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Decolonising the Curriculum Panel

Arts - Lecture Room 8 (LR8)
Saturday 20 October 2018 (13:00-14:30)
  • This event is now fully booked and registration is closed

As one of Britain’s centres for critical thought, the University of Birmingham has a duty to address the effects of Britain’s colonial past on its teaching and its students.

The National Union of Students (NUS) found in 2016 that 42% of Black students in the UK did not believe their University curriculum reflected issues of diversity, equality and discrimination. Join panellists that work or study at the University of Birmingham for an exploration of why and how we go about decolonising the curriculum, and hear their own experiences. Lily Gibbs will chair the panel, and is joined by Yasmina Nuny, Paul Jackson, Rhianna Kerr, Jovia Salifu and Daniel Stone.

Yasmina Nuny (pictured) - Student. Poet. Activist. All at the same time. Intersectionality features greatly in Yasmina’s work both in academia and the arts and it aims to deconstruct the world around to empower marginalized identities, teach love and express the frustrations that come with activism.

Yasmina also looks to celebrate to beauty of womanhood, blackness and the diversity of cultures in the world because they are all integral to humanity. Having had the privilege to live in several African countries, she is an advocate of African unity and progression with ambitions of promoting social development through the arts starting with her home country of Guinea Bissau.

Lily Gibbs (chair) is a final year student of anthropology and classics at the University of Birmingham. She organised the ‘Confronting Colonialism: Discussing the Problematic Pasts of Our Institutions’ conference and is organising its larger follow-up for the coming academic year. Lily has been involved in the ‘decolonising the academy’ movement within the College of Arts and Law for the past two years, including pressing issues such as the diversification of reading lists and curriculum, and course demographics. She aims to pursue further study in legal anthropology and human rights law, considering the engagement of 'Western' institutions with 'non-Western' societies and cultural practices. Lily is also Chair of Afropology, the society for students in the Department of African Studies and Anthropology through which she is involved in academic support efforts and organising social events that introduce students to African, Asian, and South American cultures.

Paul Jackson is Professor of African Politics in the International Development Department at the University of Birmingham, UK. He has more than twenty years experience of working on governance and post-conflict recovery. He worked extensively on the security sector reform programme in Sierra Leone, and, most recently, has been involved in the demobilisation of the Maoist Army in Nepal. He works a lot at the community level and with rebel groups. He is a member of the UN-CEPA, the International Advisory Group on the Security & Rule of Law research programme, and the Security Sector Reform research group of the Folke Bernadotte Academy as well as a Senior Security and Justice Adviser to the UK Government.

Daniel Stone was born and raised in Handsworth, Birmingham and recently returned to his ‘home city’ where he works for the University of Birmingham. Daniel was educated at Hamstead Hall School in Birmingham and became the first person from his school to study at the University of Oxford, where he read Economics and Management. During his time at Oxford, Daniel was elected as St Peter’s JCR President, chaired several student committees and became a full time sabbatical officer for the Oxford University Student Union. Daniel is a founding Co-Chair of the Oxford Black Alumni Network and also holds a Master’s from UCL. In 2011 he was named as the number 1 black student in the UK for contributions to student leadership and social entrepreneurship.

Daniel currently works for the University of Birmingham where he is on a scheme designed to develop future managers in higher education. Daniel has held a number of leadership positions related to education and community development. As the Education and Community Projects Coordinator for diversity experts Rare, Daniel managed the Target Oxbridge programme and launched a number of successful pre-university development initiatives.

Rhianna Kerr is a final year English and History student at the University of Birmingham and who has just come back from working in a summer camp in the US as a Head Dance Counsellor! Throughout her time at UOB she have been involved in various different aspects of university life. From being on a president of the History Society, working at the Guild and finally being a part of the ongoing and open discussion of the need and opportunity for a more diverse and decolonised Arts curriculum.

Jovia Salifu is just finishing up his Ph.D. in the Department of African Studies and Anthropology, University of Birmingham. His doctoral research is on women’s microcredit and household gender relations in Ghana. The thesis explores gender and economic practice in a matrilineal social context. He is Ghanaian and obtained his Bachelor’s degree in Sociology from the University of Ghana in 2010. He also has a Master of Arts degree in African Studies from the University of Birmingham, awarded in 2013.

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