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RaCE Events / podcasts

The Race, Class and Ethnicity (RaCE) interdisciplinary research network holds events throughout the year.

Most events are free and open to the public.

Find out more about current and past events.


Current events

Decolonising seminar series

Decolonising Pedagogy: Race, gender, marginal voices and ‘Other ways of knowing’ by Professor Heidi Mirza

Date/Time: Thursday 9 June 2022, 1pm-2.30pm via Teams

The Race, Class and Ethnicity (RaCE) interdisciplinary research network and The Decolonising Group at the University of Sunderland is pleased to host this workshop delivered by Professor Heidi Mirza as part of its decolonisation series. 

In this session Professor Mirza asks ‘how do we situate the raced and gendered ‘other’ in everyday discourse and why and how marginalised groups articulate alternative world views’. Fundamental to the process of decolonisation is an understanding of the way we ‘talk’ about race and gender and social justice in our taken for granted systems of knowledge and power. Professor Mirza will look at postcolonial theories of difference and critically investigate how knowledge of the other is embodied and reproduced through the pedagogic practices in teaching and learning in higher education.  Through the perspectives of Black and postcolonial feminists, an appreciation of the centrality of agency and voice in creating alternative world views is gained. In this  discussion Professor Mirza will critically evaluate the importance of raced, gendered and classed power relations inherent in everyday cultural perspectives and practices.


About Professor Heidi Mirza

Heidi Safia Mirza is Emeritus Professor of Equality Studies in Education at UCL Institute of Education, University of London and Visiting Professor of Race, Faith and Culture at Goldsmith’s College and Social Policy at LSE.  She is known for her pioneering research on race, gender and identity in education and has an international reputation for championing equality and human rights for Black, Muslim, and Asian women through educational reform. Heidi is one of the first and few female professors of colour in the UK. She is author of several best-selling books including Black British Feminism and Young Female and Black, which was voted in the top 40 most influential educational studies in Britain. Professor Mirza is a leading voice in the global debate on decolonisation and recently co-edited the flagship book, ‘Dismantling Race in Higher Education: Racism, whiteness and decolonising the academy’.  She is currently leading the ‘Race and Ethnicity’ report for the IFS Deaton Inequality Review which includes the impact of COVID-19 on Black and minority ethnic communities.

Register via Eventbrite

Past events

Decolonising seminar series

'BME experiences in higher education: race, social justice and white privilege' by Professor Kalwant Bhopal
Wednesday 6 April 2022

As part of our decolonising seminar series, the Race, Class and Ethnicity (RaCE) interdisciplinary research network, and The Decolonising Group at the University of Sunderland are pleased to welcome Professor Kalwant Bhopal to deliver an online session.

Kalwant Bhopal is Professor of Education and Social Justice and Director of the Centre for Research on Race and Education at the University of Birmingham.

Kalwant’s research focuses on the achievements and experiences of minority ethnic groups in education. She has conducted research on exploring discourses of identity and intersectionality examining the lives of Black minority ethnic groups as well as examining the marginal position of Gypsies and Travellers. Her research specifically explores how processes of racism, exclusion and marginalisation operate in predominantly White spaces with a focus on social justice and inclusion. Her research in this area has been used to inform policy making in higher education, particularly the development of the Race Equality Charter mark.
Her book, ‘White Privilege: the myth of a post-racial society’ was published by Policy Press in 2018. She is currently working on a new book, ‘Elites and the making of privilege’ with Martin Myers which will be published by Routledge this year.


Decolonisation Workshop
Wednesday 9 March 2022,

In this session, Jass Thethi of Intersectional GLAM covered the definition of Decolonisation, explore how Colonisation is affecting our modern-day lives, how it fits into academia and decolonisation in practice.

Decolonisation workshop logo, 3 drawn individuals in yellow



Trans Awareness Workshop
Wednesday 16 February 2022

The session was facilitated by Dr Kit Heyam and Jass Thethi.

This session provided a conversational, non-judgmental space to increase confidence and familiarity around trans issues, and to learn how to create a positive experience for trans staff and students in HE.

Dr Kit Heyam and Jass Thethi covered the basics of trans identities and related terminology alongside practical aspects of trans inclusivity in HE, including interpersonal interactions, handling trans people's data, supporting trans staff and students, and signalling that the university is a trans-friendly institution for potential applicants.

They also talked about the journey of learning and growing as a trans ally.

Attendees had the chance to ask questions and discussed problems specific to their area of work, and there was also an opportunity to ask anonymous questions.



Listen to the first in a series of podcasts on Black Lives, presented by the University of Sunderland's RaCE (Race, Class and Ethnicity) and SunGen (Sunderland Gender) interdisciplinary research networks


Black History Month - 'Black Lives Matter - Virtual unveiling of blue plaque to Celestine Edwards'

This event saw the virtual unveiling of a blue plaque to anti-slavery campaigner Celestine Edwards. There is a recorded history of anti-slavery activities, first organised by the local Quakers in Sunderland during the early 18th century, and so in celebrating Celestine Edwards’ contribution it is possible to see how the Black Lives Matter (BLM) movement has local relevance going back nearly 300 years.

This plaque was the first to celebrate a Black person in Sunderland.

The event was held on Thursday 15 October 2020 and included a short talk by Prof Donna Chambers and by University Chaplain Chris Howson. 

Learn more about Black Lives Matter and the blue plaque commemorating Celestine Edwards.

Celestine Edwards Blue plaque


24th October 2019 – Panel Discussion on ‘Decolonising the Curriculum’ – University of Sunderland in London

22nd October 2019 – Film screening of ‘The Uprising’ by Pravini Productions - Sunderland Minster

16th October 2019 – Black History Month film- ‘If Beale Street Could Talk’ – Media Centre, University of Sunderland (in collaboration with CineClub)

28th June 2019 – ‘Gendered Worlds Festival’ – Prospect Building, St Peter’s Campus (in collaboration with Sunderland Gender Network)