“Black Academia – Lifting the Barriers” was conceived in response to the personal experiences of Black academics Malik Al Nasir (University of Cambridge) and Dr Leona Vaughn (University of Liverpool).

Malik and Leona wanted to highlight the many obstacles that they faced in their academic journeys and contrast them with the experiences of other Black academics across the Atlantic world, to see if there were similarities and to make recommendations as to how they might be lifted at policy and statutory levels.

round table



A series of online symposia were held at University of Liverpool’s ‘Centre for the Study of International Slavery’ and the transcripts provided qualitative data for initial analysis by Cambridge alumna L’myah Sherae. L’myah and Malik co-authored the first report in the Black Academia series entitled “Barriers to Black Academia – Slavery Colonialism and the case for Reparative Justice”.

The themes that emerged from that report were the basis of a policy making roundtable at University of Bristol. A subsequent policy report, entitled “Lifting the Barriers to Black Academia Through Decolonisation and Positive Action”, was produced, co-authored by L’myah and Cambridge PhD candidate and widening participation specialist Rhiannon Llystyn Jones. That was the second report in the Black Academia series with recommendations for government, regulators, higher education (HE) institutions and HE funders.

The reports were co-sponsored by Prof. Phillip Taylor (Pro Vice Chancellor of University of Bristol) and Prof. Fiona Beveridge (Pro Vice Chancellor of University of Liverpool) and published by Fore-Word Press Ltd. Production of the roundtable was in association with Yesternight Productions Ltd., and the report launch was facilitated by ENACT Equality Ltd., and supported by the All Party Parliamentary Group for Race Equality in Education. Report design and printing by Research Retold Ltd.