BBA CEO and special adviser co-presenting on cultural democracy at IAFOR education conference

Black British Academics’ Chief Executive Dr Deborah Gabriel from Bournemouth University and Special Adviser, Aisha Richards from University of the Arts London are to present a joint paper at the IAFOR International Conference on Education in Hawaii in January 2016.

The conference theme: Education and Social Justice offers the perfect opportunity for the two female academics to present their research paper: Social Justice Pedagogy and Cultural Democracy: Promoting Inclusion and Equality in Further and Higher Education.

It documents their work on a consultancy project for a FE/HE institution that evaluated handbooks, briefs and teaching resources for a further education arts course. The evaluation was approached conceptually and theoretically through pedagogies of social justice and cultural democracy.

The evaluation report which contained a set of recommendations, combined with dedicated staff and student workshops are used as a case study on how to implement cultural democracy in teaching practice to create inclusive teaching and learning spaces where students from all ethnic and cultural groups can be equal and active participants.

Ms Richards has lectured in art and design at Central St Martins College of Art & Design and is the founder and director of Shades of Noir, a comprehensive programme to enhance race equality in arts education and the creative industries. She is also an HEA Associate in inclusive teaching practice in arts education.

Dr Gabriel is a firm advocate and practitioner of social justice pedagogy and has been developing the use of cultural democracy both as pedagogy, combined with social justice and as a conceptual approach to race equality within and beyond higher education.

As a research active academic she specialises in education research, alongside her main discipline in media and communication, which is centred on raced and gendered constructions and representations in media and popular culture and how race shapes engagement and use of digital technologies.

Commenting on the conference, Dr Gabriel said: “I am delighted to be co-presenting at the IAFOR conference with colleague Aisha Richards. Developing a new body of knowledge on cultural democracy is an important goal that supports our mission and values at Black British Academics.

“Our approach is to develop a framework for cultural democracy through research informed by its practical implementation.”

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