• Dr Udeni Salmon speaking at a conference
16 Jun | Diversity & Inclusion | Race equality | Gender Equality

Transforming the Ivory Tower: models for gender equality and social justice

This timely exposé of racial inequality in academia highlights Black and Brown women’s resistance to White privilege. Edited by Dr Deborah Gabriel, Founder and Director of Black British Academics, this book is a timely example of the change that has been ocurring, under the radar, in higher education - across teaching, research, professional and community practice

Photo: Dr Udeni Salmon, Research Fellow, Eleanor Glanville Centre, contributor


This new edited volume is centred on transformation in teaching, research, professional and community practice aimed at addressing race and gender disparities with a focus on tackling whiteness as a recurrent theme in Inside the Ivory Tower (IT1). This research is unique in providing case studies that highlight self-defined and negotiated pathways for race and gender equality developed by Black women and women of colour as change makers. It documents how the contributors navigate challenging spaces to create meaningful roles that contribute to social justice.
This volume draws on critical race theory, Black Feminism and participatory witnessing – an alternative research approach where women bear testimony, facilitating self-representation and co-theorising with the author. It brings new intersectional voices to the Ivory Tower project from the USA, Canada and Australia and from LGBTQ perspectives, whilst maintaining continuity in highlighting the transformative work of some of the UK contributors to IT1.
This research is significant in highlighting the often-unacknowledged contributions to the knowledge economy and wider society to advance race and gender equality and the narratives privilege the lived experience, intellectual, social and cultural capital of women of colour.

“I consider the Ivory Tower project to be significant and salient during an era where Black women continue to be undervalued in our personal and professional lives, and when the very strategies we develop to uplift ourselves: Me Too Campaign (Tarana Burke); Intersectionality (Kimberle Crenshaw); Black Lives Matter (Alicia Garzia, Patrice Cullors, Opal Tometi) are crudely and brazenly appropriated, often by those in positions of power and privilege who erase us in the process of elevating  themselves in a way that depoliticizes the essence of our resistance.”

Deborah Gabriel, editor