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First Professor of Race and Education appointed at Leeds Beckett


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Leeds Beckett University has appointed the UK’s first Professor of Race and Education, Shirley Anne Tate.

First Professor of Race and Education appointed at Leeds Beckett

Professor Tate is a world-leading researcher in the areas of institutional racism and black identity. She will join Leeds Beckett’s Carnegie School of Education on Monday 3 April from the University of Leeds, where she is currently Associate Professor, giving a boost to Higher Education Statistics Agency (HESA) data, which shows that there were only 25 Black female Professors in the UK in the academic year 2015/16. 

Professor Tate has written widely on topics including the body, ‘mixed race’, beauty, and the cultures of skin. The focus of her research is Black diaspora politics and she will begin a new international research project this summer, looking into what needs to be done to tackle racialisation across the UK, Sweden, South Africa and Brazil and how National Human Rights Institutions (NHRIs) play a vital role in national approaches to countering racism. 

Professor Tate said: “I am thrilled to be given the opportunity to develop this area of work with colleagues at Leeds Beckett and beyond. In 2015/16, there were only 25 Black female Professors in the country; so I am pleased to say that I am joining them. With figures like that it is easy to see that there is much work to be done on issues of race and racism in the academy which is still an anti-Black environment and is experienced as such by both staff and students alike.  It will be challenging in many respects I am sure, as it always is being the first of anything, but I have no doubt that it will also be the most rewarding post of my career so far.” 

Professor Damien Page, Dean of the Carnegie School of Education at Leeds Beckett, said: “We created this role as part of our determination to address inequality in education, whether it is the consistent under-attainment of children of colour in schools, or the barriers to career progression of teachers and academics of colour.  This professorial post will build and lead a new research team in race and education that will work with schools, nurseries, universities and community groups to challenge racism, improve outcomes for children and develop professionals who are able to create real impact in their settings. I am delighted that we have been able to appoint an academic of Shirley Tate’s standing, a truly world-class researcher with a clear vision for developing this agenda and I look forward to seeing this work progress.” 

Professor Shirley Anne Tate is Patron of Black British Academics, an independent organisation working proactively to enhance race equality across the higher education sector, and Editor of Emerald’s Critical Mixed Race Studies book series. She is also Visiting Professor and Research Fellow in the Institute for Reconciliation and Social Justice at the University of the Free State, South Africa, and Research Associate in the Centre for Critical Studies in Higher Education Transformation at Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University, South Africa.  

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