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Donna Chambers: Photo exhibition celebrates 40 black female professors

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Published on 10 March 2020

Professor Donna Chambers by Bill Knight
Professor Donna Chambers by Bill Knight

A leading academic from the University of Sunderland has been included in a photography exhibition celebrating ‘Phenomenal Women’.

The exhibit features black and white photographs of 40 female professors, including the University’s Professor of Tourism, Donna Chambers.

Donna, who is also convener of the Race, Class and Ethnicity (RaCE) interdisciplinary research network, said: “I was very excited to participate in this exhibition as it is a great way to showcase the achievements of black women in UK academia, who are often unseen and unacknowledged. 

“Indeed, less than 1% of professors in the UK are Black.

“I was also keen to be involved as a Professor at the University of Sunderland as it is important for the University to be recognised for the continued work it is doing to support women in their career progression – in fact the number of female professors at Sunderland is higher than the UK average and I am pleased to be included amongst the wonderful group here.

“This photographic exhibition is related to a research project titled ‘Staying Power: the career experiences and strategies of UK Black Female Professors’ commissioned by the University and College Union UCU) and led by Dr Nicola Rollock at Goldsmiths, University of London.  

“This research was the first of its kind to focus exclusively on the experiences of black female professors and was published in February 2019.  

“It is my hope that this very powerful photographic exhibition will act as an inspiration for young women from Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic (BAME) groups who wish to progress to the highest levels in their careers within and outside of academia.”

The exhibition is on at City Hall in London from March 18 to March 31.