Past events, seminars and lectures

Using critical race research: media, policy and practitioner perspectives

Monday 12th May 2014

The second of the four seminars exploring the uses of intersectionality as a tool in critical social research, scholarship and activism took place at the Institute of London

Dr Adrienne Dixon

Dr Adrienne Dixson is an Associate Professor of Critical Race Theory and Education at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Her scholarship examines the intersectionality of race, class and gender in urban educational contexts, with a particular interest in how these issues impact educational equity for students and people of colour in the urban south.

Her work is widely published in academic journals and edited books. Her most recent books include Critical Race Theory and Education: All God’s Children Got a Song, Handbook of Critical Race Theory and Education, Resegregation of schools: Education and race in the 21st Century (Routledge) and upcoming Researching race in education: Policy, Practice and Qualitative Research (IAP Publishing).

Marcus Ryder

Marcus Ryder is the Editor of Current Affairs BBC Scotland responsible for all BBC Current Affairs programmes produced by Scotland for BBC audiences across the UK (including Panorama). He has won several awards for his journalism including Baftas, Royal Television Society Awards and Foreign Press Awards.He is also the Chair of the Royal Television Society Diversity Committee and is currently studying for a PhD at Bournemouth University on News and Current Affairs television commissioning in the UK.

The series is funded by the Society for Educational Studies (SES), organized by the Centre for Research in Race & Education (CRRE) at the University of Birmingham and hosted in collaboration with the Sociology Section of the Institute of Education, University of London.

Understanding race equality in education: now and in the future

Monday 24th March 2014

This was the first in a series of seminars exploring the uses of intersectionality as a tool in critical social research, scholarship and activism. ‘Intersectionality’ is a widely-used (sometimes mis-used) term in contemporary social science. The term addresses the question of how various different forms of inequality and identity inter-relate in different contexts and over time, e.g. the inter-connectedness of race, class, gender, disability etc. The term originated in the work of US critical race theorist Kimberlé Crenshaw but has been taken up very widely across the social sciences; indeed, there is now a danger of it losing its critical element and becoming entirely detached from a concern with race equality.

Professor Laurence ParkerProfessor Laurence Parker is Professor of Educational Leadership Policy at the University of Utah. USA. He is one of the foundational educational scholars to use Critical Race Theory (CRT) having co-edited the volume ‘Race Is… Race Isn’t: Critical Race Theory and Qualitative Studies in Education’ (1999, Westview Press). He has been honored by the American Educational Research Association (AERA) for Service for Editorship of the Review of Research in Education (vols. 29 & 31).  

He is also a receipient of the Derrick Bell Legacy Award (from the Critical Race Studies Association), which honors commitment to advancing social justice and educational equity through teaching, research, writing, and/or direct community action. He has developed and taught classes on critical race theory and education policy issues and has concentrated his research and teaching in this area as it relates to equity and education, both K-12 and higher education.

Dr Paul Warmington is a Senior Lecturer in Education at the University of Birmingham, and Deputy Director of the Centre for Research in Race & Education. Paul has worked in further and higher education for twenty-five years. He has taught, research and written extensively around access, equalities and race & ethnicity. His latest book is "Black British Intellectuals and Education: multiculturalism's hidden history", published by Routledge.

Paul drew upon his book in discussing the importance of black and anti-racist movements in shaping education and social justice in the UK.

Problematising the role of the white researcher in social justice research

Wednesday 22nd January 2014

With guest speaker Dr Charlotte Chadderton, University of East London

Problematising the role of the white researcher in social justice researchThis paper contributed to the debate on decolonizing methodologies in qualitative research by considering how a white researcher can try and destabilise white supremacy when explicitly conducting research with social justice aims. It drew on data from a recent ethnographic study of minority ethnic pupils’ experiences in secondary schools in England, and interrogated the tensions between the research aim to challenge racial stereotyping in education, and issues of race and power emerging from the research process. The paper investigated specifically the ways in which interaction is shaped by – frequently hidden, particularly to those privileged by them - structures of white supremacy. Developing an innovative analytical framework which draws on insights from both Critical Race Theory and the work of Judith Butler, Charlotte problematised issues of voice and representation in conducting social justice research. She is working towards a possible research methodology which tries to destabilise processes of white supremacy in research by both recognising participants’ efforts to do this, and trying to make researchers better able to take responsibility for their own complicity in perpetuating unequal racial structures. Such a recognition by white researchers will necessarily be an uncomfortable process.


