Belief) in the University of Oxford's Equality and Diversity Unit. She leads on the University's participation in the national Race Equality Charter. The Charter provides a framework for critical analysis and results in a comprehensive action plan to promote race equality. Machilu has a doctorate in Comparative Labour Law and Industrial Relations. Her previous research focused on vulnerable groups in the world of work.
The panel will be chaired by Nicholas Bamforth, Associate Dean for Equality and Diversity, Oxford Faculty of Law.