C2C: Keynote Speaker Professor Kalwant Bhopal

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C2C: Keynote Speaker Professor Kalwant Bhopal
Twitter: @KalwantBhopal
Keynote Date: Thursday 27th June

Keynote Title: Competing Inequalities: Gender, Race and White Privilege in Higher Education Institutions in the UK

Abstract: This presentation will draw upon recent research from two projects exploring the impacts and institutional experiences of the Athena SWAN (ASC) and Race Equality (REC) Charter Marks in UK universities (Bhopal and Pitkin, 2018; Bhopal and Henderson, 2019). The findings from these studies examine how charter marks are shaping and influencing practice in universities, particularly in relation to gender, race and White privilege. I argue that in higher education policy making, there has been a privileging of gender over race in terms of addressing inequalities in higher education. Whilst acknowledging the persistence of inequalities in both groups, the data from these projects highlights a significant risk that gender and race inequalities become conflated in current equalities work. As a consequence of a logic of efficiency that drives Higher Education Institutions (HEIs) to combine gender and race equalities work, and the privileging within this combination of gender, HEIs publicly work towards equality and inclusion in general terms. Consequently they do so without having to confront uncomfortable and deeply embedded practices that perpetuate White privilege in the academy (Bhopal, 2018).

Bio: Professor Kalwant Bhopal is Professor of Education and Social Justice and Deputy Director of the Centre for Research in Race & Education (CRRE) at the University of Birmingham. Professor Bhopal’s research focuses on the achievements and experiences of minority ethnic groups in education. She has conducted research on exploring discourses of identity and intersectionality examining the lives of Black minority ethnic groups as well as examining the marginal position of Gypsies and Travellers. Her research specifically explores how processes of racism, exclusion and marginalisation operate in predominantly White spaces with a focus on social justice and inclusion. She is Visiting Professor at Harvard University in the Harvard Graduate School of Education and Visiting Professor at Kings College London (Department of Education and Professional Studies). Her most recent book, White Privilege: the myth of a post-racial society was published in 2018 by Policy Press.

See a video from a recent LSE event: Racial Inequality in Britain: the Macpherson Report 20 years on, featuring Professor Bhopal speaking at minute 42:

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