Dr Chadderton is Postdoctoral Research Fellow at the Cass School of Education and Communities, University of East London. She researches issues of social justice and inequalities in education, with a particular focus on race. Her fields of interest include critical race theory, poststructural theories of identity, formal and informal learning, 14-19 education and secondary transitions and qualitative research methods. Her current research is on issues of militarisation and surveillance in schooling, and the way in which such developments impact on social inequalities.

Colonial, postcolonial and global formations of elite schools

Wednesday 4th December 2013

This symposium examined a range of issues relating to the colonial and post-colonial formations of elite schools - how their histories continue to shape many aspects of their work, and the ways in which they interpret and negotiate the pressures and opportunities associated with globalization.

Three leading researchers discussed these issues at the symposium: Dr. Johannah Fahey from Monash University; Professor Fazal Rizvi from Melbourne and University and Professor Cameron McCarthy from the University of Illinois.

Invisibility: the art of being black

Wednesday 20th November 2013

David Neita

With guest speaker: David Neita, Director, Elect Education 

Indelibly locked within the fabric of canvasses over the centuries are thousands of Black Characters. They have been trying to send us a message for centuries but due to lack of interest, unintentional oversight and willful disregard on the part of art historians, art critics and various art consumers these ‘Beacon Blacks’ have been rendered silent, even invisible. In this presentation, he discussed the existence of Black icons across the arts and examine the purpose of their presence.

Gendered and Raced Employment Disparities in Senior-Level Position Attainment in the Academic Workforce

Wednesday 16th October 2013Professor Jerlando Jackson

With guest speaker Jerlando Jackson, Professor of Higher Education from the University of Wisconsin, Madison

In this seminar, he presented the results of two studies that investigated the role of gender and race/ethnicity in senior-level position attainment for teaching faculty and academic leaders in the academic workforce. Guided in part by the glass ceiling concept, employment models were specified consisting of social capital, human capital, work-life balance, motivation, and institutional policy variables to examine gender and race/ethnicity disparities. More specifically, these studies investigated to what extent male/female and minor/non-minority employees differ on these indicators. Results from these studies highlighted disparities by gender and race/ethnicity regarding workplace experience and job satisfaction.

Jackson, J. F. L. (2008). Race Segregation Across the Academic Workforce: Exploring Factors that May Contribute to the Disparate Representation of African American Men. American Behavioral Scientist, 51, 1004-1029.

For details of Professor Jackson's other publications please see:

Different Realities: from Colour Bar to Post Racial Britain?

Monday 20th May 2013

A Conversation with Lord Herman Ouseley

CRRE hosted its first annual lecture in partnership with Kick it Out (football’s equality and inclusion campaign). Lord Ouseley and Dr Rollock discussed the changing nature of racism over the last 50 years and touched on a series of key issues, including: change and continuity in the politics of race equality; the vital role of collective protest and action; the importance of leadership at national, local and community levels; and the gulf between the rhetoric and reality of race equality as an aspect of national government policy.

lord herman
 Dr Nicola Rollock with Lord Herman Ouseley

Over 200 staff, students, alumni and external guests attended the lecture, representing a variety of higher education institutions, organisations and social enterprises. A drinks reception followed the question and answer session, which was chaired by Dr Paul Warmington, CRRE Deputy Director.

For more images from the event, please view our Facebook Page

Launch of the Centre for Research in Race and Education

Thursday 21st February 2013

Professor James Arthur, Head of the School of Education and Pro-Vice-Chancellor Professor Adam Tickell introduced the guest of honour Doreen Lawrence OBE who spoke about the importance of the centre’s launch which coincided with the 20th anniversary of her son Stephen’s murder.

CRRE’s Directors, Professor David Gillborn and Dr Nicola Rollock welcomed over 200 staff, students, alumni, partnership schools and external guests to celebrate the country’s foremost academic centre dedicated to the study of racism and race inequality in education. David Lammy MP sent his best wishes ahead of the event, which was attended by local media. Guests were treated to a performance by Birmingham’s Poet Laureate, Dreadlock Alien who shared a selection of his inspirational poems.

 Doreen Lawreen speaking at the launch of the Centre for Research in Race and Education


Read more about the Launch of the Centre for Research in Race and Education

Intercultural Dialogue and Mutual Respect between Europe and Islam: The challenge for Education

Wednesday 31st October 2012

Professor Gus John

Gus JohnIn the build up to the launch of CRRE, the School of Education was honoured to host a lecture by Professor Gus John, Chair of the Communities Empowerment Network (CEN), Educational Consultant and one of Britain’s leading campaigners for social justice.

Read and download his lecture on Intercultural Dialogue and Mutual Respect between Europe and Islam: The challenge for Education (PDF, 175KB) 

Visit Gus Johns website